At some point during your stay in Australia, you will end up in a hostel. Whether it be for a short amount of time or long term, a hostel is cheap accommodation and a good way to meet other backpackers. As you are sharing your living space with different people, here are a few tips to make your stay in hostels more enjoyable.
- Ear Plugs and Eye Mask - each dorm will usually sleep at least 4 people. As you can imagine, everyone has different sleeping patterns and schedules which may affect the amount of sleep you get. By using ear plugs, you can block out any unwanted noise and an eye mask will keep you in darkness even if lights are switched on in the middle of the night.
- Padlock - each room will usually have a lockable storage unit for everyone, but you must provide your own padlock. Instead of buying an overpriced padlock from the hostel, buy a nice cheap one from home and take it with you.
- Book Swap - a lot of hostels usually have a book swap facility, so when you are finished with your book you can simply swap it for another. It'll save you carrying around several books at one time which will weigh you down. A lot of the books will also come with a sticker from BookCrossing.com, so you can see what other parts of the world your book has been to.
- Don't Be Shy - hostels are a great way to meet like minded people who are travelling around the country, but you have to make the effort. A simple "hello" is all it takes and remember, you already have one thing in common; Australia.
- Consideration - it's important to remember that people have different plans and schedules when you're staying in hostels. If you're out partying until the early hours, remember there maybe someone that has to be up at 5am to go on a tour, or slightly later to go to work. Before you leave for a night out, try and sort out everything you'll need to sleep so you don't have to rummage around for it when you get back. Likewise, if you're that person that needs to be up at 5am for a tour, have everything sorted so you can be as quiet as possible.
During my time in Australia this year, I have only stayed in one hostel so far, the Emperor's Crown in Northbridge, Perth. If you ever find yourself on Perth, I would highly recommend this hostel. The staff are friendly and helpful, the rooms and common areas are clean and you get a free 30 minutes of Internet for each night that you book. The hostel is also in a great location and a close walk to the main attractions, bus stops and train station.
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