Staying in a hostel alone... female 27

Travel Forums Europe Staying in a hostel alone... female 27

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Dublin
1. Posted by Danielle2406 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hiya guys,

So basically, I'm looking to go to Dublin for maybe 4 or 5 nights just as a little adventure. Always wanted to go and this will be my first solo adventure. I'm not exactly well travelled haven't been to a lot of places so thought I'd start here. I've seen the hostels online such as Jacobs inn and Isaacs and I think they look awesome. But I have a few questions....
Firstly what are people's experiences of staying alone in these types of hostels? I'm not massively out going but kinda sociable lol.
Are there any shoulds and shouldnts whilst staying in a hostel?
Are there any places anyone can recommend to go wether it's for food, drinks sightseeing etc?
What to take to a hostel? Toiletries wise, bedding towels and stuff?

Any advice would be massively appreciated... I'm so excited but stupidly nervous I've never done anything like this and it's a big deal for me.

Thanks in advance :)

Danielle

2. Posted by wizzmor1977 (Respected Member 334 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi Danielle,

Dublin seems a great choice for your first solo trip. not too far away and 4-5 days is a good amount of time to get yourself comfortable. As for being nervous, don't stress about that, its perfectly normal to be nervous when stepping into the unknown, I have known of people much older than you being worried about travelling solo, but i'm sure as soon as you take this trip you'll realise that you have nothing to be fearful about.

A couple of pointers to help the transition run smoothly:

  1. Book your hostel/hotel in advance.#
  2. Know how you are getting from the airport to said accommodation, plan either your transfer or know how to use the public transport before hand.#
  3. Have a map ready,either a real map, usually available at tourist offices, (must be a tourist office at Dublin airport), or on your phone, unless you have a door to door transfer, its likely you may have to walk a few streets.#
  4. Also choose the place you stay carefully, if you want to, get up early(ish) and do some sightseeing, don't choose a "party" hostel where sleeping is not usually high on peoples agendas.#

Once at the place you are staying the staff should be well versed in making you feel comfortable and no doubt you will meet people very soon.
If staying in dorms, you have to choose which are more suitable to your tastes, a 16 bed dorm might save a couple of euros per night,but are usually quite noisy with lots of coming and goings, i usually opt for a 4 to 6 bed, i find you get a better nights sleep.

I have stayed in Hostels, personally, for 20 odd years and have never uncounted any problems myself, but with anything,normal street smarts will suffice, perhaps some of the ladies around here will offer a female perspective.

As for sightseeing, "google" it and choose what suits your tastes, i'm sure Dublin and the area around have plenty to keep you amused.

Good luck and Enjoy.

Andy

3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1372 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi

To answer the "what to take to a hostel" part of your question.

99.9% of hostels provide bedding - sheets, pillow, duvet etc. In some countries taking your own bedding is illegal - to stop cross-contamination ie bedbugs.

Toiletries - don't plan on them providing anything beyond toilet roll and a handtowel in the toilet. Some will have shower gel dispensers but not all. If you don't take your own towel they will usually rent you one.

Staying in small dorms is often great for making friends and finding people to see the sights with. Staying in large dorms (8+ people) can be a recipe for no sleep due to snorers - take earplugs. Even a 4-bed dorm is likely to have the occasional snorer.

As for do's and don'ts, the only thing I can think of is advice which sometimes needs to be given to guys - in a mixed dorm don't sleep nude.

The usual convention is when you arrive, put something on your chosen bunk to mark it as occupied. But not something valuable. Dorms normally have lockers for your stuff, take a padlock as they often aren't provided.

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5322 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I can only echo what Andy said, but some small comments beyond that: If staying in a dorm room, and you expect to come in late, have your bed already made (also helps with marking your bed as obviously "claimed"), so you don't have to do that in the middle of the night. Bring a small flash light so you don't have to turn on the main light. If you have to pack or unpack stuff, try to avoid those super crinkly supermarket-like plastic bags. Those are basically all variations on the theme "be courteous to your dormmates who're trying to sleep", gained from the experience of suffering through others not having gotten such tips.

Mixed dorms are relatively uncommon, though that can depend on country and the chain of hostels you'll stay at.

Bedding is effectively always provided, as guests using their own spreads bed bugs. That means most hostels will have a very strict policy against bringing your own linen. In my experience, towels are mostly not provided, but also not uncommon. Maybe about 30% of hostel experiences I've had provided them, with perhaps a slightly higher percentage when you opt for a private room. Again varies a lot by country, and I honestly can't remember what this was like in Ireland. So, make certain this is explicitly mentioned when booking / on the hostel's website, and otherwise bring your own.

Easiest place I've found to "make friends" in any hostel (or at least have a social chat, leading up to more talking later) is by cooking your own meals in the kitchen. Particularly if you make something more involved than noodles, you'll frequently get people commenting on it, and of course there's always easy openers like "could I borrow your salt?", "are you done with that cutting board?", etc Likewise you should feel free to tell others that their food smells / looks great, etc. :D

Similarly, place yourself in the hostel's (hopefully TV-free) lounge with a (guide) book and something to drink - but explicitly NOT with a laptop or smartphone - and before you'll know it, someone will be asking you where you're from, where you're going, what you've seen in Dublin so far, and what you thought of it. (In my experience, lounge chat has definitely degraded with the introduction of ubiquitous WiFi, though, and already used to be much better in small towns without much to do than in big cities like Dublin, so don't expect too much of this.)

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Feb-2017, at 09:39 by Sander ]

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1372 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I couldn't agree more with your comment about wifi Sander. Previously travellers were lonely and made friends; now they get lonely and talk to the people back home. This has turned many hostel lounges into antisocial places full of people muttering quietly to their screens. :(

6. Posted by wizzmor1977 (Respected Member 334 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andyf

I couldn't agree more with your comment about wifi Sander. Previously travellers were lonely and made friends; now they get lonely and talk to the people back home. This has turned many hostel lounges into antisocial places full of people muttering quietly to their screens. :(

I will 2nd or actually 3rd that!

One of the best pieces of advice i got when i was a young backpacker was "never contact home when you're homesick only makes you miss it more. contact home when you've had the greatest day, so you can boast and enjoy the moments", great advice i now dish out.