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Youth hostels - big dorm or small? watch


    I instinctively go for the small dorms whenever cheaper, but I always end up preferring the big dorms. As others have said - they are more sociable. Depends if you are interested in meeting new people or not.

    You can meet new people in small dorms too, and in fact the people I've met in small dorms have all been nicer than the ones I met in big dorms. In any case, you can meet lots of new people in the kitchen/ TV room/ internet area/ general common room too. Just because you go for a small dorm it doesn't mean you're not going to meet new people or be sociable. If anything, you get the best of both when in a small one IMO.

    Solo people are best, groups of two are usually fine, but larger groups usually cause problems (noise, inconsiderate to people outside their group, unfriendly etc). Larger dorms mean more chance of big groups, you're unlikely to be put in a 5 bed dorm with a group of 4 other people travelling together. More likely you will be with 2/2/1 or 1/1/1/2.

    Bear in mind larger groups of 3+ are also more likely to choose to be in 10 man dorms because of the social side and confidence in numbers. People travelling on their own, or those who want to be more quiet are likely to choose 5 beds for the reasons discussed in this thread.

    Just because people want to be quiet doesn't mean they aren't friendly. Go 5 bed for quiet, 10 bed for more noise but more chance to party etc if you're that way inclined.

    Free breakfast in my experience are generally not really worth it. Check the hostel reviews, if it's good people will mention it.

    (Original post by Jez RR)
    I've found you can get noisy people from anywhere really, except east Asia. I've never experienced a noisy Japanese/Korean/Chinese person. Chinese people are pretty loud too, perhaps it's because those who stay in hostels are generally quite high class / foreign I dunno.

    (Original post by FormerlyHistoryStudent)
    Regarding long stay residents, yes I've experienced it a lot. Sometimes it's bad because they believe they have more of a right to the place than you do, other times it's fine. Just depends on their personality. Can't say it's really something that sticks in my mind as a bad thing though, so can't of been too many bad experiences. I did have one guy in China that would always turn the air con into a heater to dry his washing, which mean't the room was freaking boiling. His stuff was everywhere too.

    Go for the big dorm if you get a free breakfast. Yeah people come in and it sometimes wakes you up but most people tend to be considerate.

    (Original post by Jez RR)
    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.
    You forgot Spanish.

    Spanish - Entirely inconsiderate, far worse than all the other groups even when the other groups are drunk! Everywhere i've stayed with Spaniards in the same room they've seen no problem with bringing in a million other Spanish people at 4 in the morning, switching the lights on, talking at the top of their voices etc. They are also very possessive of space - any area that isn't filled with their crap soon will be upon their arrival. If you ask them to kindly not switch the lights on in the middle of the night, or to talk a bit quieter, expect a look like you've spat in their face.

    I agree with the Japanese thing. They are so orderly. Most of the Japanese people i've shared a dorm with snore horrendously, probably because they seem to like sleeping on their back like they are lying in a casket. They are basically just a more humble British person, but for some reason their politeness doesn't vanish when they've had a drink.

    OP i'd go for the smaller dorm. You can meet people in the communal area, you don't need to share a room and a shower with people to get to know them. I've gone from both ends of the spectrum, top end 5* hotels and 18 person dorms in Amsterdam, and I have to say my favourite would be a small double room that is attached to a hostel so you get to meet people but you also get peace and privacy.

    id stay in the smaller room tbh... bigger rooms maybe if you're travelling alone or wanting to meet new people. but if you just want a place to sleep/dump your luggage... smaller defo.

    if you're going touristy spain then breakfast will be cheap anyways... also, if it's a drunken hol, then breakfast time for you may be much later than the hostel offers.
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