Earplugs – No matter how much you pray – you will have at least one snorer, probably a couple of 4 am packers, and some late night partiers that stumble in at 3:55 am, thus alarming the early morning packers it’s time to start packing.
Small Lock – you’ll be thankful to have it for the lockers or secure storage bins, or else you’ll have to put down a $20 deposit on a $2 lock or be paranoid about leaving your belongings out.
Towel – Although they’re spelled almost the same, hostels are NOT hotels. Hostels do not provide free towels, but they will happily rent you one. Bring a small fast drying towel. You don’t want a giant damp towel in your bag or suitcase.
Shower Shoes – because communal shower floors…gross
Sleeping Bag – Like the towel, most hostels don’t provide linens. If they do, then they’ll cost extra. Bring your own sleeping bag if possible.
Location is Important – Even though I lucked out with Kex, I think location can be critical – whether it’s in a cool unique spot or in the heart of the action. Being close to a grocery store is nice too.
Still Not Sure About Location? – ask a local where they would stay or use Hostelworld.com. A travel-savvy Canadian in Iceland told me that every hostel she has stayed in matched the reviews and ratings from Hostelworld.com.
FOOD – if you want to save money (which I suspect you do because you’re staying in a hostel), then bring your own food and/or use the grocery store. Hostels have communal kitchens and refrigerators.
FOOD Part Deux – Want to save even more money? Find the FREE food shelf! You can thank me later for this one.
Play by the Rules – Read the hostel’s rules, they’re pretty basic and common sense, but it never hurts to take a glance.
Make Friends – Well this one is a no-brainer. Truly, though, if you simply say Hi! I guarantee you will expand your network, make friends, find travel companions, get tips and recommendations, and the hear the BEST stories from around the globe.
Relax and Have Fun!!! – No one is judging you, even if you are the one snorer because hey, your bunk mates are smart and brought earplugs. Have an open mind, and be prepared to meet the kindest, friendliest, most interesting people in your life. And remember everyone here is for the same reason – to happily experience the world.