7 Helpful Tips for Staying Safe at a Backpacker Hostel

Although hostels have security guards and surveillance systems to thwart the anomalies, no place is risk-free in this world of surprises. Hotels are generally considered safe, and numerous people reside there to meet their friends or dwell during holidays to minimize travel expenses. 

Staying at a hostel with strangers often comes with plenty of risks, especially when you will share a bunk bed with an unknown traveler. There is no point in losing valuable things when miles away from home. In that regard, here are a few top tips for the safety of your stuff in a hostel. 

1: Do your research

We recommend you kick-start your safety measures by choosing the right hostel for a short-term stay.

Take some time to do research using hostel booking platforms. You can also check travel sites and forums that share user experiences. It’s in these conversations and posts that reveal what the hostel is truly like.

Do not forget to lend some help from Google to learn about the reputation of a particular place or city. After a comprehensive analysis, you will decide on a better place for your upcoming trip. 

2: Don’t leave your stuff around

Travelers are birds who never settle in one place.

It is wise to take valuable things with you if you leave temporary residence for a while to explore the town. You can put these items in a money belt bag to stay unharmed. 

Original documents including ID, passport, credit or debit cards, and cash cannot be left in an empty room. Keep these items in your bag all the time. Use a waterproof bag if you visit a beach or water park. 

3: Be cautious about hostel strangers

We have seen many movies where a person tries to open the door claiming that his key isn’t unlocking. After being caught, he smiles and says he thought this was his room. Such actors exist in the real world too. Do not let anyone trick you into seizing an opportunity to loot you in the daylight. 

If a legit person requests you to open your room for him because he has left the key inside, open it only if you know them. Otherwise, ask them to get a key from reception. 

There’s going to be a lot of people coming in and out of a hostel. Most times its just people that know those staying someone there. But, you never know. Being vigilant around randoms coming through isn’t just for your safety but for everyone else you share the room with, too.

4: Lock it down

You may face some inconvenience after finding a hostel for a temporary stay.

Lockers are congested in some establishments, and backpacks do not fit in those lockers. But you cannot afford to leave laptops, chargers, tablets, and cameras outside without any safety measures.

 Always travel with padlocks or find these from a hostel reception. Use small locks on your suitcase to keep it near your bed. Put valuables in the locker and put a lock on your backpack to keep everything safe. 

5: Keep money in a few different places

Traveling without money sounds terrifying, especially when you have a limited amount.

Travelers carry some cash credit and debit cards to meet traveling expenses down the road. Anyone can pick your pocket, or you can lose your luggage at the hostel. 

Try to keep a minimum amount of cash and one card at a time in your pocket or belt bag. You could also keep a few bucks in your sock or tucked into a small stash area in a hat.

Keep the rest of the money and cards in your locker or a safe place. If someone steals your money and cards, contact the local police and embassy to file a complaint immediately. 

The point is to make it so if you do lose money (or get robbed) that you don’t lose it all at once. You’ll have enough to get back on your feet if things go wrong.

6: Put your wallet and passport inside your pillow.

Thieves prefer to steal in the darkness when travelers are tired and sleeping in their dorms. You can guard your possessions during the daytime, but what about the night when you are taking a rest? Stash your passport and wallet into your pillowcase and keep the opening of the pillow towards the wall. This trick will at least protect your money and documents from prowlers. 

7: Keep your guard up

There will be plenty of people that come up to you with a smiling faces.

Some of these people are bad actors.

They know you’re enamored with the travel experience. Your guard is down. You’re open to new experiences and they’ll exploit that. Whether it’s leading you to shops that overcharge or outright putting you in dangerous situations, you need to keep your guard up when things feel “off”.

That’s not to say you should avoid any interaction but think twice when someone out of the blue is overly nice and super enthusiastic about “helping” you around.


Hostels are affordable, where one can get easy access to all the in-house provisions at meager rates. However, these establishments have a lot going for them. Many travelers feel that a secure hostel is a comfortable one. However, you can use the above-stated hacks to ensure the safety of your belongings and yourself in shared accommodation. 

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