“But it’s so much cheaper!” I remember saying as we scoured hostels online. “Does it really matter? We will hardly ever be in the room! Let’s book it. What could go wrong?”
Those were the words we would come to eat for breakfast our first morning in our hostel.
We woke up and began gathering our shower items, sorting through our scant clothing options for something cute to wear. As we dug, we were oblivious to the guy in the towel who had just entered the dorm room. I found my items first and made my way to the hallway restroom.
Just a few seconds later, Krystal came running into the restroom, cheeks glowing and flustered. “He just dropped his towel!! I saw Italian sausage!”
We quickly learned that though you might assume people would be more conscientious of the opposite sex being in a room, but a lot of people aren’t!
Towels drop, clothes fly off, and you quickly learn to avert your eyes. The strange part is that these hostels clearly provide private places for getting dressed, getting naked, etc. There are restroom stalls, shower stalls, you know – private places! I know there are cultures that have a more open approach to nudity than Americans do, and I am not opposed to nudity at all, but it can be very shocking if you aren’t expecting it!
Krystal had almost recovered from her first nude male encounter when we stepped into our next hostel, realizing that the restroom was mixed gender.
The poor girl went to brush her teeth at night and found herself needing to brush her teeth a second time after a guy splayed eagle in front of her to dry off his parts after his shower, causing her to vomit in her mouth a little.
In my days of mixed-sex hostels, I’ve experienced so much!
Imagine sharing a room with a teenage brother. Yeah, it’s pretty gross at times! Let’s not even talk about the smell of a mixed gender room. I don’t know why, but guys rooms always have a smell! All of your senses can become disturbed. Your smell! Your sight! I’ve even awoken to find the guy in the bed across the room sleeping buck naked, one leg in the air. Never in my life had I been thankful for allergies making my eyes blurry in the morning before this!
Be very aware of this should you decide to book a mixed-sex hostel dorm.
If you don’t have virginal eyes and/or aren’t bothered by nudity, then, by all means, save some money and book a mixed gender room!
Would I book them if I were traveling alone?
Heck no! I only book them when I travel with friends. When I’m with a friend, there is safety in numbers, however, you never know how many people will end up in your dorm. I have been in some dorms which I was completely alone in, and some which were full to the brim.
Due to this, I never want to end up alone in a room with a guy I don’t know, so I only book mixed gender dorms when I have a travel buddy along for the ride.
So why book mixed gender dorms?
Despite the need to stare at my feet the entire time I’m in my room to avoid any accidental sightings, I love saving the money and having extra days to travel thanks to these few spared bucks! Mixed gender rooms can also be completely awesome! Some of the most amazing travelers I’ve met have been guys, and I probably wouldn’t have met them otherwise! Not to mention, if you form a group of hostel buddies, and there are guys in the group whom you feel safe around, you are less of a target should you all hit the town together. Bodyguards, if you will!
Plus, let’s be honest, mixed gender dorms almost always makes for a hilarious tale (or three)!
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