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Hostels vary. Some are brilliant, some banal and some utterly beastly. As a general rule, it comes down to the owner. Pleasant owners run pleasant hostels, while unpleasant owners (or companies) run unwelcoming institutions.

But the owner can’t dictate everything. Despite best efforts with signage and welcome speeches, sometimes it comes down to the guests.

If other guests are smiley, your arrival feels special. If they make rounds of tea, or invite you to join their day trips, you’ve found a great place. But if they snub fellow guests, leave their clothes on your bed and make raucous nighttime noise, not even the nicest owner can improve your stay.

Unfortunately it often seems to be those new to hosteling who spoil it for everyone else. Perhaps this comes down to simply not knowing the rules.

So, in the interest of general hostel niceness, here are my rules for friendly hosteling, to be followed by guests everywhere:

1 – Don’t be a tit.

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