- 1. You'll be sharing this bathroom if you're staying a hostel dorm, and you may be sharing it with the opposite gender (you will most def be sharing with the opposite sex if you're staying in a mixed-gender dorm, where men and women share the same dorm room). If you're female and you haven't lived with a man nor shared the bathroom with one, know this: the toilet seat may get left up. (In some countries, there may not be a toilet seat, which handily eliminates the question of which gender is supposed to leave it in which position; more on kinds of toilets worldwide in a minute).
"En suite" means that the bathroom is attached to or inside your hostel room; generally (but not always), you'll get an en suite bathroom if you spring for a private hostel room ($$$). See some examples of private hostel rooms:
- 2. Not all bathrooms are created the same. Though hostel bathrooms can be quite nice, they can also be visions from some circle of toilet hell. Roll with it: observation and imitation can be a big help when wondering why the bathroom has a hole in the floor; learn more:
- 3. Anytime many people, especially of multiple cultural backgrounds, cohabit in the same water closet, things can get messy. All part of the joys of the multinational learning experiences. Observe good shared-bathroom etiquette, and you'll be fine: (a) don't let the water run while you brush your teeth (folks in droughty and water-rationed countries may especially take exception); (b) don't use up all the hot water (everyone takes exception to that everywhere); (c) don't make gross messes in and around the toilet (self-explanatory); (d) don't leave any trace: take your wet towel with you and wipe your toothpaste out of the sink, for instance.
- 3. Bring flip flops if you're finicky: though thongs worn on the street tend to be a uniquely American fashion statement among world travelers, they do have their place: hostel showers. Whether various worms, fungi and parasites can actually enter the body through the unbroken skin of the feet is a matter best left to experts, but here's what we think of when deciding whether to go shod into a shared shower: somebody else probably peed in there.
Hostel Bathroom PhotosSee what to expect in a handful of hostels where we've remembered to snap a shot -- usually of the best bathrooms we've seen, not the worst... nonetheless, gives some idea of what hostel bathrooms look like:
Learn more about hostels in general:
- "Hostels Growing Up, or Growing Mainstream?"
- "Boutique Hostels Trending Upscale... and Expensive"
- Your Opinion: Should luxury hostels be so designated, and traditional hostels have age limits?