top of page

5 Hostel Hacks

and Tips for

Budget Travelers


Bring a Lock

Bringing a lock is essential when staying in hostels. Most hostels provide a locker or bin to put your things in, but you must bring your own lock. I always lock up my valuables including my passport and any cash I have.


I also use the lock on my backpack while I'm in transport. Whether you're on a bus, train, or plane... it's nice to know that even if you nod off, no one can go through your bag and steal your laptop. 

Even though I've never had an issue at a hostel with stealing, locks are an easy way to bring you peace of mind!


Quick Drying Towel

I used to rely on the hostels providing towels, until I discovered the quick drying towel! 

Hostels vary with what they will provide. Some give you a free towel, some request a deposit that you get back, and others require a fee. If you bring your own towel, you'll never have to worry about any of that! I purchased my quick drying towel from the camping section of Academy, but I think you can find them at Target or any other place that sells travel or camping equipment. It's so small and lightweight, it takes up very little space in my bags, also it's a life saver that it dries so quickly. You can use it at the beach and then go home and shower and it's so nice that it'll dry between those two uses. 

Absolutely a must have when traveling in hostels.


Shower Shoes

A lot of hostels these days are super nice and very clean, but regardless... a public shower that's being used by so many people is not the best place to be bare foot. Purchasing some plastic flip flops to use as shower shoes is the easiest way to prevent any unwanted fungi. They're cheap and light weight and definitely a must-have when staying in a hostel. 


Luggage Scale

So this isn't really a hostel hack, but a tip for budget travelers. If you're traveling around Europe or Asia (or even America these days), the likelihood that you'll fly on a budget airline is pretty high. They make their money on being really strict about weight and size restrictions on luggage. Don't let them get you! As someone who has gotten got by Ryan Air so many times, it really sucks to fork up 60-100 euros when you weren't planning on it. Purchasing a luggage scale is the best way to ensure that your luggage is lighter than the 10 kg they require. I've used it so many times, I bring it on every trip. It's small, lightweight and a very popular commodity in the dorm room of travelers about to check out and catch a plane. 


Passport Copies

This is another hack that isn't hostel specific, but good advice for anyone traveling abroad. Some hostels ask to keep your passport as a deposit during your stay, if anything happened to it... you could be totally screwed. 

However, there's actually a pretty simple way to rectify your situation if you lose your passport... make a color copy! As long as you report for passport lost, you can fly with a color copy of your passport. I always make sure to have a copy in each piece of my luggage (one in my backpack and one in my carry-on). I've never lost my passport, but I've almost lost it a couple times. Make the copies and just keep them in your luggage for years of use!


bottom of page