Hello fellow travelers!!!
I have a question about staying in hostels. How safe are they??? I mean, in terms of your possessions. Has anyone had anything stolen from them??? I don't know if I'll be staying in them often or for very long, but I do plan on having my laptop with me and it's very expensive!!! I'm gonna be traveling to New Zealand this summer if that helps at all. Any info would be appreciated. Thanx!!!
Some hostels provide lockers, some dont. If you are in a dorm room and flaunting a laptop, you might be unlucky enough to attract the attention of someone else who reckons they can get some cash for it. Easy solution is to not bring it, and rather go to internet cafes.
Hostels are perfectly safe for leaving your regular belongings at. No one is going to steal a backpack full of dirty laundry.
Valuables like cameras and mp3-players and laptops should however obviously not be left in hostel dorm rooms while you're out for the day. The temptation is too great, and too many people have access. So, carry your valuables with you. (I'd recommend the exact same thing for five star hotel rooms, too, though. It's just common sense, same as not leaving them in a parked car.)
It depends on the hotel and the country. There are low-cost hotels where the hotel room doors barely stay locked. If you say that your laptop is that expensive I think that you'd stay in upper class hotel and there the security will not allow muggers. Also, when you are not in the room, keep the room windows closed and lock the door to the balcony (if you have balcony)
i was in a dorm room with one other person (im female) he kept acting dodgy all night, all he had was a waist bag, asking if i knew how to operate his "new" digital camera that he dident have a manual for, coming in and out all night as if checking to see if i was asleep or not. i dident get any sleep (i know i should have trusted my instincts and insisted on moving dorm) and first thing in the morning i decided to pack up and move. when i got back from dressing in the toilet (i was gone literally 3 mins) he was sitting on my bed going through my bag. i screamed at him to get the f*ck away from my stuff, he had the cheek to accuse me of stealing from him. he ran out of the hostel before i could get help as this was in a Base hostel which are huge. but luckly Base hostels have lockers in every room that you can lock with your own padlocks so the fecker dident get a thing.
this happened in wellington where i ended up living for 6 months in another hostel and i saw this guy around town a few times and even had him kicked out of my hostel a couple of times too.
the whole incident freaked the sh*t out of me but out of 16 months of traveling this was the only scare i had.
so i suppose the moral is trust your instincts about the people you share dorms with and dont flash your valuables about.
I think hostels are generally safe. Most people staying in them are travelers like yourself and have little interest in riping fellow travelers off. But your laptop only needs to be stolen once for it to be gone, and there's always a chance that the rare sticky fingered backpacker will be staying in your dorm or that a klepto cleaner will be cleaning it. I've stayed in countless hostels and cheap hotels have (almost) never had anything stolen. However, the only valuables that I travel with are my camera and money, which never leave my sight. What's left in my bag is of little value to anyone, with the exception of a really nice swiss army knife, which after 7 years of carrying it in my bag, finally did get stolen in a hotel in Bolivia.
Is it really vital that you travel with your laptop? Do you need to do work on it that requires that specific computer? If all you are doing is checking email, and burning photos etc... than that can all be done at internet cafes. You'll save yourself a lot of stress and also the hassle of lugging around a laptop.
I have stayed in many hostels in many different countries and find them safe, generally. As indicated before, dont show off expensive items and if a safe is available but them there during the day while you are gone and at night. I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience at Base Backbackers in Wellington. I stayed there a few years ago and loved it. Well the rule of thumb in life, travelling, and hostels is the same. Use common sense and follow your instincts.
I've pushed my luck and done the following in hostels
- left my laptop on my bed in Taipei
- left my laptop on the floor in London
- left my luggage unlocked with my passport and cash inside in Taipei, London and Aachen
So far nothing has happened. But I wouldn't recommend that you try it of course.
The only thing I've lost staying in hostels was my Lonely Planet when I was in Canada (I think it was in Toronto).
boreal2673, i agree wellington is a great place and Base was grand once i moved room and he had legged it, sure i lived in welly for 6 months i loved it that much.
what i meant was it was just one dodgy bloke who happened to be doing the rounds when i was there.