Hostels are a great way to save money while traveling, but the bathrooms are definitely among the compromises you must make. If you're staying in a dorm room with a communal bathroom, the shared toilets and showers can be particularly gnarly. Just imagine eight people or more fighting for the shower multiple times a day. That's a lot of backpackers washing their grime off in the same place as you.
Hostel bathrooms are a necessary evil when it comes to traveling on a budget, but here are some ways to make the experience less gross and more comfortable.
Wear Your Flip-Flops in the Shower
Showers in hostels may not be cleaned as often you'd like, and the booking platform HostelWorld recommends always wearing sandals in the shower as a general precaution against fungus and bacteria. Many people pass through hostels and even if the bathroom is regularly cleaned, you can never be too careful when it comes to your foot health.
Shower Quickly and Have Patience
Peak shower times in hostels include the hours between 8 and 10 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. If you're going to be showering at these times, you'll want to make it as quick as possible to avoid angering your dorm-mates. If you're a fan of long, hot showers, wait until off-peak times. You won't make any friends if you use up all the hot water.
Likewise, if everyone in your dorm wants to take a shower at the same time as you, have patience. You can't expect to be able to shower whenever you like when you have several other people to think about.
Take Your Towel and Clothes in There With You
It seems like common sense, but you'll be surprised at how many people forget to take their towel and clothes into the bathroom with them. It's an easy blunder to make, especially when you're not used to shared bathrooms. Do your best to remember though, otherwise you're going to have to call for help or try to dry yourself off with toilet paper.
Take Everything With You
Just like you shouldn't forget to take your things in with you, you shouldn't forget to take them out either. Budget travelers stay in hostels and they're always looking for ways to save money. Generally, hostels are safe, but petty theft happens and common sense rules should still apply. Leave your shampoo or shower gel in the bathroom one morning, and it could be used up by the evening. Keep an eye on your stuff and don't leave it where other people can use it.
Buy a Hanging Toiletries Bag
A hanging bag for your travel toiletries can be incredibly helpful when using hostel bathrooms for many reasons. It keeps your things all in one place to stop you from leaving anything behind and everything stays dry because you don't have to put anything on the floor. Plus, hanging organizers are typically equipped with zippers and pouches, so you don't have to go digging around your bag for what you need.