Google+ Boquete Travel Guide

Hostels – Tips on being a good guest


Boquete, Panama is a backpackers haven and rightfully so.  Backpackers, budget travelers as well as others love the camaraderie of being in a hostel.  I’m one of those people.  I really like the feel and vibe of staying in a hostel.  If you don’t like the thought of staying in a dorm room, most hostels in Boquete offer private rooms along with private baths.

What’s so great about staying in a hostel?

Getting to know other fellow travelers.

You can always find a dinner or scrabble partner.

Finding out what’s happening around town that day/evening.

Being able to cook your own meals in a communal kitchen.

They don’t break the bank.  Besides, how often will you be in the room?

Anyway, back to being a good guest.  If you are staying in a dorm room in a hostel, here’s a little etiquette advice: 

Keep your noise level down.  Everyone wants to have a great time, but keep it out of the room.  Not everyone is on your timetable and some may want to sleep rather than party.

I think everyone is okay with the average snorer, but if you are louder than a chainsaw, please get a private room.  Taking sleep away from the rest of the guests is not okay!

Also, travelers, bring a couple of sets of ear plugs.  You will be surprised how often you’ll use them throughout your trip.

Personal space.  It’s common sense really, but please don’t leave your stuff all over the place.  Hang up your wet towel and pick up around you.  Most (good!) hostels have lockers available where you can put your valuables and other items that you don’t want to take along that day.  Remember to keep it clean and not cluttered.  You do not want people to trip over your belongings in the middle of the night.

Lights Out! If people are sleeping around you and you need to get up to go to the bathroom, have a small flashlight readily available or use the light from your cell phone.

Sex – Sorry to have to bring this one up but sometimes people need a reminder.  Don’t do it!  We all know going on an adventure and meeting that person that you have so much in common and instant attraction that your common sense goes out the window.  If you should meet that certain someone, make arrangements to have a private room.  No one wants to hear/see it in their dorm room.

Basic hygiene.  Other than washing away the normal bodily smells from a long day of hiking….If you are that person that tends to eat massive amounts of smelly foods that emanates from your body, get a private room.  Also if you have a tendency to flatulate and stink up a room in 2.5 seconds flat, get a private room.

Bathroom hogs.  When you share a room and bathroom with others, this is not the time to take that long 30 minute hot shower.  Keep your showers short and use common courtesy – or – get a private room.

Don’t touch that!  If it’s not yours, don’t use it or eat it.  We all know how much we can covet that chocolate bar that has been sitting there calling to you, for the past couple of days, but don’t.  It’s not yours.

Alarm Clocks – When your alarm goes off, don’t hit the snooze.  We’re so programmed nowadays to hit that snooze button.  Then we get up and head out the door.  (without turning it off!)  5 minutes after they’ve left, their alarm goes off again and wakes the entire dorm room up.  The other is that people have their clocks set to go off everyday at a certain time.  When they leave, their clock is locked in their bag.

Packing – If you are leaving early the next morning, please pack your bags the night before.  You don’t want to wake the room because you’ve waited until the last minute to pack and then you need a light on, etc, etc.

Be Respectful!  This should probably be first and foremost.  If you are someone that does not play well with others and does not want to share, a dorm room in a hostel is not for you.  There are others around and they have needs too!  Don’t make others miserable because of what you are not bringing to the table.

What did I miss?

Hostels have a tendency to open up your mind, meet new people that you wouldn’t meet under normal circumstances.  Enjoy and embrace it.


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