Ten Ways to be an Awesome Hostel Dorm Mate

May 5, 2015

“That was SO funny, I can’t believe she said that, like, what was she thinking?!” I woke up in a startle in the middle of this drunken story telling between two of my hostel mates.

“I know, I was so surprised!” Said the other one. I wanted to throw my shoe at them. I rolled over, my eyelids heavy from sleep, and looked at my phone. 4:47 a.m. 

“And it was so crazy that he did that.” They continued on with their story that had no purpose. I sat up and fell back down, hoping that they would realize they had just woken me up from a dream that was way more interesting than whatever it was they were talking about.

Suddenly, something fell onto the floor making a loud thud, making my heart skip a few beats.

“Hahah you have to be QUIET!” One of them yelled. I put my head under my pillow, hoping they would drunkenly pass out within the next few seconds.

Ah, the loud, drunken hostel people- we’ve all met them, and we’ve probably all been them, at least once. However, there are a few simple ways to make sure you’re not that type of hostel mate, and instead, the type that everyone loves.

1. Shhhhh

Float in and out of the room unheard. Be courteous to your dorm mates, especially if you’re coming home at the crack of dawn from a night of drinking. This goes the other way too; if you’re waking up at the crack of dawn to go exploring, be quiet.

Whispering or mouthing the words to your friend, if necessary, is much better than having a full blown conversation when everyone is sleeping. Try not to rummage through your backpack looking for something, either, it’s a lot louder than you think (and quite difficult in the dark).  

Ten Ways to be an awesome Hostel Dorm Mate

2. Keep Clean

How would you feel if someone’s dirty, crusty socks suddenly ended up in the radius around your bed? Ew. Keep your laundry and clothes in your backpack, your shoes next to your bag, and your towel on your bed post.

Also remember to share the space with the person you’re sharing a bunk with (if there are bunk beds).

3. Say hi!

There’s nothing worse than walking into your dorm room and trying to say hi to somebody that stares at you like they’re about to kill you. Especially when you’re going to be sleeping next to them.

Smile and say hi. You’ll be surprised with how differently someone will treat you when you do this simple gesture. 

Ten Ways to be an awesome hostel dorm mate

4. Offer to explore the city with other people

If you’re about to go walk around the city, go on a hike, or go grab a bite to eat, invite some of your dorm mates! This is especially true for the solo travelers.

One of the easiest ways to get to know someone is by exploring a new culture and city together.

5. Bring the Booze

Hold that bottle like a prize, because it is one.You’ll be the shot queen or bottle king, the one who brought the party, when the night hadn’t even started yet.

Buy a cheap bottle and share it with your dorm mates while you’re pregaming. You may end up getting a few free drinks at the bar because of it.

ten ways to be an awesome hostel dorm mate

6. Pack the night before if you’re leaving early

Rummaging in the pitch black is hard enough, now imagine trying to do that without making any noise? If you have an early departure, pack your bag and set aside your outfit. You’ll be so quiet that most of your mates will be convinced you poofed out of thin air.

7. No Hookups

No. No. And no. That’s just gross. This is not a place to “see how quiet you can be,” if you want it that bad, spend an extra $10 and get a private room for the night.

8. Keep the lights off

If it’s after 11 p.m. and before 8 a.m., keep the lights off. You don’t want to be that person that runs in the room, flicks the lights on for a few seconds, and then says “oops!” when they realize 14 other people are sleeping.

9. Bring the snacks

If you provide those 4 a.m. drunken munchies when everything around is closed, you will be the savior. Whether it’s chips, pretzels, even bread and cheese, anything goes when you’ve all worked up a “need junk food” appetite throughout the night. 

ten ways to be an awesome hostel dorm mate

10. Respect others privacy

Imagine turning around just to see a person staring at you, grinning ear to ear as you try and change your shirt. Weird. Respect people’s privacy, it’s for your own good too.

These are a few easy ways to be an awesome dorm mate. Some of the best friends you meet while traveling come from your hostel, more specifically, your dorm room- this will also be one of their first impressions of you! 

If all goes well, you’ll be softly falling into a deep sleep every night to the soft snoring melody of sleeping strangers that have become your best friends.

What other ways could you be an awesome hostel dorm mate?

Be sure to share on Facebook and Twitter! :]

Top Photo Cred: Kayla Gray 


  1. Comment by greyghostx

    greyghostx June 17, 2015 at 10:17 am

    My last hostel experience was great exactly because of several of the items in this article! I was a solo traveler in Mexico City who only spoke enough Spanish to make sure I could get food, drink, and transportation. My bilingual dorm mates took me out for a day to explore the city.

    Highlights of the day that I wouldn’t have done on my own: Shopped the open air market at La Lagunilla (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Lagunilla_Market) and renting a trajinera on the canals at Xochimilco (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xochimilco#Canals.2C_chinampas_and_trajineras).

    I returned the favor with being the quietest mouse when I was back out for breakfast at 6am and they were more of the “by noon” crowd

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica June 17, 2015 at 11:46 am

      That sounds like an incredible experience, and you did so many cool things! That’s really great that your dorm mates explored the city with you, it really makes all the difference when you can share your experience with others. You sound like an awesome dorm mate, haha! Happy travels 😀

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