Things I HATE About Hostels

Traveling is amazing and it isn’t as expensive as many people think. One of the biggest expenses for those traveling is accommodations. To save on that, you can opt to stay in hostels instead of hotels. As much as I love hostels for allowing me the opportunity to see the world, there are some things I hate about hostels. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Bathrooms

The number one thing I hate about hostels are the bathrooms
Here is a photo (not mine) of the bathroom setup in Mola! Hostel in Madrid, Spain. I stayed there for three days. At this hostel, the toilet, shower and sink were in three separate areas.

Guess I should start out with the big one. The bathroom situation is the number one thing I hate about staying in hostels. First, it’s awkward. Having to use the bathroom, shower, etc. while there are strangers right there. Also, it can be quite gross. Depending on the cleanliness of the hostel itself and your roommates (or hostel mates if you’re sharing with more people) it can be disgusting. Luckily, I’ve had some experience dealing with this in college. But in college, I got to know the people I shared a bathroom with. And it still sucked!

Besides those reasons, it can also be tricky when you want to get ready and then someone goes into the shower/bathroom, if you are trying not to wake people up, etc. Yeah, one thing I hate about hostels are the bathrooms. I’d suggest trying to find hostels where you’re sharing just with your room instead of the entire floor. Because, yikes.

Privacy

This is Selina Porto. The atmosphere when I was there was way different due to crappy weather. But I stayed here while in Porto and it was my first hostel experience.

Another hate about hostels is the lack of privacy. Sure, many people choose hostels to meet people and socialize. But even so, you still do want your privacy at times. Most of the hostels I’ve stayed in have curtains to pull across your bed to act as a privacy screen and I really appreciate that. Because I definitely notice it when it’s not there. Also, sometimes when traveling for long periods of time and staying in multiple hostels, you just want to take time to be alone.

If you are in that situation, I’d recommend (if you can) staying in an Airbnb at your last destination to decompress before heading home. I’d probably not do a private room in a hostel because from what I’ve seen they’re often more expensive than Airbnbs or even hotels!

Getting Up Early

In Lisbon, I stayed at GoodMorning Lisbon and wow. Thus far it is the best hostel I’ve stayed in. Even though I had to share a bathroom with the entire floor/hostel, everything else made up for it. For example, the free waffles for breakfast were PERFECTION.

Another hate about hostels is when you’re trying to get up early. Typically when I travel I like to get up in the morning and take advantage of all the daylight I can. This usually means I’m one of the first people to get up in the morning. And it can be really awkward and difficult trying to get yourself ready while simultaneously being quiet to not wake the others in the room. Additionally, no matter how much I try I always seem to be the person who thinks they’re done with something, like my suitcase, will zip it up (ah the noise!), lock it away then remember I forgot something and have to take everything out again.

To try and minimize the noise, I like taking my showers the night before (saves time and isn’t as loud). Also, I pick out my clothing and take it out of my suitcase and I have my toiletries with my skincare, toothbrush, etc. in one bag that’s already out. I’ll also have my crossbody bag/day bag packed with most of what I need.

Being Solo?

I use HostelWorld to search for hostels and look at reviews. Sometimes I book through them, but it may be cheaper to book straight from the hostel’s website, so make sure you check. Also, availability may differ on HostelWorld vs. directly through the hostel.

Sometimes people travel in groups of pairs and stay in hostels. Others, like me, travel solo. And from my experiences, there’s many solo travelers in hostels. However, I also come across a lot of pairs traveling together. If you’re a solo traveler, hoping to meet people, it could be hard if you’re the only solo traveler in a room. I’m not saying these people will ignore you, but they’re less likely to try and reach out to you because they already have their friends. Of course you can always reach out to them, but as someone who is shy, I’d feel a little timid approaching a group of people trying to insert myself in their group dynamic.

It’s even more so when the other pairs in the room are couples. Again, from my experience they typically stay together and don’t socialize as much. This isn’t a fault or jab at these people. They’re with their friends and of course they want to spend time with them. And honestly for me this isn’t a HUGE hate because I enjoy traveling alone. It’s more so that it feels awkward when you’re the odd one out sometimes.

Snores, Sleep

Ember Hostel in Denver, Colorado. The U.S. doesn’t have as great of hostels as Europe and they’re often way more expensive. Ember Hostel wasn’t super cheap but it did the job for my birthday trip to Denver.

This is kind of nitpicky. But another thing I hate about hostels is sometimes the people you are rooming with snore… loud. I’m talking about needing earplugs for your ears loud. I’m not even a particularly light sleeper, but I’ve had times when I just couldn’t fall asleep because the person below me was snoring away. Additionally, sometimes you get woken up by people who go out and arrive late (or technically early). Most people try to be respectful, but again even when you are trying to be quiet, it’s likely going to be somewhat noticeable.

So those are some of the things I hate about staying in hostels. I know some people swear by hostels and would stay in them even if finances weren’t a factor. Honestly, if I could, I’d prefer to stay in Airbnb’s or hotels. But because that’s not possible for me now, I appreciate that hostels allow me to travel. So while there are things I hate about hostels, I am grateful for them and will continue to use them as I explore the world.

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