Staying in a hostel dorm is something every backpacker will do at some point on their travels. It’s usually the cheapest type of accommodation, and the more people there are in a room, the less it costs. There is almost an unwritten code that the experienced backpacker will have picked up along the way – a dorm etiquette, if you will.
I give you, the Backpacker 10 Commandments:
1. Thou shalt not leave belongings all over the floor or in other people’s beds. Especially dirty undies.
2. Thou shalt wash up any dishes/glasses used that day, and not leave them for someone else to clean. This is pretty much basic human politeness, but you’d be surprised how many people treat a hostel ‘like a hotel’.
3. Thou shalt not hang up clothes/towels to dry on someone else’s bed. Use your own bed or throw them in the dryer for a few minutes (if your hostel has one).
4. Thou shalt not organise dorm parties without consent of everyone staying in said dorm (and providing some booze to as compensation).
5. Thou shalt not turn on the light in the middle of the night. Acceptable hours for the light to be on are 9am-11pm. Use the torch on your phone to help navigate the way to your bunk.
6. Thou shalt not bring your one night stand back to your dorm. Book a private room if you plan on being a Casanova. Word spreads like wildfire in a hostel, and you’ll get some funny looks when you do the ‘walk of shame’ the next morning.
7. Thou shalt not make noise in the middle of the night. Whether you are rearranging your backpack, Skyping your cat, or rustling through snack packets – do it during the day, rather than at some ungodly hour. Earplugs should help block out most of your roomies trips to the bathroom.
8. Thou shalt not eat someone else’s food. Items are usually labelled and kept in the fridge/cupboard to prevent this happening, but some people still think it’s acceptable to just go and help themselves. Ask politely and you may get what you asked for.
9. Thou shalt use headphones when listening to music or Skyping/Facetiming someone. No one wants to hear you drama.
10. Thou shalt give other people their privacy. If someone is sitting alone with headphones on, or head in a book – they really have an invisible ‘do not disturb’ sign on. Give them space, and make conversation with them another time, when they are less engaged.