A multitude of questions race through the minds of new and seasoned travelers when they’re looking up hostels online. And these questions are generally related to their safety. We understand – it’s quite a gamble, sacrificing your privacy to a set of strangers. But here comes the other part. You are sharing the same space with like-minded travelers who have a variety of experiences to share! Listening to their stories among others brings in a sense of community. And that’s the edge hostels have over hotels. Coming back to the burning question: Are hostels safe? Yes, they are! But there are certain tips for staying in a hostel that you should know beforehand –
5 Tips For Staying In A Hostel
Check The Locality
When you’re checking for hostels online, always study the locality where it’s based. You need to know whether it’s near the city, next to active nightlife or somewhere in the town’s interiors. Especially in a country like India, knowledge of streets and gullies is a must since there are so many intertwined with each other! The last thing you want to do is get lost in them. This becomes extremely inconvenient when your cellular network fails and you have no knowledge of the local language.
Also, you might want to be aware of all the shady and lonely areas surrounding the hostel. India in all its richness and beauty is not free from petty thefts and scams existing in mainly quiet places. Talk with the hostel manager before planning your itinerary. Get more detailed information since street smartness cannot be found on the internet. The best is to converse with the manager even before you arrive at your hostel. Ask about fare rates since taxi and autorickshaw drivers tend to charge tourists exorbitant rates for small distances.
Online Reviews Are A Must
Thorough research also includes checking online reviews. Hostel websites are the best way to get a glance at their offerings of amenities and services. And, it’ll help you to get a better picture of the overall vibe of the place as well.
We should tell you that reviews on these sites tend to be overly positive. While it’s good to know how the hostel excels in its services offered, it’s equally important to know the inconsistencies it faces as well. So, check other travel websites where you can view honest opinions of their experiences in a particular hostel. Here, you’ll get a perfect balance of the positive and negative aspects which will help in deciding whether that hostel is good for you or not. You’re not only weighing the amenities of the hostel but also the overall experience of past travelers who have lived in it. This makes it a credible source of information.
You can take a step further and check online traveling forums as well. This is a great way to connect with new travelers and learn from their experiences. This is not only restricted to finding hostels but also other things such as places to visit, things to do, etc. With such online interactions, you will be better equipped and more confident in making that trip by yourself or with a group.
Better Security With Lockers
When you’re checking a hostel’s website, check if they have lockers too, this is one of the most important tips for staying in a hostel. Hostels usually have a locker system in place but if they don’t you might want to reconsider since safety is a bit compromised. At goSTOPS, we provide personal lockers to guests as soon as they check-in for storing valuables. It helps to keep our place a tad bit safer.
Now sometimes, these lockers have the locks included while some of them don’t. Nonetheless, you should always have a couple of padlocks handy to prepare for such a situation. You could always buy or rent one from the hostel itself, but that will be only an extra expenditure. Also, practice disinfecting the lockers before leaving your belongings in it, hygiene while traveling is a must.
Worst case scenario, if you have to settle for a hostel with no lockers, then strap on a money belt with your valuables while sleeping. Also, you could stuff your valuables under the mattress which you sleep on. But to avoid such lengths to attain security, hostels with lockers are a must.
Bonus tip for staying in a hostel: Have a padlock on your backpack as well while traveling. Being at peace from petty thefts is what one needs to have an enthralling travel experience.
Your Choice Of Room
Some hostels have a mix of single-sex and mixed-sex dorms. Therefore, it’s important to check for the availability of single-sex dorms beforehand if that’s what you prefer especially for women traveling alone. You don’t want to check in your hostel knowing that your preferred choice of room is unavailable. To avoid such hassles from happening, book in advance!
Upon reaching your hostel, you find that a mixed-dorm is not meant for you, notify the staff beforehand. They will shift you to a single-sex dorm or put you in a dorm having the same ratio of both the sexes. The same thing goes for single-sex dorms. If you feel uncomfortable sharing the same space with many, then the hostel’s private rooms will be better suited for you. goSTOPS has a variety of spacious private rooms overlooking scenic routes in addition to dorms. So, check them out the next time you plan a vacation.
Lastly, make lots of friends. Enjoy the company of your fellow dormmates and have fun with each other. There is no better place than a dorm to have a more engaging feel of community with like-minded travelers. Plus, having this close-knit circle can help ward off potential trouble-makers from snatching your stuff. To make the experience more enhancing for our travelers, goSTOPS community volunteer program is all geared up to make our community closer through interactive activities. So, if you need assistance with anything or just need a person to share your traveling expeditions with, our volunteers are ever ready to lend a listening ear.
Hostels are an amazing way to expand your accommodation options especially if you’re on a budget. The dynamics of living in a hostel change since the space is shared with many. Nonetheless, they’re safe, and your fellow dorm mates will certainly give you the privacy that you deserve. By following our tips for staying in a hostel, we can be sure your stay will be pleasant and fruitful!
How Do You Survive In A Hostel?
When you stay in a hostel, make sure you check out all the rules and regulations carefully. Be aware of items like towels or meals that your hostel doesn’t provide. This will help you arrive more prepared.
Dos And Don’ts In A Hostel?
In a hostel you’re going to be sharing a dorm with other travelers. A big no-no is to be insensitive to those who will stay with you. You have to always be careful to be mindful that you’re not disturbing others. What you also must do is to carry essentials like a towel, bathroom slippers and toiletries as you’ll be using communal showers. It is also polite to interact with other travelers in the common room.
How Do You Behave In A Hostel?
In a hostel you should behave and act responsibly as you won’t be having the room to yourself if you’ve opted for the dorm room. Avoid making a mess, being noisy or inconsiderate of people around you. Instead be social and respectful to those travelers sharing the space with you.
What Should You Not Do In A Hostel?
In a hostel you should avoid turning on all the lights when everyone’s asleep. Also, if you’re waking up early to leave, keep your things ready the night before. This ensures that you don’t make a lot of noise rummaging through your belongings when others wish to sleep in late. You should also never keep your belongings on a fellow traveler’s bunk bed. These are a few tips for staying in a hostel.