This post has been updated on January 28th, 2021
After four years of being together, we have been travelling all around and staying in all sorts of accommodation, from amazing and luxurious hotels to classic Airbnb. The accommodation has always been a priority for our trip, since the beginning of our blogging adventure. But now that we are focusing more on backpacking in Europe, and essential travelling experience. We experimented with the concept of staying in a hostel dorm as a couple.
Before that time of our travelling career, the idea to stay in a hostel has never come up in our minds. Until recently when we had the chance to visit Berlin and stay at the St. Christopher’s Inns Hostel in Mitte.
It was a challenge to understand how we can react to share a dorm room as a couple, how other people will react to that as well. This is for us a forced step to embrace a major challenge in our unplanned yet big trip to Southeast Asia anytime soon.
What is a Hostel?
Hostels are well known as the best accommodations for backpackers and on budget travellers. It is a cheapest way to afford your next trip and is a compromise between Couchsurfing and a classic hotel room.
The setting of a hostel is ideal for socializing. Open spaces like bars, communal areas, desk coworking spaces make you feel welcome to carry your laptop and catch up with work and friends.
Many hostels like ours in Berlin offer one of the few rooftop spaces in the whole city. It is ideal for summer when they place a DJ, Barbecue and pool for an amazing time with friends. Other hostels have also swimming pools working even in winter, and amazing outdoor gardens. You can book your tour of the city, or participate in a pub quiz, beer pong nights or start your pub crawl. I have heard so many stories of people finding new buddies or even love in a hostel.
Are Hostels Safe?
Hostels are safe, but you have to be aware that your belongings are at risk. In order to make your bed dorm safer, or at least to avoid thieves, you should take into consideration precautions.
All the hostels offer a locker, some of them are electronic which is safer, others need your personal padlock to be locked.
Some tips that we think are worth for everybody are:
- Carry with you a strong padlock
- Don’t leave anything outside of your locker
- Don’t charge devices unless you are in the room
- Avoid having belongings outside of the locker while in the shower or toilet
- Have always a power bank to charge during the night
- Consider insurance for your gear
Why do we choose a hostel in Berlin?
So we took our trip to Berlin to attend a conference that was then cancelled and booked at the Hostel in Berlin. The St. Christopher’s Inn is a big company everywhere in Europe, specialized in backpackers accommodation. It was a safe way to make us more comfortable for our first experience as a couple in a dorm room of a hostel.
After living in London for nearly five years, both of us have shared houses, so already keen to understand where is the limit to the freedom in shared places. But staying in the hostel will be for us a time when we open more of our minds, connect with friends and make new friends. I think this is a necessary step for a couple that is involved too much in travelling. The Hostels are well known for their experiences as parties, coworking and shared tours around the city and we were keen to try all of this.
Follow the Hostel dorms etiquette
Yes I know that is something you didn’t think about. So, what is a hostel dorm’s etiquette? This is not a written law, but more a common-sense attitude that everybody should consider when booking a hostel.
As per Hotels and similar, Hostels have got rules and common etiquette to follow. Even if they are not strict on this, a few of them are forbidden in many accommodations across the world.
- Be respectful of others and leave your space tidy and clean
- Don’t take stuff that is not belonging to you
- Avoid noises and be careful to close doors
- Don’t go around naked, it’s not your house
- Turn on just the lights on your bunk bed if necessary
- Don’t leave your belonging on other mates beds
- Don’t hang washed clothes in communal space, neither your
- Avoid to take somebody else on your own bed (Couples included)
- Don’t eat or drink in your dorm
- Lock your belonging in the locker
- Don’t drink alcohol in the room
- Don’t be stupid if drunk to bully the people who are sleeping
Not just shared room, but private rooms for Couples
If you are not keen to share a dorm room with other travellers, you can go to a private room. It will give you the chance to still experience the hostel way to accommodate travellers, but with the comfort of your private area.
Actually the first time we have been in a hostel at all as a couple was in Hamburg, and it was in a private small room. It was an amazing experience, but not the same as sharing a dorm room.
What is the Dorm Room?
A dorm room is a shared place that people rent in hostels. It is nowadays seen as the backpackers’ way to afford to travel extensively in time, lasting money longer.
Those are essential sleeping arrangements. There is everything you need from personal light for reading while others are sleeping, to sockets to recharge your laptop or phones.
Usually, the Dorm rooms have essential layouts, such as bunk beds. There are rooms composed of 2 to 20 beds. Yes, I know it is a lot, but it is meaning that more are the people you have to share with, less is the price you are paying.
Every bed has its own locker, it is your personal space where you lock your belongings.
Forget North American sorority dorms and think more Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sleeping arrangements and you are halfway there.
The St. Christopher’s Inn is amazing for privacy, it has got a curtain that covers the whole bunk bed. It is amazing for light filtering and also noises.
Female Dorms, Mixed Dorms
If you want to experience the hostel as a couple, over the single choice to sleep in the same dorm room, you can even split into two different sides. For females are available in every hostel exclusive dorms, the same size as the mixed one. Despite the Mixed dorms, you can find any gender, in the female dorms not.
This could be a good opportunity for those who are keen to pay less money for the accommodation but still preserving themself to share the room with the other gender.
Many hostels feature a breakfast included in their booking. It is one of the main reasons why backpackers stay in hostels. It is amazing to save money on the way and socialize in the morning with other like-minded travellers. More than one day in our stay at the St. Christopher’s Inn in Berlin we woke up and went for breakfast and then back to sleep again.
For travellers like us looking always for the most instagrammable places in a location, waking up early is essential to avoid crowds. We were so glad to have the breakfast included, after waking up at 5 o’clock despite a party night. Early birds are in their safe space with breakfast included.
Should you stay in a Hostel as a Couple?
Definitely yes. Many people may not expect to find couples in a hostel, and maybe even strange to share a Dorms with other strangers. It is true that hostels are not the most romantic accommodations, and the amenities are not what you are looking for a short holiday period.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing a dorm with others, as a couple you can get a private room. The prices are not that competitive if you compare it with an Airbnb sometimes, some others are. Anyway if you want to start to familiarize yourself with hostel life-style, booking a private room in one of the coolest will be the perfect way to start.
If one side you will lose your intimacy, on the other you will gain fun, relax to be apart from each other from time to time, and so don’t spend 24h together.
Which are the benefits of booking a hostel as Couple instead of Airbnb accommodation?
Today that we have already experienced the Hostel as a couple, in mixed dorms and private rooms, we have placed the research of the accommodation on hostels as well. If Airbnb gives you the chance to accommodate your needs, you are still sleeping in a room of someone else (not every case is like that). If you want your personal toilet the price is increasing, and so you need to share with the house owner or other travellers.
A hostel will give you the essential kit for travellers, as a common hotel gives you. More than that, a hostel is a perfect way to socialize and maybe go on a tour with other like-minded people. In the long term travel, we will consider more hostels than just air BnB locations, that we instead will consider if we will stay longer in a single place.
11 Hostel tips for couples
- You can book a private room
- Communal areas are perfect for coworking
- Stay on a budget and save money on the long run
- Hostels are fun
- Take advantage of free tours or hostels discounts
- Are in a central position to explore the city
- You can have your time apart
- Share the kitchens and explore a new food
- Meet like-minded people from everywhere
- Hostels give a break from a full-time relationship
- A couple of hostel stay will push you out of comfort zone
Q&A about Staying in a hostel dorm as a couple
Can couples share a bed in a hostel?
A couple can’t sleep together in hostels. Many hostels make it explicitly forbidden to carry any other in their room. Neither if it is a couple booking two bunk beds in it.
Can 2 people sleep in 1 hostel bed?
No. The answer is the same as before. This is valid for long life couples, like “new-one-night” couples. You can’t carry anyone else in your dorm room. Neither can you welcome somebody else in your bed that is already in your dorm room? This is not respectful of others more than just the rules of the hostels.
There have been so many cases about people sleeping in the hostels and have pleasure in it as well. You can risk being moved away, fined, lose the booking money and also banned from the hostel chain.
How to use hostels as a couple?
We will suggest you always find a dorm room for females only and a mixed one. If for budget or availability this is not possible, go for taking the whole bunk bed, up and down all for you.
Book always in hostels chains, it will be helpful to find an open-minded environment and stay safe.