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New Zealand Travel Tips & Questions

What do I need when staying in a hostel?

To some degree quite what you will need for a hostel stay will depend on your own requirements and what is provided by the hostel in question. The following lists the majority of things which come in handy for everyone.

Head torch – A hands-free light source for middle-of-the-night arrivals and departures so you don't disturb your dorm-mates.

Multiway plug or power strip – If you rock up to one of those wonderful hostels which has a power outlet for every bunk great but otherwise you are going to be fighting it out with everyone else in the dorm to charge all your gadgets.

Microfibre towel – Quick drying and lightweight in case the hostel doesn't provide towels or wants to charge for them.

Padlock – For dorm lockers. Some hostels provide or rent them but they are often a little flimsy.

Earplugs – For peaceful sleep even if you have rowdy and thoughtless dorm-mates or your bunk is right next to a noisy road.

A well-designed rucksack or luggage - Essentially you will be living out of your pack as dorms don't have wardrobes or hanging spaces. Choose a well-designed backpack which allows easy access to everything and allows you to organise your belongings.

Packing cubes – Helps you organise you backpack even more and make things easily identifiable and accessible.

Downtime toys and gadgets – books, music, a pack of cards, paper and pen etc – there is going to be a degree of downtime in your hostel so be sure to have with you the means of making the most of this and relaxing.

Clothes for sleeping in – Many dorms are mixed and although you might not be shy you could be sharing with others who are embarrassed or even offended by dorm-mates sleeping naked.

Sleeping bag liner -  A silk sleeping bag liner will keep you cool when it’s hot, warm when it’s cold and create a layer between you and any hostel bedding that might look a little unappealing.

Small size toiletries – Most dorms have shared bathrooms which might be some way from your bunk. Small toiletries helps to keep your rucksack weight down overall but also means you don't have to carry anything but one small wash-bag to the bathrooms.

Sarong – Great for a multitude of uses – a makeshift curtain on your bunk, a towel, an extra sheet, a picnic blanket etc .