Hostel life is great, there is no doubt about that. It is an entertaining, social, and economical way to go about traveling which many people enjoy. Among all the good, there are some under appreciated things that are missing from hostel life that after a while I personally start to yearn for. Here are 6 underrated things missing from hostel life that perhaps you may have noticed or not.
1. A Big Bath Towel
There is nothing like using the same towel for the pool, the beach, and the shower. This is exactly what I want after a long day. To FINALLY get clean and then proceed to dry myself with a chlorine saturated, salt covered, sandy towel that I spent the day sitting on at the beach…so much for being clean. How nice would it be to get out of the shower to a nice, clean big warm towel? So nice!
2. A Clean Frying Pan
How about those days where you try to be a healthy, economically motivated traveler and do your own cooking. Only to find that there are mysterious black flakes attached to the bottom of your fried eggs. I have no idea what they are or where these black flakes come from, but they are on the bottom of the pan and the only way they come off is by cooking not by washing, so I eat them anyways. Remember the days of cooking with your own clean pots and pans, without having to worry about mysterious, and possibly carcinogenic flakes. Yeah…I miss that too.
3. Shampoo In The Shower
My favorite part of the day is when I get to have a hostel shower. You know, you take your well used towel into the shower, with fresh clothes to sling over the door and a handful of shampoo bottles and soaps, dropping a few as you tip-toe to the shower. Nothing like taking off your clothes with wet feet from the shower before you, and then when you start to wash you realize…damn you forgot your razor/soap….looks like those legs are staying furry for another day. Throwback to the days of hoping into your shower and having everything already present, organized and ready for you to groom yourself. Oh yeah….following your shower, you get to take all the wet bottles out and place them back in your backpack. Three cheers to the smell of wet bottles in a bag.
4. Outlets, Outlets, Outlets
We are modern travelers! We come with iPods, phones, tablets, computers, and cameras to say the least. Occasionally you arrive at a hostel and after you find there are no outlets in the room, you take your handful of electronics to the common areas only to find them jam packed with chargers of every country. Sometimes charging your items takes strategy. I mean staking out your outlet, and waiting within view to see if someone is leaving, or checking to see if someone’s phone is fully charged and unplugging theirs to sneak in yours. I may even be found sitting while my things charge making sure no one unplugs it for that same reason. The charging outlet is a selfish game and it takes time. I always miss having all the outlets I need, charging everything at once, and even having my phone charge at night safe and secure beside my bed. Ahh those were the days.
5. Hooks And Hangers
Perhaps you are traveling in a cooler environment, or maybe you find yourself in a hot and humid environment and have some damp clothes you’d like to dry. Wherever it is, I must say I miss having hangers. In addition to missing hangers, I miss having the security to hang my jacket at the door, or on the foot of my bed and not having to worry if it will be there when I get back. Instead, we here enjoying hostel life, have the pleasure of attempting to jam our coats and other clothing that may need a little TLC, into our already pre-stunk backpacks, among both clean and dirty clothes, and then, if we are lucky, and only if, we then have the pleasure of squishing that into a locker somewhere in the room. After all this time, a nice convenient hook or hanger in a safe spot would go a long way…for me and everyone around me.
6. Cooking Supplies
One of the perks of hostel life is having access to a kitchen where you are able to cook your own healthy and cheap food. Never do I mind heading to the local market to grab some rice, chicken, veggies, pasta, etc. Unfortunately I immediately miss my home spice rack. Hostels occasionally come equipped with salt and oil that someone left behind, but few other tasty ingredients inhabit their cupboards. I miss cooking with flavour. Most often I just eat bland food because carrying spices and cooking supplies: a) Takes up room in my pack that I don’t have and b) No matter how hard you try, they will spill into your bag and make a mess. Remember the days of having a well-stocked kitchen full of oils, spices, sauces and everything you need to create a delicious meal.