Dorms are a necessary, and sometimes enjoyable evil of budget backpacking
I was just in London where the average hotel room costs about $180 American a night. In SE Asia I could usually rent a private room in a guest house for $10 a night, but some countries just aren’t that affordable for the budget traveller. So dorm rooms it must be.
They’re not so bad. You get to meet people of all ages, races, and socio-economic niches. But mostly they are young, poor bastards who will rob you blind or wake you up as you try to get a nights rest.
Backpackers bang in dorms, backpackers snore (myself included), backpackers barge drunkenly in the middle of the night yelping about how wasted Johnny got during beer pong. Some of us use headphones and listen to music; but personally I can’t sleep while listening to tunes. Earplugs are cheap, and they work. I prefer the ones that are attached by a string. Makes it easier to find them in the morning, as they tend to fall out as you roll around during the night.
#2. Eye mask
People love to flick that light on at 5am while they pack for their daily tour. And if you’re jet lagged you will probably be passing out around 1pm, making eye pads essential. In combination with earplugs and valium, you’ll be out cold in no time. It’s also a good sign to other travellers that you don’t want to be bothered. I wrote, “Piss off,” on mine.
No, I didn’t. I’m nice.
#3. Nipple clamps.
Because…you never know! Gotta clamp those nipples.
#4. Pacsafe 4L travel safe.
This bag is just perfect for hostels. Sometimes I don’t trust the lockers, or the safe, or the staff. I trust my pac safe, which I lock to my bedframe and hide under the blankets. It’s doubtful that any backpacker or cleaner will be walking around with wire cutters. Here’s to the future, hoping I’m not robbed by a backpacker who carries around wire cutters.
#5. Travel Towel
Travel towels are made out of the same material as Shamwow. They are lightweight, fast drying, absorbent, anti-bacterial, and tend not to smell. They’re great on the road, and for saving a few bucks in those greedy hostels that charge you to rent their towels.
#6. Baggage locks
Don’t ever, ever trust backpackers. Lock your suitcase, your backpack, and everything else you can lock. Don’t leave your phone out, your wallet, or anything valuable. If you’re in a room with ten backpackers, and something goes missing, who do you blame? Yourself, dummy.
Don’t be a totally paranoid geek about dorms, but a little preparation can save you from a robbery or sleepless night so you can arise fresh as a newborn kitten and explore your exotic destination.
Have a good sleep dormie.