Hostel Hacks for Gap Year Travel

Heading out on a longstay adventure or planning to backpack from country to country on a gap year adventure? Here are some top tips, and handy hacks to help with hostel life!

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Looking to vibe or somewhere to be a digital nomad?

This is a crucial detail – some hostels are geared towards people using the social spaces to work on laptops, and some even have dedicated workspaces, other places however have a far more social aspect in mind. Not only might you not be able to get much work done but your fellow guests might think it a tad rude that you’re not joining in the fun.

Hoping to work remotely on an extended travel adventure?

Working remotely is a great way to secure your plans for a longterm travel adventure, after all you can continue to travel as long as you are bringing the money in! To make it work however, you do need discipline and to reduce the chances of missed flights interrupting your worklife. Big tip from successful digital nomads: Only ever change locations at a weekend!

Want to make friends and socialise?

When searching for hostels, rather than filter by best rated, filter by size. A 20-30 person hostel with a central social area is ideal. Also look for one that host “dinner nights” as this encourages people to get to know each other a bit better – and it is a great way to find out more about your location and plan your ongoing adventure.

Longing to party night after night?

There are plenty of places that advertise themselves as party hostels – be prepared for a constant party as the bar will be open around the clock and there will always be someone who is ready to get a party started! Party hostels do also have chill zones where you can go and relax after a heavy session, but you may want to change to a more relaxing location for some R&R after a week.

Take a burner phone and a dummy wallet.

These very much depend on where in the world you are travelling to, but even in the safest of places, if you are living in a communal space you are at greater risk of having your valuables stolen.

Pack flip flops or sliders.

Shared showers and wash areas are much more pleasant with something between your feet and the floor!

Get longstay travel insurance.

Longstay travel insurance is ideal if you are travelling between countries and frequently changing your travel destination, it takes into account that the risk of something going wrong is higher, and is there to give you greater peace of mind! Longstay travel insurance allows you to extend travel insurance while travelling so you are always covered for what you need, when you need, and WHERE you need it.

Don’t forget a travel towel, sarong, or hammam towel.

Whatever it is make sure it is something that will dry quickly. A sarong or hammam also doubles as a makeshift curtain, bedsheet, or blanket – all of which might be welcome depending on the comforts of your hostel.

Learn some card games and dice games.

A pack of cards and a few dice won’t take up much space in a backpack but they will help you meet new people or while away time on your trip.

Buy an eye mask and ear plugs.

You’ll be grateful of these even if you have a private room, in a shared dorm – priceless!

Get yourself a power splitter.

Don’t expect the hostel to have enough sockets for everyone to charge every device at once – at least if you have a splitter, you can bundle in on a socket already in use!

Bring noise cancelling headphones and portable chargers.

Essential if you are planning to work while travelling and a just plain handy if you are on a purely leisure adventure!

Beware hostel romance.

People are generally the best versions of themselves while travelling – freedom of movement, idyllic adventure and no day-to-day pressure of work or mundane “life admin” to deal with. Enjoy it for what it is and while it lasts, but don’t expect to be able to carry on the same romance once your travels are over.

Get your longstay travel insurance with – committed to providing the right cover for your needs, wherever in the world you are.

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