Hostels are the best part of studying abroad. ...and the worst part. ...and the most insanely, ridiculously funny part.
Heed our advice, young children, and know before you go.
1. “Twenty-two bed dorms” are, in fact, dorms with twenty-two beds. If you never lived in a sorority, now’s your chance.
2. Sometimes, hostels are located in sketchier areas than they advertised.
3. In hostels, a bed with clean sheets feels like hitting the jackpot.
4. There will be an all-you-can-eat spaghetti night in the kitchen, probably on a Tuesday. And you should definitely be there.
5. Pretty much every hostel on Earth is run by Australians. The reason remains unclear.
6. Normally, “a short walk from the Eiffel Tower” actually means, “a short walk AND a short metro ride AND a short hike across rugged terrain from the Eiffel Tower.”
7. Bacterium grows in communal showers. Like, the bad kind of bacterium.
8. And you'll probably pay two dollars to borrow a towel after the bacterium shower.
9. Just because a room is a “six-person” doesn’t mean it was actually built to fit six people.
10. Hostels give out free maps! Ask the cute dude at the desk to annotate one for you… and then ask him to write his number in the corner.
11. There is no, like, age or gender roommate matching system in hostels. There's an 82% chance that a middle-aged German wrestler will sleep on the top bunk of your bed.
12. “Free breakfast buffet" actually means dry cereal, coffee, and jars on jars of Nutella. …but we’re not complaining.
13. The hostel lobby is kind of like a recruiting fair: If you bond with someone, they might decide to travel with you to your next destination. Then another person will follow them, then another person will follow them, and BAM! Travel posse, assembled!
14. Some hostels have bars inside them. While getting drunk here is not recommended, it is FUN.
15. Lots of times, there is free WiFi in hostels! A major plus.
16. Yes, the guy at the front desk will make out with you if you come to the hostel beer pong party.
17. Sometimes hostels are in cahoots with nightclubs or tour companies or bike rental shops, and these places will hook you up with crazy discounts.
18. You won’t meet any locals on hostel pub crawls. But you probably didn’t care about that anyway.
19. Some hostels accept only cash.
20. There are hostels with free unlimited baguettes and croissants downstairs. Stay in those ones.
21. You might have to pay to store your luggage in a tiny room while you explore the city.
22. Sometimes there are these cages under the bed, and you have to buy locks so you can hide your stuff in there so people won’t steal it. It’s either do that, or battle constant paranoia while you're away from the room.