A Comprehensive, Research-free List of Hostel Etiquette

Leif Pettersen is a freelance writer, currently finishing up researching Tuscany for some guidebook series that he refers to only as “rhyming with ‘Homely Janet’.” If you’re interested, he’s provided numerous useful tips about Tuscany on his blog. Most notably, he found out (the hard way) that Italian men don’t get much respect when they wear shorts.

Recently, Leif wrote what he claims is a comprehensive, research-free list of hostel etiquette. If you’ve ever slept in a hostel, you know that it can be cheap, rewarding, and a fun way to meet people. It can also be a real cramper as countless foreign knobs (Leif’s word, not mine) commit various infractions against other hostelers — and the world at large. To Leif’s 27 tips — which should be mandatory reading before being allowed to drop your load in any hostel anywhere — I must add these:

  1. Do not ever, EVER sit on my bed. I paid $6 for it tonight, and it’s MINE — every last square inch of it.
  2. Along the same lines, if you are sleeping on the top bunk, do not use my mattress as a launching pad. I don’t want your foot stepping on my leg as you try to get your big butt up on the second level.
  3. It is impolite to throw open the window without asking the other people in the room — particularly the poor slob whose bed is right under said window.
  4. Despite what Mum told you, it is not necessary to completely unpack and then completely repack your bag’s contents each and every day. If, however, your meds have worn off, and you feel you absolutely MUST do this, please go outside or into some large, open space. Do not use the floor of our small, small dorm room.
  5. Just like at home, if you use the last of the TP, do not do anything at all before going and finding replacement TP. It is not cool for me to wander into the bathroom, only to have to wander back out, because you have used yards and yards of quilted cotton to blow your gooey, allergy-ridden nose. (Also, after you blow that dripping shnoz of yours, please be sure to get the snotty tissue in the waste basket.)

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, go check out the rest of Leif’s tips. It’s funny stuff — and 100% spot on.