Posted by: traveljunkies | July 10, 2010

Are You A Backpacker Other People Hate?

What Makes a Bad Backpacker?

July 2nd, 2010  |  Published in General Info | Edit | No Comments »

What makes a bad Backpacker? Correct Hostel Etiquette

What makes a bad backpacker? – Correct hostel etiquette

If you have ever stayed in a multi-person hostel dorm room, then you know how important good manners are. Having a bad hostel roommate can literally ruin part of your trip, causing you lack of sleep due to any number of environmental factors. Of course, sleeping in a room with seven or 9 other people, it’s not possible to have a perfect night’s sleep, but hostel dorm rooms may also be havens of generally bad behavior.

Read on to find out if you’re guilty of any of these hostel no-nos.

Crinkling plastic bags. Oh my word. If I had a dime for every time someone woke me up by crinkling a plastic bag in a dorm room, I would probably be wealthy. Using plastic grocery bags seems to be a favorite among backpackers – probably as a money-saving technique – but crinkling plastic bags at 3 am when you’re just about to leave to catch your early morning train is bad behavior. Either step outside to dig around for your deodorant stick or get it out the night before!

Strewing your things. Figuring out where to put all your things in a hostel dorm ain’t easy, I know. However strewing it around the entire room as if it were your private hotel is not the ideal solution. Common common courtesy stipulates that you ought to use half the space under the bottom bed for your rucksack, plus part of your own bed for hanging things. Strew as much stuff as you want on Top of your own bed, but keep it to that.

Turning the lights on. I’m not sure when exactly the lights go off in most hostels, mainly because most hostels don’t have specific “lights out” rules. However, the basic idea is – if it’s past 10 pm and you open the door to a dark room and there is someone asleep in your dorm, do not turn the lights on! Most hostels now equip each bed with its own reading light. If you must – use that.

Getting jiggy. Do I need to say much more?

Dressing/undressing. Hostels have bath rooms. Use them. If you are a pro at getting dressed or undressed under the covers, then by all means, have at it. But if you can’t take your pants up or de-bra yourself without flashing everybody, please get naked in the privacy of a bathroom stall.

Hanging your towel on a stranger’s bed. A lot of backpackers hang their towels to dry at the end of the bed, and that’s fine, so long as it’s your bed. Don’t assume that, just because the people in the next bunk over haven’t used the space at the end of their beds for drying, that it’s fair game. It all comes down to keeping your stuff to your own space.

Being a bad drunk. Yep, I’ve “slept” through a drunken crazed lunatic blubbering and vomiting all evening in the room. Not an experience I care to re-live and not 1 that you must re-enact. Simple rule: don’t get so drunk that you’re going to get ill, and if you do have to get unwell, get to the toilets 1st, please!

Moving other people’s stuff. This one would seem pretty clear, but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve come back to my bed, only to find a shirt moved or a pair of shoes shoved under the bed. Luckily, a lot of hostels are starting to install lockers in each room, so you have a place to stow your stuff. But if you don’t check in to a place that has them, don’t touch other people’s things, even if they’ve already violated one of the rules above. Wait ’till they come in and ask them to move their stuff.

Stealing. Do I need to explain any further? Don’t be a jerk.

Having stinky shoes. Okay, I realize that some people have a foot condition that they can’t control, and I am not trying to hound on you for your physical problems. But it does not take much effort to be aware of your smelly foot problem and consider leaving your stinky shoes outside the door of the dorm room, rather than letting them reek up the air inside where everyone is sleeping.

Snoring. This is another ailment that, for many people, can’t be helped. And gentle snoring is something that many people in a hostel dorm can ignore, but if you are a 1 of those goose honkers (and you know who you are), really? take into account getting a private room – for everyone else’s sake. ‘Cause that’s just not fair.

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