Noelle’s Ultimate Beginners Guide to Hostels

Hostels are not very popular in the U.S. – a few of the big cities have them and that’s about it – so many of my friends (American and not) have been befuddled when I mention that I regularly stay in hostels while traveling. Hostels tend to have a bad perception – possibly due to the Quentin Tarantino horror movie trilogy Hostel, but my experience in staying in over 20+ hostels over past few years has been anything but horrible. Continue reading “Noelle’s Ultimate Beginners Guide to Hostels”

Noelle’s Hostel Packing Essentials

Hostels are a great way to save money and be social while traveling, and after staying in 20+ hostels all over the world in the past few years I’ve learned how to pack for them. Below I provide some of the essentials I recommend for a successful hostel stay.

Hostel Packing Essentials


If you are bringing any valuables with you (laptop, lots of cash, etc) then it’s wise to bring a lock for your items. All hostels will either have lockers in a common area or in your room available.


While towels are usually available to rent in hostels, I prefer to bring my own. I use a thin beach towel that easily fits into my luggage.

Sophie’s Hostel, Prague


If you’re sharing a room with others there’s bound to be some noise. I usually buy a pack of foam earplugs that do that trick.

Flip flops

Hostel bathrooms can be similar to locker room bathrooms, so I prefer to wear flip flops to keep my feet clean.

Sophie’s Hostel, Prague


While some hostels do provide toiletries, I haven’t found that to be the case across the board, so I would recommend bringing your own.


Not necessarily an “essential”, but almost all hostels have kitchens that you can store and cook food in. So if you want to save money or whip up a quick snack, bringing your own food is worthwhile.

Are there any other items you consider essential to a hostel stay? Share in the comments below!