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Youth hostels - big dorm or small? watch

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    I'm going to Spain with my friend in the Easter holidays just for three nights. We've got a choice to either stay in a big 10-bed dorm WITH breakfast, or to stay in a smaller one (5 beds) with no breakfast. They're the same price. Neither have curfews.

    I've never stayed in a youth hostel dorm before, and I'm a light sleeper (even with earplugs) so I'm a bit worried about staying in a large dorm. Do people come in and out at all hours and leave the light on etc? Although breakfast would be really useful, I think there's a better chance I'll get a good night's sleep in a small dorm.

    Has anyone stayed in a big dorm before? What was it like?
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    Depends

    I'd probably go for 5 bed and fry my own brekfast but either way you could be lucky or unlucky.
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    ... oh on the basis that it's same sex groups of 3+ lads that are the worst at crashing around at 4am. Usually it's Brits or Irish but they'd probably stick you in a dorm with them rather than well behaved europeans.
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    Get drunk, go to bed late, sleep heavily. Problem solved.

    I'd usually take the bigger dorm to meet more people.


    PS: Also if you haven't tried silicon earplugs (available at boots for about £4), you really should. Foam ones suck in comparison.
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    From the comfort of my four bedroom dorm right now...

    I would always choose a small dorm. I've stayed in a few and heard various stories from people in the 10+ beds regarding theft, lights being switched on, snoring, loud people and bag rustlers, people having sex etc etc.

    There's always a chance someone's going to be a nob in a small dorm, but at least that chance is less.
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    smaller smaller smaller. Big ones are just no fun, they can be rowdy and you can't really chat with people as easily. I made an epic friend in a four bed dorm, so epic that she joined my and my friend travelling for a few days in croatia!
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    In the big dorms it was always people slamming the doors and crashing about and turning the main lights on and having loud conversations at 3am, or being sick in their beds and things like that. They can also get pretty cliquey, in my experience, and that's usually a bad thing because one clique will come back and make as much noise as they want in the middle of the night, because they don't give a toss about anyone who isn't in the clique.

    I always prefer the small ones - people always seem to be more considerate. In the small dorms I've had some lovely long conversations with fellow travellers; I actually find it easier to meet other people in a smaller dorm, and there's much less likelihood of cliques forming.
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    bigger room, more people, more friends, more fun!
    plus it's hardly to decect the eventual source of stink, so no embarassing moments!
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    Small dorm, and hope you get with a load of Asians (they sleep early) :p: Women > men too in my experience...
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    Smaller, definitely.

    This'll no doubt annoy a bunch of people, but worst dorm mates in my experience:

    Israelis - Come in at 3am in a group, turn on all the lights and argue at the top of their voices. Cannot go through a door without slamming it. Can't get used to not being in the army.

    Brits/Irish - Fine when sober, but frequently drunk. Try to be considerate but are so damn intoxicated they just make it worse. Lots of giggling and falling over. Occasional fights.

    Aussies/Kiwis - Same as above except louder. Frequently jetlagged and operating in a different timezone to everyone else.

    French/Italians - Consider eating garlicky salami in bed a normal activity. Otherwise fairly peaceful.

    Swedes/Germans/Dutch etc - Usually unpack plastic bags from the bottom of their rucksack at 5.30am before heading off somewhere on bicycles. Unless drunk, in which case they are worse than the Brits. ("Du ar en hoor!" "Nej, DU ar en hoor!" etc, ad nauseam.)

    Japanese - Delightful. Spend most of their time either cleaning or going to bed, changing into pyjamas at the earliest opportunity. Do check occasionally for signs of life as they are so unobtrusive you may want to make sure they are still with us.
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    Has anyone else had experiences with people who are obviously very long term residents? There was a guy in the dorm of one the hostels I stayed in in Auckland whose bed was covered in and surrounded with bags and cases, leaving only a nest in the middle for himself. He didn't use the quilt at all either, preferring to line the bed and cover himself with furs... :curious:... and he always slept naked; I knew this because once when I had to walk past his bed to get out of the room, he was lying there fast asleep with the cover slipped off and I could see everything. It really wasn't a pleasant sight.
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    (Original post by FormerlyHistoryStudent)
    Has anyone else had experiences with people who are obviously very long term residents?
    I stayed in one hostel that was primarily for long-term residents who had temporary jobs in the area (like a few months or so). It created a really nice atmosphere - everyone knew each-other it was like a really big student house. Can't say they were noticeably more naked than usual though, and i think they used the duvets...
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    I'd go for free breakfast every time. You could still get loud people in a small dorm; if they're keeping you up, get some earplugs? I'd imagine you're going to be coming back late a fair amount anyway, no? In terms of getting to know people, I don't think 10 people is too much to get chatting, just depends on the people you get.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    I stayed in one hostel that was primarily for long-term residents who had temporary jobs in the area (like a few months or so). It created a really nice atmosphere - everyone knew each-other it was like a really big student house. Can't say they were noticeably more naked than usual though, and i think they used the duvets...
    Hmmm, I was a kind of long-term resident in a hostel each in Darwin, Sydney, Cairns, Rio and Auckland. Didn't have any problems in the Rio or Darwin ones, but I noticed that in the Auckland and Cairns ones, the long-term people who worked for free accommodation all tended to stick together and be cliquey with each other and the owners. They didn't really speak to the new people very much, even when they were working for free accommodation as well (ie. me and my BF in Cairns.) Yet we also worked for free in Darwin, at the YHA, and this didn't happen. It clearly varies from hostel to hostel, your one sounds lovely too.
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    I'd always go for the small dorm. If there's other people in the dorm there'll always be chance to meet new people, but in the 5 man you certainly will make friends with the others if it's possible. In a 10 man I found things a bit more businesslike. There's lots of people to disturb so everyone's a bit quieter with a "get in, get what you need and get out or go to sleep" attitude.
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    I find the breakfasts rather rank anyway.
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    (Original post by JoMo1)
    In a 10 man I found things a bit more businesslike. There's lots of people to disturb so everyone's a bit quieter with a "get in, get what you need and get out or go to sleep" attitude.
    I always found the opposite to be true - in small dorms people were all pretty friendly with everyone, so took more care to not make noise when going in and out and not disturbing people in the middle of the night. Yet in the big dorms, groups would come in and out and be as obnoxious and inconsiderate as they wanted because since they hadn't spoken to or got to know anyone outside of their group, they simply didn't care if people got annoyed or asked them to be quiet.
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    (Original post by FormerlyHistoryStudent)
    I always found the opposite to be true - in small dorms people were all pretty friendly with everyone, so took more care to not make noise when going in and out and not disturbing people in the middle of the night. Yet in the big dorms, groups would come in and out and be as obnoxious and inconsiderate as they wanted because since they hadn't spoken to or got to know anyone outside of their group, they simply didn't care if people got annoyed or asked them to be quiet.
    You could get 10 nice quiet solo travellers or one or two groups of noisy ultra *******s in a 10 bed dorm. maybe you could ask when you check in.

    your chances are better in the small room imo.

    course I've also been kept awake by inconsiderate groups in a different dorm on the same floor
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    Well, the 10 bed dorm is cheaper by default.. but the smaller ones are always better, yeah.
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    If you're not going for that long - go for the big dorm. Its more sociable, you'll meet more people, you'll end up having better fun than in a tiny dorm.
 
 
 
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