Are Hostels REALLY a Safe Place to Stay (plus some tips!)

Rowan Tree Hostel

If you’ve ever watched the VERY SCARY horror movie, The Hostel (click here for the trailer), you’ll be forgiven for thinking that all hostels are dangerous, scary places where all kinds of very nasty things might happen to you.

(If you’ve never seen it, don’t. If I hadn’t been working in a hostel for several years when I saw it, I would have been put off for life!)

But thankfully, real life is NOTHING like the movie!

The hostels in Ireland are all vibrant, safe and friendly places where you’re more likely to experience adventure, a warm Irish welcome, great food, awesome music and a ton of fun than anything else!

So if you’re a completely newbie when it comes to staying in hostels, you really don’t need to feel worried at all- you’ll be perfectly safe.

Besides, most hostel guests are just like you, and just want a safe and comfortable place to stay whilst they’re on their trip exploring Ireland. Doing anything nasty to you or your belongings is the furthest thing from their mind.

So now we’ve got that out of the way, and I’ve reassured you that hostels are awesome (have I managed that much?), I’d like to share with you eight great tips that will help you stay extra safe whilst you’re staying in one of our Holiday Hostels in Ireland. Enjoy!

How to Stay Extra Safe When Staying in a Hostel

Sleepzone, Galway

1. Check out where the hostel is located

Before you click that ‘book now’ button, make sure you know exactly where the hostel is located. Whilst most holiday hostels are in completely safe places, you don’t want to get any nasty surprises when you arrive.

Like discovering that you’re slap-bang in the middle of the seediest area in town…

Google will be your best friend here- do a quick search with the keywords ‘[area hostel is in] + safe?’ and you should find all the info you need.

If the ‘net isn’t giving you any joy, why not just pick up the phone and call the hostel directly, or email them for help?

2. Arrive during the day

Nothing invites trouble more than wandering around a strange place at night with a ton of bags, a map and a lost expression on your face.

So don’t make this mistake.

Always, schedule your trip so you arrive during daylight hours (be careful during winter as these hours can change drastically) and stay perfectly safe.

3. Lock your valuables away

Hostels are generally very safe places and usually everyone staying is 100% honest and trustworthy. But sadly, sometimes you get someone who ruins it for everyone else and isn’t quite as nice as the others.

That’s why you should always consider using the safety storage service offered by your hostel reception. Usually this is completely free of charge (but do check)- you just need to ask them and they’ll work their magic!

(It’s also worth making sure that you’re not taking silly risks that you’ll later regret. Like leaving your expensive Macbook Air or goPRO unattended whilst you go take a shower. Never a good idea.)

4. Trust your gut instinct

When you’re travelling, always ALWAYS ALWAYS trust your gut instinct to keep you safe.

Because sometimes, your intuition will pick up on something that your conscious mind doesn’t notice and alert you to some kind of danger in your environment.

It’s your job to listen!

5. Don’t get stupidly drunk!

It’s surprising how quickly you can find yourself ‘tipsy’ or even drunk after a few sociable pints of Guinness or a few shots of Irish Whiskey! Even if you’re usually a very responsible adult who doesn’t need to be told that drinking too much is never good.

But please, try not to let yourself get into this state. Because when you get THAT drunk, you get weak, you become incoherent and you’re almost certainly an easy target for trouble.

6. Pick your room type carefully

Rowan Tree Hostel

Hostels offer a wide range of rooms to suit everyone’s needs so make sure you know the type of room you’ve booked, and most importantly, that you’re happy with it.

Most hostels these days have a variety of rooms on offer, ranging from multi-bed dorms, family rooms, female-only dorms and usually singles, twins and doubles too.

So, if you’re a woman travelling alone and you want to book a dorm bed but you’re worried about having men in the same room, book a female-only dorm! If you’d just prefer not to share, just opt for a private room.

Just ask your hostel and they’ll be able to help.

7. Report anything you feel concerned about

Your safety matters to us!

That means if you EVER feel unsure about someone, have a suspicion about them, or even feel harassed or threatened, let us know and we will investigate and then do something about it.

8. Become a travel safety pro

Travel experts always recommend that you keep a stash of emergency money, important phone numbers, a copy of your passport, your credit card numbers tucked away somewhere safe, just in case something does happen.

Even though it’s very unlikely that anything will happen, it’s best to do as the boys scouts do and ‘be prepared’!

So even though you might feel slightly apprehensive if you’re staying in a hostel for the first time, I’d like to reassure you that you really don’t need to be.
Hostels are safe, fun and welcoming. Come along for a visit and you will see for yourself 😉