How not to be a d**k in hostel dorm rooms - Travel for Your Life
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I’m writing this having been awake since 3am courtesy of some douchbags in my hostel dorm room

I’ve thought about writing about how not to be a d**k in hostel dorm rooms before since it’s a concept an irritatingly large number of people seem to struggle with but now REALLY feels like the moment. 

I apologize in advance for any typos in this post because like hell I’m going to be able to spot them right now in my sleep deprived state.

And if you decide to point them out, I may have to block you. It’s so early in the morning there’s no where I can even get coffee yet so I really wouldn’t recommend messing with me right now 😉

I almost exclusively stay in dorm rooms in hostels whilst backpacking.

I love hostels and dorm rooms are great value for money.

In general, they are also absolutely fine. Everyone has there own bunk bed, it’s friendly and social during normal waking hours and then when it’s night time everyone sleeps.

A lot of hostel dorm rooms are also really fancy nowadays with each bunk bend basically being it’s own cubbyhole complete with partitioning curtain, plug sockets and lamps. Gone are the rickety old metal frames that feel like they’re going to topple over the second someone so much as even breaths on the top bunk (well for the most part, you still get some like that).

In short, I love hostels. And hostel dorm rooms.

I can also sleep though most things which probably aids my love for them.

That also means though if you mange to wake me up in a hostel you’ve got to be being a massive douche.

Enter my current roommates.

I’m in a hostel that’s described as a party hostel.

I don’t feel like partying right now but that’s cool it’s a nice hostel at the partying has never been a problem before (this is the third time I’ve stayed here).

You can hear the music from the roof top bar a tiny bit in the dorm rooms, but not a lot and it might mean the odd person comes into the dorm room late, trips over a few things and then passes out but it’s not a problem. I can cope with that.

I’ve certainly done that enough times myself in the past that I cannot complain about a less than elegant attempt on anyone else’s behalf of making it from the door to your bed after a few too many beers.

My current roommates were just spectacular though.

They were in the dorm room drinking when I went to go to sleep at about midnight, which is technically against the hostel rules but I ain’t no dob!

And as I mentioned I sleep through anything so I managed to drift off after not too long anyway.

Next thing I know I wake up to hear hearing people banging about the room and chatting LOUDLY. If this was a couple of minutes chat at an attempted whisper it would all be ok, off to sleep I go again. But no. There was not attempt whatsoever to even keep this vaguely quiet. It was actually a louder conversation that you’d usually have during the day with each of them yelling across dorm bunks to each other.

Just as I was starting to get slightly irritated and properly wake up, one of them then started vomming into the bin in the hostel dorm room. I get that sometimes you don’t have a lot of warning you’re going to vom but it’s a small flip top bin, so once he started he could easily have picked it up and carried it to the loo with him, for a safe journey, to continue there. Of course he decided that carrying on in the dorm would be much nicer.

And then on one vom he actually sh’arted at the same time. From the sound of that thing there was no way that was just a fart that came out. Still didn’t make any move to go to the bathroom.

It didn’t really smell though so his call if he wants to be gross.

I’m not sure what happened to him after that but the others carried on full blown , above normal volume, talking. Sadly I have no idea what they were talking about as they were speaking another language (I say sadly since at least being able to understand their oh so important drunken chat may have given me some entertainment). Instead I scrolled through Facebook for a bit. I didn’t want to ruin their fun and be the one to jump straight in and tell them to shut the f**k up.

I have no problem with doing it in theory it’s just I like to start from the assumption that most people are cool people and so didn’t want to yell at them too soon and cause animosity when it may turn out we’d all get on, in different situation otherwise.

I gave them 45 minutes.

I’m extremely surprised no-one else in my 16 person dorm had said anything by this point anyway but there were about 6 of them involved so they weren’t far off being half of the dorm.

I eventually pulled back my curtain, put on my best bitch face (I have natural resting bitch face anyway so it’s really not hard to recreate for someone who’s messed with my sleep) and went “Please can you stop talking. It’s been 45 minutes and it’s only 3, well almost 4am now. If you need to chat just go outside”. Immediately I heard a shy weary “thank you” from one of the other bunks across the room as I stormed off to the loo (mostly just to highlight how pissed off and AWAKE I was).

When I came back, they were actually still talking, but did then make an attempt to whisper for a few minutes (what they could still have had left to say to each other that was SO urgent at that point was beyond me) before they skuttled off to bed.

I’d have thought not to do this in a dorm room is pretty obviously but apparently not . So here’s my:

Top 7 tips on how not to be a d**k in hostel dorm rooms


1. If people are sleeping try to have the conversation outside or at least whisper 

This one’s harder during the day as yes technically you shouldn’t have to be quiet if someone’s taking a daytime nap since that’s not normal sleeping hours but just try to be nice. Think about how you would want the others in your dorm to act if you desperately needed a daytime nap. Get yourself some good hostel karma.


2. If you’re leaving early in the morning, pack the night before.

Don’t be the person who pulls out all their belongings at 6am and rustles about with carrier bags, opening and closing zippers repeatedly. Just sort it the night before. If you can’t do it the night before for whatever reason then the nice thing to do is to pick up your stuff, take it outside the room and finish sorting it in the corridor.


3. Don’t use carrier bags. Just don’t. Ever.

There is no more to say on this other than, just. don’t.


4. Keep the things you’ll need before going to bed in an easy, non-noisy location to find

Just as bad as the morning packer is the person who gets into the dorm room at midnight to then spend 20 minutes trying to find their toothbrush.


5. If people are sleeping don’t turn the main light in the room on.

Have a quick look around the dorm if it’s after 10pm and if it looks like people are already in bed use the torch on your phone.


6. If you are traveling with, or bump into anyone entering your dorm, about to partake in the above behavior help them realize it’s not cool

A simple “we should leave that off, people are trying to sleep” or the like if they go to turn the light on will suffice.


7. And most importantly, just don’t be a d**k.

In hostel dorm rooms act like you would want others to act. Yes it’s a dorm room so everyone should expect a more interrupted night’s sleep than in a private room but actually when everyone behaves like decent human beings it’s rarely a problem.

I ended up giving up on sleep and coming downstairs to the hostel common room (yes they had options as to where they could have gone) which only has red lamps on at night so I feel a bit like I’m in a brothel right now.

This is how amazing I look at this moment in time.

How Not To Be A D*ck In Hostel Dorm Rooms

Still complete with bed hair


I was going to come down in my PJs but since I’d like to be making it over to the Starbucks round the corner to set up an IV line the second it opens I thought I should probably put some clothes on.

Not sure if Kuala Lumpur is ready for that yet.


Have you got any hostel horror stories? Let me know your best ones in the comments below.



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