The hostel experience – 5 reasons not to love it

Backpacking in New Zealand. Pic: J. Lane,

In the last blog I touched on reasons to love hostelling, things that might encourage you to give it another go. But I thought it might only be fair to share some of the things I also don’t like about hostelling. However there are ways around all these problems that allow you to still stay in a hostel and enjoy all the great things about them. So in each section I’ve listed a solution to the problem.

Anyway here’s the ultimate pet hate list:

1. Amorous couples
I have never understood why amorous couples would even bother to stay in a dorm room. Perhaps they simply don’t care if people see what they get up to, but it’s simply plain uncomfortable to come across anyone in your room kissing or doing anything else. Come on! Solution: tell them how you feel, book into a private room

2. Snorers
We’ve all been guilty of this of course so there’s not much to be done – bring your ear plugs if you’re worried about not being able to sleep. And if you do have a significant snoring problem perhaps hostelling isn’t for you.
Solution: ear plugs, roll them over, book into a private room

3. Plastic bags
On behalf of all other people in hostels I beseech you not to use plastic bags in your luggage and not to decide to pack your entire suitcase or backpack in the middle of the room at an ungodly time of night or morning. Plastic bags should be banned from hostels and I personally have made a point of using cloth bags so even if I have to do a pack (normally done outside or the day before) it makes very little if any noise.
Solution: ask them to leave the room (nicely), leave your plastic bags at home!

4. City hostels
Some inner city hostels in big places can be a little dire and you’ll often find the partying types or midnight arrivals/departures here. If you do have the time make sure you research well the type of place you want to stay – a private room can often be a good choice in the inner city hostels if you have any concerns. Generally smaller, country hostels are a lot better in general.
Solution: Review city hostels carefully for location, hygiene, food and reviews

5. Indifferent staff
I have to say this is pretty rare in my experience but occasionally you will come across people in hostels that do seem to have been in the job rather too long. But then again you may have asked the same questions as the last 50 people through the door.
Solution: don’t bore the hostel staff! be chatty and friendly

Well we know we haven’t put you off hostels so please check our our hostel database!!

Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at


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