Dorms in Travel, survival guide

Sleeping in a hostel/guesthouse is not usually very expensive. The more bed in the dormitory, the cheaper it is. Sometimes you may even end up in a 20-bed dormitory bunk!


How to keep privacy and comfort? What advantages and disadvantages? I reveal here my impressions and tricks to “survive” in the dorm.

Types of dorms

Generally, the large dormitories with bunk beds are located in what we call a “Party hostel”. As the name suggests, these are guesthouse where the party gives way every night. There is usually a bar and pool tables. Young travellers between 20 and 27 yo who spend much of their day sleeping …

In the simplest hostals, it is more compartmentalized rooms. Single beds are installed side by side and in smaller quantities. The bathroom is generally in the room and avoids us to go to outside showers. It’s a bit more expensive (although not necessarily!). However, there is rarely lockers or place to secure its stuffs!


  • The earplugs to avoid hearing people who snore, those returning from party at 4am, those who get up at 5am and pack their bag at the last minute, just before leaving, not counting the few couples who …
  • Pyjamas. Ok, many don’t wear it, the boys remain in shorts and girls … well, I’d rather forget the whole “glamor” and be able to sleep peacefully without worrying about what precisely can see people returning to 4am from party, well drunk!
  • Flip-flops which are used in collective showers. This is not always really clean and it avoids catching whatever to toe!
  • The front lamp or dynamo to avoid the clothes, bag, shoes and anything lying around on the ground for your pee break of the night. Or simply not to be spread from the top of her bed.


  • Price for sure
  • The easiest encounters and the ability to organise visits or party together
  • Tips and tricks exchange in common area
  • Often more services such as laundry facilities, book exchange, etc.


  • Less privacy
  • Requirement to change clothes in the showers, sometimes outside. It is cold!
  • Noise (but the problem is solved with earplugs).
  • The light of those returning late and do not pay attention.
  • The smell! because in a dormitory where 20 people spend the night … Imagine the next day!
  • Security of stuffs. Although often there are lockers which are closed with their own padlock.

My tips

Dortoir guide de survie

  • Take the lower bed. It is certainly more visible to everyone but it is less obvious access to its stuffs since the bunk bed. Also, if you have to get up at night, easy! Not to mention that being on the upper bed, you are closer to the ceiling. The incessant comings and goings in the evening with light in your face you’ll regret instead of down, well protected.
  • Lay your towel or large scarf stuck with the mattress top. You will have a kind of curtain that will give you more privacy.

And you, what are your small dorm habits?

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