How to Be the Worst Hostel Mate Ever

This purely satirical piece was written mostly almost entirely in the middle of the night in a cramped Hong Kong hostel.

To begin with, position your colossal, over-sized rolling suitcase right in the middle of the room before you leave or go to bed, ensuring that every late night hostel mate returning will clobber straight into it in the pitch darkness, maximizing the chances of future dorm room pandemonium.

If you instead have a backpack like most hostel dwellers, place it directly in front of the main room lockers (especially if your locker is near the top), and also stack your extra bag, shoes, super-expensive laptop, camera, telephoto lens, and any other exorbitantly valuable items along with your ukulele balancing uneasily at the very top, ready to timber like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Also be on the lookout for anyone trying to politely move your belongings, so you can bark at them incessantly like an angry St. Bernard. How dare they touch your ignorantly placed items!


Next, leave your massive bag of toiletries on the one speck of free space on the single sink of the communal bathroom, 24/7. Everyone will marvel at your varied collection of toothbrushes, toothpastes, flossers, disposable razors, eyedrops, and multiple deodorants (liquid and roll on), as well as the countless medicine bottles, vitamins, creams, band-aids, and other totally unnecessary items for most day to day grooming. And the medical gauze, rubbing alcohol, tweezers? Man, is this guy gonna perform surgery? I must be in the wrong room.


Hang your wet towels and other various moist articles of clothing not only on your bunk, but on fellow hostel mates’s bunks, ladders, and any other thin, long surfaces.


After you have sufficiently unpacked, whip out your awesome Bose on-the-go mini speaker and blast some of your favorite Tuvan throat-singing, Gregorian chant, Swedish rockabilly, or modern Pan Flute tunes. Your fellow hostel mates will be in total admiration of your obscure taste at full decibels, night or day.


Find the nearest shared power outlet, unplug every one of your hostel mate’s inferior electronics, and fill every last socket with your arsenal of charging paraphernalia. Make sure to leave every last one plugged in at all times, especially when you know you’ll be out all day. If you can locate an additional power strip nearby, load that baby up too.


Simply make as much noise as possible only between the hours of 1:00 AM and 7:00 AM; though to really push the limits, keep the racket going all the way to check-out in the morning. After that, the hostel staff should be good to take the baton and continue your efforts. Helpful hints:


• Open and close empty plastic bags several times. There is no standard for this, but anywhere between 25-30 times ought to do the trick. Mashing the bags into a tight ball and unfolding them again is another widely accepted technique.

hostel• Zip and unzip every zipper on your backpack exactly 15 times. You can absolutely repeat this process (several times) if you feel other hostel mates have not yet heard it.
• Open your locker and empty out the entire contents of your backpack from as high up as possible, making sure not to miss any solid metallic objects that might be at the bottom of your bag.

hostel• If the hostel door closes on its own, feel free to hang by until it is almost closed and then at the last minute, push the knob with all you’ve got for maximum deafening slam potential. If the door does not close on its own, then oh baby you are in for a treat! You can pick your poison here: a mild slam, several short slams, or a straight up Jet-Li-karate-chop style slam. If you’re lucky enough to be blessed by the hostel gods with a squeaky door, then you’ve simply hit jackpot! Really let your imagination fly and be creative.
• Last, but certainly not least; if you know you won’t be around to make excessive noise, simply leave your phone behind somewhere it will be clearly and audibly heard (though not found) and leave the alarm on from your previous early morning’s wake up call for everyone to enjoy at 7 minute intervals for hours on end.

For the sake of what you’ve just eaten, there’s no photo to pair the next tip.

If you decide to go out and paint the town, make absolutely sure you come back rip-roaringly wasted and paint the dorm room too. There’s not much else that can be said here.


When you finally decide you’ve made enough twilight caterwauling, lay down your sweet head and drift off to a nice, deep sleep (it has been a productive day). Give your fellow roommates a solid 4-5 minutes of complete tranquility, and just when they think it’s all over, snore as loud as you possibly can. Deep, glottal sounds tend to be the most obnoxious, though many report that the choking, desperate-for-air-every-25-seconds style works effectively also. Think Beethoven meets a chainsaw. Really, milk this one for all that you’ve got.


When it comes time to leave, lay out every single thing you own over the entire dorm room floor, making sure every square inch is covered. Pack and unpack your things at least 4-5 times as slowly as possible, making sure that every last piece of unnecessary gear fits into your bag perfectly like a game of backpacker Tetris. If you have inconvenienced your fellow dorm room dwellers for as long as humanly possible, you’ve really nailed the whole shebang. Kudos to you, worst hostel mate ever!

Enjoyed this post? Have some more laughs with other articles in my Travel Humor section 🙂

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