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8 Things You Need to Pack for Hostel Travel

8 Things You Need to Pack for Hostel Travel

For those who have never stayed in a hostel before it might seem a little bit daunting. What are the rooms actually like? Will I meet friends quickly? Will the bathrooms be dirty? The truth is that you can know this stuff in advance if you do your research, reads reviews and know what to look for when you book a hostel.

Once you know what to look for in a hostel the next step is to know what you need to bring. There are a few key items that you should make sure you have before embarking on your trip. Hostels, though they can sometimes be as nice as hotels, usually aren’t and require extra but easy security measures and practices.

With these few of items you’ll seem like a hostel pro and won’t have to worry about anything, just like a hotel. For booking hostel I highly recommend using HostelWorld for your hostel search (I do!) as it’s easy to navigate, has plenty of choices and shares a ton of info! It’s the best hostel finder in my opinion.


Whether it be for your bag or for a locker, a lock is always a necessity. Some hostels will provide lockers with locks and keys but you don’t want to risk not having one and not being able to secure your important belongings. I recommend having multiple sizes of locks because one will not fit on every locker or a lock that is flexible.


Not a necessity as many hostels do include towels in their price or you can rent one from the front desk. But it is nice to have your own towel. I recommend a quick dry towel that can also double as a beach towel. They’re very lightweight and come in multiple sizes.

Beach in Mykonos
Always ready for the beach. Mykonos, Greece

Eye Mask and Ear Plugs

If you haven’t already used these on a long flight then you will most certainly be using them for sleep in a dorm room. People who are deep sleepers and can sleep through anything I am envious of, but for the rest of us there eye masks and ear plugs. In dorm rooms people will be coming in and leaving at all hours from drinking or catching early transit to new locations. You will not regret packing these.

Ferry in Greece
An 8 hour ferry between Greek islands meant time for food and some shut eye.

Flip Flops

Showers are a breeding ground for bacteria. When you’re sharing a shower with a number of other people it’s a good idea to use flip flops to avoid getting warts or other fungus’s. I hate to say it, but you don’t know how often showers in hostels are cleaned or what your roommates may have. They’re also great to have when walking to bathrooms that aren’t connected to your dorm room in the middle of the night when you don’t want to put shoes on.

Toiletry Bag

Some dorm rooms may have private bathrooms that you share with your roommates, but the majority don’t. For hostel travel it’s a great idea to have a toiletry bag to carry things to the bathroom. It’s also awesome for backing your bag so you have one spot to find all of your toiletries. It’s a good idea to have one that is waterproof so you can bring it into the shower with you.


For those times that you’re the person getting up at 5AM to catch a flight. Don’t be that annoying person that turns on the light and wakes everyone in the room up. Have your stuff organized the night before and then use a small flashlight or the light on your phone (you can also download flashlight apps) to quickly pack up your bag and leave.

Gondola in Venice
In Venice I stayed at a campsite that felt like a hostel just outside of Venice.


Just because you’re in a hostel doesn’t mean you always want to socialize. Hostel travel can be exhausting so popping some headphones in while in the common room or your dorm room acts as a signal to others that you’re busy or don’t feel like talking. They’re also great for sleeping when ear plugs don’t seem to do the trick. Download an app that plays white noise and you’ll be sleeping in no time.

With these items it will make your backpakcers hostel experience a breeze and have you prepared for everything. I guarantee that you will use every one of these items (unless you’re a deep sleeper and can skip on the eye mask and ear plugs…lucky you!).

What’s the most important item you use for hostel travel?

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