Hostels vary tremendously from youth-oriented crash pads to family-style accommodations similar to motels. Staying in a hostel can be advantageous for reasons from cost to kitchen and laundry access. But before heading off to a hostel on your next vacation, brush up on hostel etiquette.
Etiquette for the Hostel Reception Desk
Many hostels do not offer round the clock reception desks. When spending your vacation in a hostel, pay heed to the reception desk hours. This means not only scheduling your arrival and departure to coincide with reception desk hours but arranging for services while reception is open.
Check in advance whether you need special tokens for the laundry, keys to access recreational equipment closets, or codes to sign in to a common computer. Make arrangements while reception is open, rather than bothering staff at other hours.
Hostel Kitchen Use Etiquette
Hostel kitchens are common kitchens and are a wonderful amenity when on vacation, particularly for families with children. But like any common use facility, the hostel kitchen functions best when used according to the rules of hostel etiquette.
In most hostels, guests share a single refrigerator. Treating it as if it belonged to you alone by filling it with a week’s supply of groceries is inconsiderate. Refrigerate only items that require refrigeration and limit those to a reasonable amount given the shared status of the refrigerator.
Use only groceries that belong to you. Mark your groceries with a name and purchase date and remove any that are leftover at the conclusion of your vacation.
Hostelers are often generous and offer to share meals or parts of meals with others eating at the same time. Hostelers are likewise often willing to share supplies with others who have forgotten an essential ingredient. The key is asking, not assuming your right to use any foodstuff that belongs to others.
If you wish to give away unused food at the end of your vacation, feel free to offer it to other hostellers, but don’t leave it behind assuming someone can use it. No one may use it, and you won’t be there to discard it when it passes its expiration date.
When using the hostel stove to prepare a meal, you may not be the only family cooking. Be prepared to share the stove and cookware with others.
When you have finished preparing and eating your meal in a hostel kitchen, clean the dishes and cookware and put them away.
Hostel Laundry Use Etiquette
The laundry in a hostel is a common laundry, not your personal laundry. There may be only a few washers and dryers for everyone vacationing in the hostel.
Good hostel etiquette means not filling all the washers and dryers, leaving none for anyone else to use.
Good hostel etiquette also means not leaving laundry in machines for hours while out having fun.
If it’s necessary to remove someone else’s laundry from a washer or dryer after their extended absence leaves no reasonable option, treat it as you would treat your own laundry. Remember that you have no idea what circumstances led to that hosteler’s failure to timely collect laundry.
Hostel laundries require you to provide your own laundry supplies. Any laundry supplies found in the laundry room belong to someone and should not be used without permission.
These etiquette tips for vacationing in a hostel will facilitate good relationships with other hostel guests and with hostel management.