Staying in do I pack?

Old Jul 10th, 2006, 12:28 AM
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Staying in do I pack?

I'll be staying in hostels, for the most part, throughout my trip through italy and france. I've never done hostels before, so I'm not acquainted with how you would prepare. I know I'll most likely be sharing a room with three or more others. Is a large backpack the norm, or is standard luggage ok? Do I have to carry my stuff around, or do I leave it back in the hostel room? Advice appreciated.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 01:01 AM
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I've stayed in hostels many times before.

1)Luggage is a personal preference, both backpack or suitcase works. Bring a lock, b/c the better hostels have lockers(my advice is a stong comboone, but perhaps to be on safe side, not the big master locks b/c they might not fit).

2) Bring towel, hanging toiletry bag. When you're sharing a bathroom, you don't want your stuff touching anything. Also, it's just more convenient. I like to bring a plastic bag, to put my clothes/etc in while in the showers, so my stuff doesn't get wet.

3) I bring a flat sheet, b/c some (very few)charge for sheets, but mainly b/c i prefer to know that my sheets were only slept on by myself.

4) Yes, you can leave your stuff in the hostel. I've never had anything stolen from me. However, don't leave money or passport, general valuables in the room. Otherwise, I can't imagine why anyone would want someone else's dirty clothes.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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When I was hosteling through Ireland and the UK, the common practice was for the hostels to charge a pound or so for the sleep sheet. Not sure if that's true now in Italy and France. I paid for the sheet rental that rather than buy my own to save room in my backpack. You might also want to bring flipflops for the shower, but again, to save room, I didn't bring flipflops and just powdered my feet after each shower so I wouldn't get any foot diseases.

I think theft does happen in the hostels in the big cities - I heard of someone getting his shampoo stolen in Dublin - but I think you'll be fine as long as you keep an eye on your stuff. I used to leave my towels and undies hanging out to dry all day and never had a problem.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 10:16 AM
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Also bring a cable lock so that incase there aren't lockers you can hook your stuff to the bed (of course you can't leave valuables this way - so also bring a day pack). My backpack came with a detachable day pack - that was a good idea. Also bring little locks for your zippered compartments and organize and arrange the keys and spare keys in an appropriate place.

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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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Along with responses here on Fodor's... also check the Thorn Tree which is the Lonely Planet's web forum. Secondly the Rick Steves website. These both provide loads of tips about hostels &/or packing for budget travel.
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