12 Signs You Live In A Hostel

I don’t think living in a hostel is something anyone plans to do. But on your travels, it is definitely a possibility. It happened to me at the YHA in Brisbane, completely by accident. And I didn’t really figure out I was living there until I woke up one day and realised I’d been there for 3 months… It happens, ok!

Here’s how you can figure out if you are actually living in a hostel…

1) You’ve found the secret TV room.

And you dominate it. I’m sorry German family of 4, it’s Kardashians tonight.

Brisbane YHA TV Room
So drunk on goon in this photo…

2) The free food shelf is your pantry.

I mean, sure it’s mostly mouldy bread and baked beans, but every now and then you strike gold. Hello fresh vegetables, it’s been a while.

Preparing dinner in a hostel in Coral Bay, Australia
Preparing dinner in a hostel in Coral Bay, Australia

3) You’ve worked out what the best floor to stay on is.

Stay away from the floor they stick the school groups on and go for the floor with the most showers and the best WiFi signal.

Habitat HQ in Melbourne
Habitat HQ in Melbourne

4) You’ve eaten everything on the menu at the budget restaurant next door.

Drifters at the YHA Brisbane City was my bitch. And the risotto was delightful.

YHA Brisbane City
YHA Brisbane City

5) You’re in the semi-permanent clique.

There always seems to be a few of you that have accidentally stayed long term. You’re not necessarily friends but greet each other with a knowing head nod.

The gang at YHA Brisbane City
The gang at YHA Brisbane City

6) Not that you’re long term or anything… (Living in a state of denial)

You just haven’t decided where you’re going next yet, that’s all. I don’t live here man, just passing through. For 6 months…

Hostel Pisa
Hostel Pisa in Italy

7) You’re on a first name basis with everyone on Reception.

You have to be for the good rooms.

The gang at Kimberley Klub in Broome, Australia
No this isn’t actually people from Reception. The gang at Kimberley Klub in Broome, Australia.

8) You’re a walking instruction manual for how to use the hostel.

When a newbie is hunting for a cheese grater or can’t use the key cards – fear not, the girl that lives in the hostel is here to save the day!

Brisbane at night
Queen of Brisbane over here…

9) You notice when there’s something new on the book exchange.

It’s hard not to when it only consists of The Beach, The Alchemist and the worst kinds of chick lit.

Being rock and roll on a rainy day in Thailand
Being rock and roll on a rainy day in Thailand

10) You’re bored of small talk.

Sure it’s nice that you’re getting new possible friends bunking up with you every week. But if you’re working 9-5 and then coming home to small talk, it can get a little tedious.

Dorm buddies
Dorm buddies

11) You’ve bought more stuff.

The longer you stay somewhere, the more you start to ‘nest’. It starts with a harmless pair of cheap slippers and ends with decorative fairy lights for your bunk. Yes I did this.

Backpackers with too much stuff
When you need a Coles trolley to transport your stuff, you have too much stuff.

12) You’ve used the hostel address as your home address at some point.

Whether it’s signing up to recruitment agencies, getting an ASOS order in, or getting your mum to send you your favourite sweets, you have literally just admitted something…

Nesting with fairy lights. And popcorn.
Nesting with fairy lights. And popcorn.


Sorry to break it to you.


Have you lived in a hostel long-term? Is there anything you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!

Dorm Room at Manena Hostel, Genoa

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