Hostel Etiquette

Throughout history, there have been some foul, vile, and downright despicable individuals; many of whom could lay claim to being the worst human being to have ever walked the Earth. Joseph Stalin’s Soviet reign brought the deaths of upwards of 20 million innocent lives (with many estimates accounting for 60 million+), while Hitler’s regime was responsible for the annihilation of 5.4 million Jews alone. Mao dwarfs both of these figures during his reign of terror, in which he was responsible for the deaths of more than 70 million people, as he held absolute power over a quarter of the world’s population. That’s not to mention: Vlad the Impaler; Bin Laden; Idi Amin; Himmler; my friend Malin; and of course, that person in the packed hostel dorm who snoozes his f**king alarm in the morning.


People who don’t adhere to Hostel Etiquette are less likeable than Al-Qaeda. It’s not difficult to show some common courtesy when sharing a living space, but in case you were dropped on your head as a child, here’s the definitive list of Hostel Rules you must obey in order not to be a walking piece of s**t when travelling the world:

1) Don’t be an a**hole

2) Don’t be an a**hole

3) 11pm-7am

You adhere to these first three rules, you’re already 90% of the way there.

4) Know what you have signed up for: This isn’t going to be the best sleep of your life. Carry earplugs and an eye mask, and understand a hostel's limitations.

5) Sleep on your side/stomach: If you snore, just know I hate you, and the disappointments you’ll come to call your children.

6) Don’t be a creep: Guys, no Louis C.K.’s.

7) Pack your bags the night before (or as much of your gear as possible): If you’re leaving early, you’re not the self-appointed wake-up call for the rest of the dorm. I know you can’t avoid making all noise, but you can certainly take precautions to avoid making more than necessary. And for Christ's sake, plastic bags are to stay at the bottom of your bag; not to be touched between 11pm and 7am. And yes:

8) The light stays off: 11pm-7am. You have a light on your phone for a reason. And if, like me, you often find your phone “misplaced” (… stolen), you stumble around in the dark until you find your bed, you fall asleep, and deal with your problems in the morning.

9) Never snooze your alarm: You don’t get an encore. ONE alarm. That’s it.

10) Your bed is your space: You may treat your bed like it’s Hiroshima, but the rest of the room is to be kept neat and tidy.

11) Wash your dishes: What is wrong with you? You fully-grown child.

12) Keep the bathroom clean: This is my pet peeve. Don’t turn the floor into a lubricated ice rink after a shower. Wash your toothpaste down the sink like a grown-up. And if you p**s on the floor, clean it up. Our species has evolved beyond the realm of living in our own waste.

13) Keep showers short: But, for all that is good and Holy, please:

14) Have a shower: I’m shaking my head at you. Yes, YOU; you animal.

15) Headphones: No one’s nominated you as the hostel’s entertainment. For movies, music and videos, that aren’t being enjoyed by more than two people, throw your headphones in.

16) One power outlet per person (if there is a limited number in the room): When outlets are scarce, you get one. Not one per device. One. The room isn’t your personal power plant.

17) Label your things?: You should probably label your food items in the kitchen, but I’m not very good at this. I just trust people won’t eat my food. I would say, don’t be a prick by eating someone else’s food, but I once met a girl who claimed she had never bought food after a night out because there was “always plenty of unlabelled food in the fridge for a drunk snack!” I thought this was the biggest dick-move ever—and it answered the question of where my food kept disappearing to—but I also thought it was hilarious, so I’m choosing not to comment on the issue.

18) No sex in shared dorms (between the hours of 11pm-7am): Besides that, ... (Parts of this section have been removed as advised by Bing's publicist) … had no idea how my tongue even got in there!

That’ll do. If you follow these rules, you’re 99% of the way there. If you are one of the selfish people who choose to ignore these rules, please, from the bottom of my heart, go and off yourself.

For more unbridled wisdom, buy Unprotected Treks now. Papa Bing needs you.