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HOSTELLING ADVICE


If you are a first-time hosteller, here are some top tips to help you get the most out of your hostelling experience


TOPTIPS PLAYTIME! Get


Don’t be shy, say hi! A dumb question asked by a friendly stranger


FAMILY ROOMS


Book in advance A cheap private room in a prime Youth Hostel is


a commodity that only early birds catch – especially families, since small children must stay in a private room. Try and make your reservations in advance if you can.


instantly breaks the ice. “Do they hire towels here?” “Can I borrow a little milk for my coffee?” At one Youth Hostel, a general request for tweezers produced four pairs, a doctor, and so much goodwill that the skelf barely hurt anymore. If all else fails, just smile.


FRIENDLY FACES


Solo travellers welcome Our friendly Youth Hostels are a great place


to visit solo. Many people come on their own for some hiking or beachcombing by day, then spend evenings in the company of other travellers.


Read the noticeboard Youth Hostel reception desks function as


equal parts concierge and visitor centre. Our staff are usually locals but always have great recommendations for cheap, unique places to go and to eat. Tey’ll often direct you to a big bulletin board of local events and outings, and, like Oban Youth Hostel, may have library binders of activities and local menus as well.


physical You’re here to play outside and get dirty. As nature calls, so does Gortex, waterproof fabrics, proper shoes, hats, suntan lotion, binoculars and layered clothing. Your outdoor adventures may come with wind, rain and sun, all in one day. Pack for comfort – but don’t over pack. Most of our Youth Hostels have a washing machine and drying if you need them.


Bring


earplugs ... in case of snoring!


Flip-flops are useful in the shower and as indoor slippers. Pack a large scarf too; in a lower bunk bed, tuck it under a mattress above for a curtain that lets you read or sleep in your own den.


PEACEFUL PLACES YOUTH HOSTEL ETIQUETTE


Keep it clean Our Youth Hostels should look like your living


room, but with more interesting company! Te key is courtesy; clean up after yourself, wash your dishes, don’t take forever in the shower, control your kids and keep the noise level down.


Make simple meals You can theoretically cook a gourmet meal in


our self-catering kitchens, but then you’d also have to wash all those dishes. It’s a better idea to bring low-prep foods, like homemade soups or stews that reheat well, or one happy hosteller’s personal favourite, a whole pre-made roast chicken. Don’t forget easy breakfast foods and items for a packed lunch.


And here are some top tips from our Facebook friends We asked our Facebook friends this question: ‘When you pack your bag for a hostelling trip, what is the item you can’t leave home without?’ Teir answers included: iPhone and


charger; music; coffee pot and a good supply of ground Arabica coffee; SYHA membership card; a map and camera; walking poles and earplugs. Other fun answers included: “My fiancée


82 SCOTTISH HOSTELLER 2012


No stag and hen parties We have no rule that says no drinking, but the


peace you find in our Youth Hostels is directly related to lack of partying. After a day outside exploring, all you’ll need to unwind is a hot meal and a shower. We find that a cup of tea works a treat after a hard day on the hills.


when planning a wedding at Loch Lomond Youth Hostel!” and “My wife!” With special thanks to our Facebook


friends, Hostelling International and examiner.com


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