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Staying in a hostel is a rite of passage on the backpacker trail, where you have the chance to meet some really cool people, some decent people, and some people you wouldn’t even wish on your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/pet.
These characters have turned misery into an art form that would make Joffrey Baratheon blush with approval. They’re self-elected dorm room tyrants, ready to divide and conquer their way through their eight-bed kingdom and leave insomnia, conflicts, and destruction in their wake.
If you’re a born sadist, aspiring stockbroker, or named Damien, read on for the best ways to deprive fellow travelers of sleep and sanity.
You’re probably tired at this point, so head to your room and make yourself comfortable. Dorm rooms are tiny, so put your luggage on the bed next to yours to get some extra space. Unpack everything on another bed.
When you’re done it should feel just like home.
How to win friends and influence people
It’s time to get social. Grab a few drinks and find a group of people to chat with in the common area. Share your stories and experiences for an hour or so. If someone tries to talk about themselves, switch the conversation back to you.
Don’t share drinks, but do talk about your trust fund. Make sure to invite yourself to tonight’s party and slap everyone on the back really hard before heading over to the kitchen for a feed.
In the kitchen
One of the best parts about hostels are the shared kitchens, allowing you to eat on the cheap so you can travel longer (read: spend more on booze).
This is your chance to shine and make everyone jealous of your four-hour, slow-cooked, Jamie Oliver-style Peking duck recipe. And don’t worry if you’re missing a few ingredients — they’re called shared kitchens for a reason, so help yourself to the fridge. Some stingy bastards put their name on food items, so why not swap them around. Everyone loves a good prank.
Leave the dishes for tomorrow; it’s time to Skype your friends back home.
Douchebag Wi-Fi etiquette
Hostels worth their salt usually come with at least one computer and a public Wi-Fi network. Hit two birds with one stone here and torrent the last three seasons of Breaking Bad while video-chatting with your friends.
If the network slows down, complain to the staff and threaten to write a really bad review on TripAdvisor. I mean, who doesn’t have broadband these days?
Clubs close early in some places, so take a cue from Great Gatsby and sneak some new-found friends into the dorm for late-night drinks. If you can’t find anyone to join you, just turn on the lights when you get back and shout everyone in the dorm a drink.
Backpacking means plenty of opportunities to get lucky with people from all over the world, and life is short. If you meet someone significant, don’t miss the chance to invite them back to your room. People will understand. If you’re a couple, this applies to you too.
If you missed out on the international wheel of fortune, always sleep naked — you never know when opportunity could come knocking.
Leaving in style
Early flights and buses are par for the course on the road, and you likely won’t have time to pack the night before. Make sure to have a crinkly bag of chips to down in your room before packing up to leave. Subtly wake people up to say goodbye by repeatedly opening and closing the zippers on your backpack, and demand to exchange emails and Facebook accounts.
Before you leave, blow-dry your hair and sanitise the room with liberal amounts of perfume as a last touch to remove any odors from the night before. If you don’t have perfume, hairspray or deodorant will do.