So last year I covered dorm room dilemmas, but now, some 12 months later (sorry about the wait), I think its finally time to cover off some of the other dilemmas you may be faced with when staying in a hostel.  This extends from the booking process all the way through to checking out.  As I said this time last year, Hostel life, never a dull moment.

Here goes.



1.  Do I book the nice hostel with good reviews or the one down the road in the slightly shadier part of town that is £3 cheaper a night?

a) The nicest one, always the nicest one.  There is no substitute for comfort and hot showers.

b) Meh, whichever is closest to all the sights, its not like I’m going to be spending much time in my hostel.

c) Look at the guest reviews and make an educated decision based on those.

d) £3 a night saved on accommodation is an extra £3 a night spent on beer, so …


Pre arrival

2.  I know the airport/bus terminal transfer service the hostel is offering is overpriced, but might it still be worth it?

a) I’m both prone to getting lost and generally lacking in any sense of direction.  I have ambitions to make it to the hostel before nightfall so think I’ll play it safe and use their transfer service.

b) I’m kinda in a hurry, but don’t really want to fork out for a cab.  Hostel transfer is probably my best bet despite the cost as its going to be direct..

c) I’m here for a while, might as well take my time and start getting used to the public transport system.  Save myself a few £/$/€ in the process.

d) Nah, I’m sure there will be others on my bus/flight willing to share a taxi to that part of town.


Upon Arrival

3.  I haven’t paid yet and this place is a dump, should I just walk out and find another bed for the night?

a)  See ya, I’m outta here.

b)  I shall ask for a discounted rate. This place is OK I guess and I am willing to stay, just not worth what I originally agreed to pay

c)  It’s only one night, I just need to suck it up and deal with it.

d)  The owner shall be receiving a strongly worded letter in the post very soon!


4. I have paid, but this place is nothing like what the website described.  Ask for a refund?

a) Yep, refund me.  No way am I paying for features/services that are not present.  False advertisement.

b) I am still willing to stay here, but I wonder what freebies I can get if I negotiate.

c) I hate asking for things like refunds, maybe the staffs local knowledge will compensate.

d)  No way am I asking for a refund from that shaddy looking mofo at reception.  He probably knows people, bad people!


Inside the hostel

5.  Milk, in the fridge with no name on it … should I? Shouldn’t I?

a) Smell it first, lets make sure its good before we contemplate petty theft.

b) Nope, leave it alone.  You’d be completely hacked off if someone else liberated your milk without your permission.

c) Ask around the room, a simple solution.

d) All’s fair when it comes to unlabeled milk and Brits making tea.


6.  Whilst in the hostel common area – This movie is waste, and no one appears to be paying any attention, should I change it?

a) Change it, everyone will love you for putting them out of such misery and will no doubt by you drinks all night.

b) Just ask, its the sensible option and less likely to make you a target for abuse should someone actually be enjoying this crap.

c) Leave it, endure it, wait and see if it has any redeeming qualities.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

d) Leave the room, there’s far better stuff to be doing than watching movies.


7.  Someones laundry is in the machine, but its finished its cycle and I need to use the machine.  Remove the other persons clothes and just leave them on the side?

a)  Walk away and come back later  You’d hate to have your clean clothes moved by random hands, and so why inflict that pain on somebody else

b) 10 minute rule.  The owner of said washing has 10 minutes to get their butt back here or else their stuff is getting moved.

c) Move it, its fair game.  You’re going to leave the room anyway once you’ve started the machine, so how are they going to know who to blame.

d) Hostel laundry machines are usually a rip off anyway so I’m better off at the local launderette or washing the clothes in the sink by hand.


 8.  The buffet breakfast includes little packets of Nutella and jam.  Could these also make up lunch if I slip a few in my pocket?

a) If others are doing it, it’s clearly OK.

b) No, don’t be cheap.  Go out a sample something local and pay for it.

c) Be cheap, you’re on a budget.

d) Be cheap, if you buy nice lunches you can’t afford beer in the evening.


9.  The shower/washing machine/computer/TV is broken, do I report this or leave it?

a)  The staff are probably already aware and in the process of fixing it.

b)  Leave an anonymous note at reception detailing what is broken.

c)  Tell another traveller in the hope they might report it.

d)  No way am I reporting a breakage when there is the potential to be blamed and charged for it.


Loving Hostel Life

10. This hostel is awesome, is it cool to extend my stay to the point where I pretty much live here, but still sleep in a dorm?

a)  No its not weird, why is it weird?  Its only weird if you start being weird.

b)  Don’t be that guy who takes over the dorm room and starts making all sorts of rules because he’s been there the longest.

c)  It’s not weird, but maybe consider a private room.

d)  Why not ask the hostel staff if they have any jobs going, that way you could stay as a staff member and earn, rather than as the guy who never left but did nothing but sit around all day.


Obviously there’s plenty more hostel dilemma’s out there, but for now these are some of the most common that I could think of – having experienced most of them myself.  Who know’s, maybe in another 12 months time I’ll get around to writing a version 2.  In the meantime, by all means leave examples of your own in the comments below.  I’d love to hear them.