The Bougie Girl's Guide to Staying In Hostels

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Hostels are a great money saving option, but they don’t require you to sacrifice your style, beauty routine or safety.
Patrice J. Williams Oct, 25, 2018

I’m particular about my sleep, my beauty regimen and I’m a typical only child who doesn’t like to share. However, I love staying in hostels. That seems like a bit of a contradiction. Hostel tend to get a bad rap, but the super affordable, shared space rooms can be sufficient for even the pickiest of travelers. The obvious pro is that you’re saving a lot of money but the cons include having to share a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen with total strangers. However, it’s totally possible to live your best life and maintain your style and beauty routine while staying in a hostel.

Below are just a few ways to make staying in a hostel more bearable and ideal for your specific travel needs.

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Find a Hostel Based on Your Personality

If you’re an introvert, a party hostel might not be the best option for you. However, if you’re an extrovert, go where the people are and where you can meet a slew of new friends. When I traveled to Belize, I did tons of research and landed on Yuma’s House in Caye Caulker. The website and Trip Advisor reviews made it clear the hostel owner runs a tight ship and it’s not a party spot. My introvert heart was as a happy as can be and at $13 a night, it was no big deal to share a room with three other people. Whether you’re more social or seeking solitude, there’s a hostel for every need.

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Reel in your beauty routine

You most likely won’t have your own bathroom, but that’s no need for your beauty routine to suffer. You can still mask, exfoliate and more, without angering your hostel mates by hogging the bathroom. It all boils down to streamlining your routine. An easy way to do that includes showering early in the morning or late at night. Because who has time to wait for the next available shower or to feel rushed? Instead, late nights or early mornings mean you can go about your routine at leisure. Also, while most hostels provide larger towels for you to dry off with, some don’t give you smaller face towels. Just bring your own to be on the safe side. And I like bringing a satin pillowcase, which is less harsh on my skin and hair.

Prepare for Your Nonexistent Closet

While you probably won’t have a full closet to hang those fly threads in, you can still keep your gear in great condition by rolling them tightly in your bag, which cuts down on wrinkles. And if you bring along material that needs to be ironed, don’t forget to pack a small steamer. Prepping your outfits before you arrive will make getting dressed so much easier. Fold your tops with their corresponding bottoms and even snap pics of your full outfits (clothes, shoes and accessories) so you can reference back to them. This pre-prep means you won’t have to fumble with your belongings in the A.M. or be stuck with an outfit you don’t love. Your Instagram feed will reap the benefits.

Have a Bed Kit

It can be hard sleeping in a room with strangers, so in order to make the experience a bit easier, I like to create what I call a bed kit. It simply consists of the things you’ll need to have a good night’s rest. This can include an eye mask so you’re not disturbed by anyone turning on the light, a safety whistle in case something crazy pops off in the middle of the night (you won’t need it, but still!) and an extension cord that’s compatible with the country you’re in. When the nearest electrical outlet is several feet away but you still want to charge your phone, an extension cord will allow you to juice your devices, but still keep them safely nearby or even under your pillow.

Prepare Your Food with Ease

Even if you just cook a few meals, hostels can seriously help you save on dining out. But cooking in someone else’s kitchen or safely storing your food might feel foreign. Similar to getting your beauty routine in early, cook your meals while the kitchen is less occupied: in the middle of the day when most people are out exploring. Taking an hour or so can equate to a few meals to last you several days. Then just heat them up in the microwave when you’re ready to eat. And if you’re worried about people’s grubby hands touching your food, bring a fridge locker along with you. It folds flat and is easy to travel with.

Splurge on Your Own Room

Finally, if you just don’t want to share a room with strangers, get your own room. Some hostels have single rooms available with private or shared bathrooms. This option is still much cheaper than opting for a traditional hotel room. You’ll get the best of both rooms: affordability, but more privacy.