If you’re travelling on a budget, you’re more than likely going to end up in a hostel at some point. I’ve stayed in a fair few over my travels, and some are undeniably better than others, but with a good attitude and a few tips, you can really turn your Hostel experience into a great one!

Choose Wisely:

1: Read REVIEWS. Before you commit to one hostel, check your review – I personally like Hostel World. They have a fantastic selection of hostels, as well as unbiased reviews and a few hints and tips along the way too!

Word of advice, don’t always go for the cheapest!

In New Zealand for the sake of $6 I could share a 4 person room, instead of sharing a 16 people room – I’ll let you do the maths there. Also, bear in mind what vibe you’re looking to go for. Are you into Partying, or are you a bit more of a culture vulture? There are notorious party hostels, but there’s also lovely ones that are great for making fantastic friends and just chilling!

My all time favourite hostel was definitely Top Spot in a quiet town of Kaikoura (fantastic for seal spotting F.Y.I) It felt like a home away from home. There was a huge communal space, a nice kitchen – although I personally didn’t cook, a few of us walked down the town for the best fish & chips in Tiki Takeaway I’ve ever had- although don’t be surprised when you get funny looks when you ask for a knife and fork as the Kiwi’s like to eat Fish & Chips with their hands!

2.Be Respectful:

No plastic bags between 12am-8am PLEASE! Be mindful that there are other people in the room and keep noise making to a minimal. Same goes for turning on lights etc. If you’re leaving early in the morning, pack your bag the night. This also goes without saying, but for the love of god, get a private room if you’re doing the deed.

3.Check in ASAP:

Want the top or bottom bunk? Be ready to nab it as soon as possible and be there for check-in – you’ll thank me on this one!

4.Bring an extension lead:

Not one many people’s packing list, but until you’re in a 6 person room with only 4 sockets… . Anyway this gives you freedom to charge a few devices at once, while making you popular in your dorm room!

5.Bring a Lock: 

Get a combination lock to lock up your valuables, don’t bother with a lock and key, as with all the moving you do in hostels they’re inevitably going to get lost.

6.Ear Plugs:

I’m lucky, I’d sleep through an apocalypse, but with all the noise in a hostel room these will become invaluable. Invest in a good pair to avoid the uncomfortable ones so you can sleep soundly before your bus/train/flight.

7.Flip Flops:

Essential when you’re showering or generally pottering around. Depending on the time of year I’d also pack a few pairs of fluffy socks to keep your feet warm.

8.Travel Sheet:

A friend bought me one before my South East Asia Trip and it was amazing. While all hostels come with linen, but let’s be honest bed bugs are the last thing you want!


Always, always, always plan your showers! When it’s not busy, take the opportunity to hop in the shower. You can shower in peace without worrying about the long que outside. A Travel Towel (Pick them up in the sports section in Penneys) are also great for traveling. They dry quickly and can be rolled up relatively small!

10.Make Friends! 

I’ve found people in hostels so friendly! All you need to do is strike up a conversation with someone and before you know it you’re jumping out of an airplane with them the next day! Talk to people and most importantly – be open. Once you’ve found a group be open to adding to it. See that guy/gal looking a bit lost one night? Give them a friendly smile and say hello. Sometimes all you need is someone to make the first move.


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