Hostel Etiquette: How to Behave When Bunking with Other People

I’ve tried hostels several times for brief stays like two or three nights. Recently, I tried staying in one for three weeks! The experiences have been great overall. I had met so many people I quickly became friends with and treated like family for the entire stay. I had more opportunities to save on tour costs as I can join in the hostel’s group activities. It was also really easy to socialize as I was constantly surrounded by people…

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But holy hell, was I pissed off, annoyed, and frustrated at some point. I thought, you know, it doesn’t take a genius to think of simple courtesy to the person on the next bed sleeping… So I thought, wow, some people still really need to learn basic respect and courtesy.

I thought I’d help out and remind people how to behave accordingly when you’re sleeping in a room full of other people. Remember you’re not alone so that’s the first basic thought you should have, which should dictate every movement in the room. But hey, why not let me break it down for you. Here are some things you should consider when staying in a hostel.

Say Hello

Of course, you’re not forced to make friends if you’re not interested at all but as a respect for the people around you, at least acknowledge their presence. Say hello, introduce yourself a little bit, and then you can decide whether to continue the conversation or not.

Not the small talk kind of person? That’s perfectly fine! A simple hello, a smile, or even just a nod is enough. Besides, why stay in a dorm if you’re not willing to meet or even just… see people? Okay, okay, budget restraints, sure. But again, it’s only respectful to acknowledge other people.

One of the best parts about hostels is the abundance of social activities you can join in like a pot luck dinner or game night so don’t miss the opportunity! Don’t be shy to ask to join!


Keep it clean

Now, this applies to quite a number of things… First off — the bathroom. Holy moly, I walked into the shower room with puke on the floor. I get it, the night can get rough and it would be hard to clean up after yourself while your head’s still spinning. The least you can do is clean up in the morning. Then, apologize to people if they were unfortunate enough to witness your mess. If you missed your chance to clean and the housekeepers got ahead of you, approach them, thank them, and apologize for the additional mess they had to cover.

Another time, I walked into a clogged up toilet with shit still in it. I mean, at least do something about it by asking the housekeepers to hand you some tools and teach you some tricks on how to fix it, unless they offer to do it themselves anyway.


Next, Keep your area clean. There are boundaries, you know. When you scatter your bags and clothes around your bed, make sure they’re organized. Leave room for other people to store their own things or to just give them way to walk through, really. There are also lockers at your disposal so do the rest a favor and lock up your mess.

ALSO, please don’t air out dirty, smelly laundry inside the room.

Speaking of smelly… do shower daily or at least make sure you don’t air out your smell. It’s hard to sleep when you can’t breathe!

Take it outside

Any time of day, somebody could be sleeping in the dorm because guess what, not everyone sleeps at night or maybe they just wanted to nap. Someone calling your phone? Take the call outside.

Fighting with your friends or your significant other? PLEASE don’t yell at each other inside the room, especially at night. We don’t need to hear why you hate each other.

Found someone to ring your bells tonight? For the love of pizza, have sex somewhere else. This dorm is for sleeping, not for sex. We don’t need to hear slapping flesh.



Awww, you’re up bright and early! Out for a tour? That’s nice. Now, HUSH. Others are still sleeping and if they aren’t awake by now, they probably need the sleep so please, SHHH. Move around quietly, please.

Alarms? Fine, but don’t snooze them every five minutes.

Do you SNORE? Of course, no one can ban you just because of that but if you are aware that you are a LOUD snorer, do something about it… like a mouth guard or something.

When moving around the room, be aware of the noise you will make so you can control it. Tip toe if you must! Also, be careful with using plastic bags. Nothing is more annoying than the sound of rustling plastic in ungodly hours.

Sharing is caring

When you stay in a hostel, you don’t HAVE TO share what you have but it wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it will leave a good impression on other people and who knows, you might make more friends. It won’t hurt to share a little of your food or maybe a little bit of your sun tan lotion when they forget to bring some. Maybe you can even lend them a book when they have nothing to do! Again, you don’t have to but it would be nice 🙂


Don’t you dare steal

This goes without saying with personal properties like gadgets and clothes but this ALSO goes for food! In many hostels, there’s a common kitchen with a common fridge. Some people trust you that they can put in their food and expect it to still be there the next day. If you want to eat, go buy your own food.


Not that hard, right? Really, though. Bottom line is that you have to respect other people if you want them to treat you the same way to keep your experience more enjoyable!

Have other thoughts? Comment below on some tips to be a better roommate!

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