3 Tips for Staying Safe in Hostels

Staying in hostels is a fun way to meet new people and save money. While most hostels offer a safe and friendly environment, you should also be cautious of your safety and belongings – you never know who may come in and out the door. Here are some hostels safety tips every traveler should know.
Research Your Hostel

  • Choose a quality hostel by doing your research beforehand. Most booking sites have security ratings and reviews from past guests – look out for any mentions of theft or danger.
  • Hostels with 24 hour reception, ID on arrival, video monitoring, security staff, lockers and security cards offer added peace of mind. Check the location of your hostel to ensure that it is in a safe neighborhood.
  • Book your hostel in advance for the first night in any new city. Plan to arrive before dark and inform the hostel if you will be arriving late.
  • Most hostels come with many room options – private rooms, large 16 beds dorms – and they are priced accordingly. The more people in a room, the higher the risk of theft or harassment. Always remember to choose a room and price point that you feel most comfortable in.


Maximize Hostel Security

  • Bring your own TSA-approved locks and use the lockers provided there. Double check that the lockers are secure and store your passport, money, credit cards and other valuables inside at all times.
  • Most hostel lockers are large enough to fit your backpack. In this case, keep your Pacsafe Citysafe TS350 Anti-Theft Backpack locked especially when leaving the hostel. This stylish and practical bag is equipped with plenty of anti-theft features like TurnNLock security hooks and a secured zip tab to safeguard your items. You may even bring your own locks for extra security.
  • Don’t leave your phone, camera, laptop or other electronics charging out of sight or overnight.
  • Don’t leave anything you don’t want to lose lying on your dorm bed – including clothes. Keep all your belongings locked inside your backpack or locker.
  • Sleep with your locker key and security card inside your pillowcase. If you have any valuables that are not stored in your locker, make sure they are also stowed inside your pillowcase or under a bed sheet.


Trust your instincts

  • If you feel uncomfortable or intimidated by other guests in your dorm room, don’t hesitate to speak to the hostel staff and ask to switch rooms.
  • Don’t open the hostel door to unregistered guests and always report any suspicious behavior.  
  • Meeting new people is one of the best parts of staying in hostels but be cautious of your fellow travelers and hostel staffs. Petty theft can be carried out by anyone, especially strangers.
  • Be cautious of the people around you and where your things are at all times. This will help to ensure that you enjoy a safe and comfortable stay in hostels each and every time.


By Sheena
Sheena has been living an on-road/off-road lifestyle for the past 10 years until recently. Now she’s based in New York City with Erik and they blog about tips and recommendations from all around the world via DIY Travel HQ. She’s very detail-oriented and passionate about sharing accurate, objective information.


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