Croatian Youth Hostel Association is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation founded back in 1953 in order to promote the hostelling mission in Croatia and encourage young people to explore and appreciate the rich natural and cultural heritage of our country.

01/ 48 29 294, 48 29 296
Savska 5, 10 000 Zagreb

How (not) to pack for a hostel stay

Hostelling is the best way to travel for every young person. No other type of accommodation druing your travel connects you to a lot of different people from different parts of the world in little time as a hostel stay. But hostelling means certain compromises have to be done.

In a hostel most people do not sleep in a private room with a private bathroom, especially those travelling a budget who want to make their money last longer. They instead share a bedroom with three, four or even eight people. Sometimes those people are complete strangers.  And that requires all to maximally adapt to their roommates.

The basic etiquette tells you not to act like you are at home. Because you are not, you are a guest in a hostel. And to make your stay at a hostel a lot easier, especially if you’re just starting to travel and explore, follow these tips how to to pack your backpack.

What you should carry with yourself?
  1. Thin travel towel

A large number of hostels now offer clean bedding, but towels are usually not included. Of course you can get it in every hostel at an affordable price, but some people like to have their own towel. Be sure to pack a thin travel towel that rolls up tight and dries quickly in order to save space and avoid bad smells. Put it in a backpack somewhere in an easily accessible place because you will use it a lot.

  1. Shampoo and shower gel

A hostel is not a hotel so do not expect mini bottles with a shampoo, shower gel and body lotion as a part of service. So pack them but leave large containers at home. Instead, buy mini packs. There are easier to carry and they use less space in your backpack. Additional advice: to prevent liquids from spilling in your backpack, put plastic wrap over the bottle’s opening and then screw the top on.

  1. Plastic bags

Plastic bags will be good for storing your dirty clothes or towels, but also for additional protection of your clothes if you are traveling somewhere where it rains.

  1. Eye mask

Maybe a hostel room does not have a good curtain, maybe the street lamp is just next to your window, maybe your roommates will come in at 4 am and turn on the light while you are sleeping, maybe you will be the one who will arrive at 4 am and want to sleep late. Anyhow, an eye mask is one of the most cost-effective small investments that often means a fortune.

  1. Ear plugs

If you are sensitive to noise, we recommend that you carry silicone ear plugs with you. You can buy them at a pharmacy or a convenience store. They’re cheap and will often feel like a million dollar investment. Maybe your hostel is located near a busy street, maybe your roommates snore…  if you’re a light sleeper, the ears plugs are a must-have. And if you’re the one who snores loudly, buy them for everyone else in the room. This little gesture will be a sign for your roommates to know that you are aware of your problem and trying to help.

  1. Padlock

If you do not have enough lockers in your room or you often hold a bag next to the bed, it’s smart to keep your backpack locked with a padlock.

  1. Flip- flops

Since you probably share the hostel bathroom, do not walk barefoot. Use flip-flops instead of classic slippers because you can wash them easier and remove bacteria.

  1. Flashlight

Do you need something out of the bag during the night while everyone else is sleeping? Do not be rude and turn on the central light in the room, rather take a small lamp or turn on the light on the cellphone to illuminate only the required part.

  1. Power adapters

If you travel in a foreign country, do not forget to bring power adapters because all countries do not have the same voltage. So, in addition to all chargers and cables for your cell phone or tablet, the adapters are essential.

  1. Membership card with discounts

Young travelers have a whole host of available travel cards with which they can make discounts, from service to product. And Hi Hostels have more than one ID card, with which you can reach a whole host of benefits, even if you go out of the youth category. Check out all our cards on our site and what benefits they offer.

Things NOT to pack for your hostel stay
    1. Oversized suitcase. If you prefer a suitcase to a backpack while travelling, keep it reasonably sized. …
    2. Bedding
      Most hostels now give you bedding. Or at the very least will be able to rent you some for a small fee. Have a look if you need to pay extra for sheets when booking your hostel!
    3. Sleeping bag
    4. Lots of hostels don’t let you use sleeping bags. This always depends on the hostel.
    5. Full-sized toiletries
    6. Giant towel

Another huge advantage of travel towels is the smell. Or should we say: NOT the smell. Towels made of cotton can become smelly pretty easily, after using them 3-4-5 times. The travel towels will not smell, are light and small.