First time staying in a hostel? You can expect to meet these people. Source: Shutterstock.
TRAVELING can be very expensive. But a bargain respite amongst all the bills is cheap accommodation in the form of hostels.
Hostels were around long before Airbnb and remain a popular choice with travelers on a tight budget.
Depending on where you go and the price you pay, the hostel can be rundown or fancy, filthy or polished, out in the sticks or in the center of town.
But no matter which hostel you check in to, you’re bound to come across a certain mix of people.
Most of the time, your fellow hostelers will be like-minded travelers with brilliant stories to tell of their adventures.
They also often double up as drinking buddies, dinner dates and people to explore with. Sometimes they even become real friends, ones you make an effort to see when you’re not traveling.
But you’re also likely to come across a few undesirables. If you’re a frequent hostel resident, you may be familiar with these:
No concept of personal space
Unless you can afford a private room, you’ll likely end up in a six-plus-person dormitory, with a limited amount of space to call your own.
But there’s always someone who treats the whole dormitory as their own bedroom, often leavening dirty laundry and wet towels around the room or even on your bed.
If you come across this, first ask the person to clean up and if nothing happens, scoop up all their stuff and throw it out the window. Just kidding!
Put them on their bed and don’t let it ruin your day.
The “I only have deep conversations” person
You don’t necessarily need be staying in a hostel for this to happen but staying in the same place as this type of person does make it hard to escape their questions.
If you’re in the mood for a deep conversation, great. Perhaps it’s a topic you’re interested in or you’re up for learning something new.
But if the conversation turns to a genre you’re not comfortable with or it’s dulling your mood, steer it in another direction and think nothing of the “negative energy” you’ll give off.
Alternatively, explicitly say you’re done talking about XYZ and cartwheel away.
The lads on tour
Sometimes it’s hard to believe even the lads on tour don’t get annoyed at themselves with their incessant loudness, drinking, and pack-like behavior.
If you’re unfortunate enough to be in the same dormitory as these rowdy blokes, ask at reception to move rooms.
If all else fails, tell the guys you turn into a pumpkin if you get unnaturally woken up between the hours of 1am and 9am while you’re on vacation.
If they don’t believe, purchase a pumpkin costume and wait for them to roll in late one night.
The “I can’t be bothered to find where the bathrooms are” person
When staying in hostels, you’ll soon realize some adhere to an antiquated cleaning schedule, namely one bath a year.
And this is a big problem if you’re staying in the same dormitory as them.
While it’s not your job to tell them when to wash, maybe drop some subtle hints when they’re in the room.
For example, say “What is that smell?” while looking at them or outwardly exaggerate how great the showers are and the complimentary toiletries. You can only do your best.
The inexperienced know-it-all
There’s nothing more valuable than getting traveling advice from seasoned explorers and travel experts.
But there’s nothing more annoying than listening to a newbie who’s never been to the country before, droning on about what you should do.
We’re sure you’ll quickly be able to gauge how much of the stuff they’re saying is regurgitated from a Lonely Planet guide.
So pick out the points you like and politely nod along to the rest.
The person who never leaves the hostel
This isn’t a negative, just damn right bizarre given that most people travel to experience cultures, try new food and meet people.
If you notice someone isn’t leaving the safe boundaries of the hostel and they don’t look like they’re doing much else, try striking up a conversation with them.
For all you know, they might be desperate to the explore but too frightened to go out alone.
Ultimately, don’t let the prospect of meeting these unsavory characters put you off from booking a stay in a hostel.
There will be plenty of awesome people acting as antidotes to those being annoying.
Holly Patrick | @HollyMaeVogel
As a recent graduate of Journalism from Westminster University, Holly is keen on exploring the stories that hide in the most curious of places. She enjoys discovering new cultures, and has strong opinions about women's rights and how modern technology is influencing the globalized world. She also has a healthy inquisitiveness to find stimulating content… and the best pad thai in town.