As much as I hate to admit it, I can be a bit of a princess when it comes to travelling. I’m not talking five star hotels, luxurious handwoven pillows and sushi for every meal – but I do need cleanliness, heating, a decent bed and coffee to function properly. It’s a must.
So far on my trip, I’d been pretty lucky. Gorgeous balcony views, comfy mattresses and even coffee on tap. Until I arrived at my hostel in Interlaken.
I’m not writing this post to slander the place, so I won’t name names. But finding a cramped room with a paper thin mattress, no heating, no lamp, filthy showers and a delightful dead rat in the corridor has left me craving my next location.
But hey – that’s life. Not everything is what we expect. Not everything can be glorious. So when faced with the option of throwing in the towel & catching the next train to Zurich – or sticking it out, I decided to stay. I’m no quitter. At four nights for around £120 I couldn’t afford to say no. Literally! So I gave this place a go and relinquished my diva ways.
With my stay now nearly over, here are some tips about surviving grotty accommodation abroad & making the most of any hideous hostels or hotels.
1. Keep it clean
Good hygiene is essential. If your room is both ugly AND messy, it’s going to get pretty unbearable. Keeping things as tidy as possible will make things 10x easier to deal with. No food in the room. Treat it like your beloved grandmother would see it. Make your bed each morning. Pack stuff away. It makes all the difference, trust me.
2. Plan itineraries
If it’s that bad, plan as much time outside of the place as possible. Remember – it’s only a bed to sleep in at the end of the day. Research what’s on in the area. Museums? Exhibitions? Shows? Jam pack your day.
On the other hand, if you’re surrounded by wilderness like me, find local hikes to take on. If you have a visitors travel card, make the most of town transport and go on a spontaneous adventure. Talk to locals and see where’s good to have a drink. Explore as much as possible.
I always find a little humour goes a long way. Make the most of it.
Keeping a lighthearted approach will make your stay a lot more bearable. Embrace that sarcastic streak.
4. The Same Boat – making friends
The best part about gross rooms is the fact EVERYONE has a gross room. It’s something to bond over! People leave their rooms a lot more often when they’re too grim to spend time in. It forces you out of your comfort zone. It’s a great way to meet new people – and an easy talking point, of course.
5. Nothing lasts forever
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you won’t be staying in a horrid place forever. Give yourself something to look forward to. Maybe it’s a dinner out at the end of the week or a splurge on a nicer stay at your next location.
Maybe it’s just the next destination itself. For me, it was knowing I’d be staying in a thriving city again. Creating a light at the end of the tunnel will help you endure any unsavoury stays even further.
Voila! There you have it. Do you have any of your own horror hostel stories to share? Let me know below.