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Pacsafe Anti-Theft Bags and Travel Security Products

Safety Tips for Hostel Stays Abroad

Hostel-Safety-Abroad2

First things first: staying in a hostel abroad is nothing like the horror movie of the same name. That doesn’t mean that when staying in hostels you shouldn’t keep your personal safety in mind. Even the nicest hostels can still offer exposure to illness, damage, and theft if you don’t keep your wits about you and practice appropriate caution.

Bring Your Own Toiletries
Even though most hostels have an everyday cleaning schedule, public bathrooms can still be a hotbed of grime and disease. It’s not guaranteed that the hostel will have its own supply of soap or shampoo, either—many places expect their guests to bring their own. Keeping a travel-size shower caddy with soap, toothpaste, shampoo, wet wipes, a quick-dry towel, and shower shoes will make sure you can stay clean wherever. Carrying hand sanitizer and vitamins will also make sure you don’t pick up anything from your fellow guests; nothing ruins a trip like being laid out with a stomach bug.

Secure Your Belongings
Does your hostel offer under-bed lockers or other private storage? How many other lodgers will have access to your room? Will the hostel reimburse you if your property is stolen, or are you wholly responsible for your possessions? These are important questions to ask before check-in. Each hostel is different and the safety precautions they have will be different as well.

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Carry Emergency Identification with You
Keep an emergency stash of essential identification documents and emergency funds on you when you leave the hostel. Do not leave your passport, credit cards, or irreplaceable contact information behind. An ankle wallet or other secure travel case is a perfect place to keep your personal ID, emergency currency or an ATM card, relevant health information, and the contact information for your hostel in case you get lost or need to go to a hospital.

Familiarize Yourself with the Hostel
When you first arrive at the hostel, scope it out. Familiarize yourself with the layout, any emergency exits, and its staff. Does the hostel have an evacuation plan in case of fire, flooding, or another emergency? Make sure you know it. The staff can be a great resource for you, so make sure to ask them if they have any tips for your stay. If you are sharing a room with other travelers not in your party, you may want to at the very least introduce yourself. Ask around about the hostel—some of your roommates or even the staff members might have stayed here before, and will know if it or its neighborhood have any quirks you should watch out for.

Even though you should take precautions with your valuables when staying at a hostel, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Staying at hostels won’t break the bank and it’s a great way to meet other like-minded travelers. You’ll likely come home with plenty of stories to share and possibly even a couple of lifelong friends.

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