The ESSENTIAL Hostel PACKING List 

Hostels are always thought to be everything filthy with a high chance of getting your luggage stolen. I had had this perception for many a year so I never dared to give them a chance until last year. Granted if I had to choose my own accommodation last year I would have {and did} chosen a hotel. I went to a youth conference in Hamburg and everything was arranged by the church including the hostel accommodation. I was slightly dreading it for the hygienic side but was excited because I would be with my fellow congregants.

Disclaimer: NOT every hostel will be the same, this post is based on my personal experience.

the essential hostel packing list

Hostels are not always the first choice for many a traveler but for two reasons: cheaper and company. When you choose to stay in a hostel, you also are willing to do without some hotel essentials but then again hostels differ. In one hostel you would be without hair dryers or even towels in others you have it all but lack something else. Generator Hamburg was my first hostel experience last year, as mentioned it was booked by the church. I will say this was a great introduction to the hostel community and the many benefits. Whilst I was there with fellow church members the vibe alone of the place was electric.

Though I loved Generator Hamburg enough to book Generator Stockholm, it had its own issues. Like most hostels the bedding is always a little on the light side, it does keep you warm but not like home. The recent hostel I stayed in Happy Go Lucky in Berlin was everything interesting, I will do a separate review. Whilst I am happy to being a hostel convent I still feel you need the essential hostel list to survive your stay.

The ESSENTIAL Hostel PACKING List

As I have mentioned, every hostel is different but they also have something in common, they are not a hotel. Your expectations of what should be in a hostel should not match your hotel expectations. Whilst I don’t comprise on clean sheets and bathrooms, I do compromise on what not to expect from a hostel. The following items I feel are an absolute must have when staying in a hostel.

Ear plugs. I have learnt this the hard way and I truly mean the hard way. Upon arrival late at night in Berlin, I quickly allocated my bed, made and proceed to take a shower. I came back to a room with what could only be described as a bull crying. It was late, I was tired and no ear plugs so I resorted to wearing headphones and cranking up the volume. That was not a good idea, my ears are still hurting from too loud music and sleeping on headphones.

Tip: ALWAYS PACK YOUR EAR PLUGs.

Towel. I know what you’re thinking, hostels should {and do} provide towels but so far I have been given guest towels. Seriously like, how you gonna give me a kiddie bath towel? I suggest if you have a light but big towel, pack that luxury as you will need it.

Toiletries. This is a no-brainer but the amount of people who forget toiletries and have to purchase at the hostel is ridiculous. Bring your own everything especially if you will want to wash your hair, bring your own. Some hostels provide shower gels but honestly I trust that stuck as far as I can throw it.

Padlocks. Every hostel offers lockers and storage spaces but almost none offer them with locks free. Whilst some hostels are safe enough and if it’s a group you might not need it but solo travelers do. I enjoy traveling around the world alone but I also get paranoid when it comes to keeping my stuck unlocked. Best pack a couple different ones just to be on the safe or even call the hostel in advance so you know what you need.

Tip: Bring your own padlock as some hostels can charge extortionate amounts.

Portable charger. This goes without saying, as travelers we are at the mercy of the location we are when our gadgets die. It’s there paramount to ensure you carry your portable charge everywhere you go including the hostel. I found myself in an unfortunate situation of an 8 bed dorm with all power outlets in use for hours. Thanks to my portable charger and cables I lasted longer with my gadgets than would have otherwise.

House shoes or slippers. Whilst I am NOT saying bring your fluffiest I am saying carry some flip-flops for the retched bathroom floors. The amount of times I have stepped on what I do not even want to describe is enough to ponder this point. Though I belabor the point I am also a culprit at forgetting and end up using my socks as flip-flops.

Whilst the list is endless of essential hostel packing items one needs in a hostel the above are my essentials. I could also add another item to the list and that’s packing your ‘comfiest pajamas’. I am not a fan of sleeping non-pajama closes so I always ensure I have packed mine every single time.

What would you include on your essential hotel packing list? From my list what would you exclude?

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75 Comments

  1. Le Coin de Mel
    June 5, 2017 / 4:25 pm

    Whenever I travelled as a student, I would go to hostels. It was so cheap and it meant I could go to loads of places and not spend much money. Loved it! My father-in-law still stays in hostels whenever he goes somewhere

  2. Missy Nolan
    May 16, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    I have a family member who stayed in hostels while he visited other members of our family. Hostels are a great way to save money and meet new friends.

  3. May 16, 2017 / 4:56 am

    I have never stayed in a hostel while travelling.I realy like the hotel perks too much .But I absolutely loved your tips.They seem to make hostel living do able.

  4. Marceline Dementori
    May 15, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    I’ve never stayed in a hostel before and I always wondered about how you’re going to protect your stuff and more. I think this is a great guide especially if it’s your first time.

  5. Chiimmiii's Happy World
    May 15, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    really great tips, I have never been in a hostel but have friends who have. It would definitely be an experience to say the least.

  6. May 15, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    I have never stayed in a hostel but have friends who have. Such great tips, thanks for sharing.

  7. francesca
    May 15, 2017 / 10:57 am

    These are all really great tips!!! I’ve not stayed in one myself before but I lnow they’re a cheaper option so one day I shall try it and now I’ll be prepared at least!

  8. May 15, 2017 / 12:19 am

    I have never stayed in a hostel, but I am considering it for some travel I am doing later this year, so I read this article with great interest. I honestly would never have thought of padlocks or flip flops so I have certainly learnt a lot! Thank you!! x

  9. May 14, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    I’ve never fancied staying in a hostel. Even when i stay in a hotel I try and get my own single room! Some great tips and I wouldn’t have thought of a padlock

  10. Melanie Edjourian
    May 14, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    Ha, I do always pack my ear plugs, that is always one of my top travelling tips. Glad I’m not the only one that thinks of that.

  11. May 14, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    I have stayed all my life in hostels and I agree with you to bring a pair of slippers or flip flops. You don’t want to put your shoes on if you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and that’s at the other end of the floor.

  12. Anamika Ojha
    May 14, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    Great list! I have never stayed in hostel before while traveling but can’t wait to experience it soon! I liked the idea of Padlocks as it is better to take precaution than suffering later!

  13. Baby Isabella
    May 14, 2017 / 10:11 am

    My mummy has never stayed in a hostel she is sad to say but you’ve made some fab recommendations. Ear plugs and flip flops would be on our list!

  14. May 14, 2017 / 10:05 am

    Flip flops and travel towels are always a must. I always tend to go for private rooms as I don’t like sharing rooms and I’ll go for my own bathroom if I can too x

  15. Leigh Anne Borders
    May 14, 2017 / 3:28 am

    I have never been to hostel before. It would definitely be an experience to say the least.

  16. Kyntra Strickland
    May 13, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    I love this list! All of these are so essential when staying in hostels. Thanks for sharing!

  17. May 13, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    I’ve never stayed in a hostel before but this sounds like a great tips for travelers.

  18. Deimarys Colon
    May 13, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    This is definitely not for me. I wouldn’t be able to sleep, to enjoy. What if the other person snores? Oh heck no!

  19. Danielle
    May 13, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    I’ve never stayed at a hostel before and now that I have a family, it’s probably not something we’ll do when traveling with the kids. I, too, had always avoided hostels because of my preconceived notions, but kind of wish I had tried it to at least have the experience. Maybe we could give it a go when traveling without the kids.

  20. Helen Clark
    May 13, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    I never look at hostels when I’m travelling. I travel with my daughter so just wouldn’t feel she was safe. I’ve seen how cheap some of them are so understand why people do stay in them. I would definitely take everything on this list if ever I did stay in one.

  21. May 13, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    I love staying in hostels and frequently will if I’m travelling without my children (although if we can get a room I’m happy to do so with my kids too). When travelling in the far east I always bring a silk liner with me which is like a sleeping bag and just ensures bed bugs and anything like that which might be an issue isn’t.

  22. Annemarie LeBlanc
    May 13, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    I have never tried to stay in hostels when I travel. Nevertheless, these tips are really helpful. Sometimes it is difficult to get a hotel room and you end up in a hostel for the night, so better be prepared.

    • May 13, 2017 / 2:06 pm

      Exactly, it could be for convenience, price or other reasons but whatever it is and you find yourself in a hostel its best to be prepared

    • May 13, 2017 / 2:05 pm

      Tell me about it, some things people should see like EVER lol 😂

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