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6 essential tactics for dorm room survival

Toenail clippings on your bed… The token old creepy man… Someone using your tooth brush… strange noises that go bump in the night… Sounding like one of those dorm room horror stories.

Today’s blog comes from Amy Baker, a travel writer currently holed up in London writing her first book. You’re most likely to find her dreaming of a return to Vietnam or staring out of her window plotting which neighborhood cat to “borrow”. Ideally, we would all travel the world sleeping upon mattresses woven from ethically harvested liger fur in 8-star hotels in Vietnam that are lovingly cleaned from top to bottom every day, but sadly that just isn’t realistic. When temperatures are through the roof, no-one has the cash to splash on air-con and there are 18 of you crammed into one room straight from a 24-hour bus ride, tensions will arise. Follow these tips to ensure you don’t end up with 17 new enemies and zero sleep…

Unless you want a night being subjected to jabs through the slats in your bunk bed or people “accidentally” punching you en-route for a midnight pee, don’t book into a huge dorm room if you snore. If you’re cursed with narrow nostrils and a tendency to sleep on your back, be sensitive and consider booking a private room, or invest in one of those plastic nose strips.

Do you have any idea how noisy that massive bag is to pack? A dark dorm room can present a million and one opportunities to injure your lower legs in the middle of the night… but don’t turn the light on. Just don’t. Also, if you are getting up early, make sure that you have packed your bag the night before like a thoughtful human being. There is nothing more infuriating that someone “quietly” trying to locate all of the belongings they have scattered around the room in time to catch their 6am coach.

When there is just one measly fan to service an underground room chock full of bunk beds and backpacks, you don’t mess with that fan. Remember, that noisy piece of tin is the one source of air movement for everyone calling that room home for the night. Every self-respecting backpacker needs to know that their £3 a night has bought them something other than a lumpy bed and a plastic mattress cover.

Picture the scene… an unusually peaceful dorm room. 9 out of 10 beds full of people sleeping soundly. Then, disaster strikes. A lusty couple who have spent the whole day drinking shots in the bar lurch in, not caring one jot who they wake up with their inebriated moans and groans. Find some other surroundings; roof terrace, gardens, pool…there are a lot of options. Be creative.

The array of things I’ve witnessed in dorm rooms would make your eyes water. People trying on my clothes without prior consent, a stranger thinking it was acceptable to share my toothbrush, a dude cutting his toenails on my bed… the list goes on. Keep your weird habits for the bathroom.



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