A group of backpackers a dorm room.

Many young people and people on a budget opt to stay in hostels. Many more do not consider hostels as an option, because of horror stories they have heard about that relate mostly to dorm type accommodations. Yes, hostels are cheap, but are they also safe? Can you safely protect your belongings? If you are considering booking a hostel, here are some facts!

Many of the negative stories circulating about hostels are true, however they are often one time occurrences, or stories from travelers who frequented a hostel in the distant past. However, there are some general issues and safety precautions you should take to protect yourself and your stuff and to get a good night’s sleep.

Hostels Are for Partiers and Loudmouths

Yes, young people like to party and being away from home invites partying. But, more often than not, young people in hostels are on the move and exhausted from it. Therefore, they want to get some sleep and then move on. There are however some hostels that have gained a reputation for partying and if you want to avoid loud music at all hours, avoid them. Check online for reviews before you book a hostel and you will be sure to see which places invite all-night partiers.

They’re Unsafe

If you have watched the film Hostel, I am sure it left you vowing to never stay in one. To be clear though, it was just a movie! Hostels are staffed 24 hours and have security systems including cameras in all key areas of their facilities. If you are ever uncomfortable or don’t feel safe, then tell the staff and ask for a room change!

They’re Dirty and Smelly

In general, hostels are as clean as the average hotel room. Good hostels understand that guests will report about their experiences and one review about dirty bed sheets or smelly bathrooms from an unhappy guest will deter business.

They Put Too Many People in a Room

In majority of cases, if you book a bed in a hostel it will be in a dorm style room where you will have a bed occupied by someone else either above or below you. But bunks are amply spaced and everyone should feel sufficiently distant from other guests. Some hostels offer private rooms or rooms solely for your party, if you are traveling with others. This might be an option for you if you find you need more room or more privacy.

People Will Steal My Stuff

Hostels have lockers and even safes on their premises so you can put your personal valuables in a secure location. You should use them. But to be clear, these are strangers and yes some of them may not be as honest as you, so you should be cautious. But generally speaking, theft is not any more common in hostels than anywhere else. And often the community type atmosphere in a hostel means you have other good people looking out for your stuff.

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