Dorm rooms can be epic!  You can make some great friends staying in dorm rooms and some excellent parties, I for one love them and try to encourage people to try them at least once.  There are though disadvantages of staying in a dorm room.  Here are some things to consider …

 The People

  1. Snorers – Frustrating and annoying if you’re a light sleeper like me.
  2. Sleep talkers – As above
  3. Sleep walkers – As above and can be a little freaky.  In Sydney I was in a room with a sleep walker, you got up and tried to take a leak in the bin.
  4. Drunken roommates – Chances are you’ll be one of these at some point, just try not to make too much noise, turn on all the lights or be sick.
  5. Bag rustlers – 6am when they’re checking out there’s always one.  Something else to keep you awake/wake you up.
  6. Unwanted extras – Those who don’t pay for their bed.   A room mate could have got lucky, or just let their mate stay, it happens and can be fairly frustrating.
  7. Long term occupants –  From my experience, long term occupants tend to feel like its their room and you’re invading their space, their not always the most welcoming if you change the mechanics of the room in any way.
  8. Groups of friends – Strength in numbers, they feel like they can do whatever they like.
  9. Language barrier – If you get put in a room with people who dont speak your language you can feel a little left out.

The Rooms

  1. Squeaky bunk beds – Frustrating and annoying, another thing to keep you from sleeping
  2. Budget bunk beds – I’ve stayed in some places where there were no barriers around the top bunk, I constantly worried about rolling off.
  3. Plastic mattresses – Ewww
  4. Not a lot of room – Cramped, you have to get used to living out of your backpack
  5. Security – don’t always have lockers
  6. Location – usually on the lower floors near the noisy bar area
  7. Mixed gender – not always the option an option for single sex dorms

The severity of the above will normally depend upon the number of beds in your dorm room i.e. the more people, the more noise.  In Fiji i stayed in an 84 bed dorm and got no sleep what so ever.  There will be cases however where it is just individuals who are a nightmare, but from experience i would say that those types of individuals usually stay in the cheapest/biggest rooms available, so to avoid them, book into a smaller more managagle sized dorm room and start making new mates.