A few very random questions about life in hostels:
1. In Europe, is it common or uncommon for there to be electrical outlets in the bathrooms? What about in the dorms?
2. In dorms, can you usually find space to hang a few wet things to dry, like a bath towel or a wet pair or pants if you've been rained on?
3. What time do most people in dorms tend to get up at? At some of my destinations, I need to catch early trains that leave around 7AM, meaning I'd have to be up around 5:30-6 to shower and get over to the train station. Any tips on how not to be disruptive in the morning?
[ Edit: Edited on 20-Apr-2009, at 19:18 by ultra103 ]
1. I'm a guy so I didn't take heaps of notice but I think it was common for electrical outlets in bathrooms. Electrical outlets are very common in dorms, although sometimes there may only be 1-2 outlets for several people. This may also be determined on the quality of hostel you stay in...for the high quality ones they'd most likely have a great supply of outlets.
2. Yeah there's always space - the posts/rails of beds are almost always there to be used to dry things, or take up some rack space in the bathroom. If all else fails you can start looking at chairs, tables, doorknobs, etc
3. Depends a bit on check-out time. If it's at 10 then its very common for it to be busy at 8:30-9:30. If check out is at 12 then its a bit more spaced out between 8-11. Also varies from person to person, you get the keen, early-bird traveller and the people who have to catch trains/planes early, vs. the people who like to drink and wake up as late as possible nursing a hangover. Also it's not uncommon for people to arrive home semi-drunk from 2-5am etc, hehe.
How not to be disruptive: pack most things (except what you'll change into/use in the bathroom) before you sleep, and know where everything is so you dont have to rummage through bags. Assuming you use a phone as an alarm have it right within an arms reach so you can turn it off as soon as it rings. Use your phone as a torch where need be (or use a torch I guess if its really handy), avoid turning on the light in the main room! If another person is up, talking in a regular voice while others are sleeping I think is rude - whisper!
[ Edit: Edited on 20-Apr-2009, at 22:36 by Erik85 ]
About leaving: My experience is that most people are either too drunk to wake up or leaving early themselves or both. Having experienced beieng drunk when sombody is trying to leave and i want to sleep, i'd say earplugs are every backpackers bestfriend and please don't turn on the light.
One more thing: I think it is more important for you to catch your train, than letting all the drunkards having undisturbed sleep.
One more thing: avoid messing around with noisy plastic bags in the morning. Nothing is more annoying than somebody packing his/her wet towel and soap into a plastic bag in the dorm and then stuffing it into the main bag. Pack your backpack in the lobby or get a nylon bag for this purpose (Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil for example or the foldable shopping bag the German drugstore chain Rossmann sells.). I pack my wet towel and soap into a bag made out of very breathable fabric and attach it to the front of my backpack with straps, this way it is dry when I need it for a shower in the evening and there is no noise from a plastic bag.
Also consider showering in the evening until you are squeaky clean, apply deodorant, go to sleep and then get up in the morning using only fresh deodorant instead of a shower. There are several brands of deodorants that work quite well for this purpose, depending how sweaty you are when you get up. You need a brand that is both antibacterial and contains aluminium salts.
[ Edit: Edited on 21-Apr-2009, at 03:36 by t_maia ]