Nonstop Asia

Since 2018, we’ve helped more than 400,000 people of all ages enjoy the best travel experiences. Whether it’s for one day or a two-week vacation.

Hostel Packing List: Smart Things To Pack

Hostel Packing List

Ah, I despise packing. Is that you at the moment? I’m guessing that’s you right now.

You’re preparing to go backpacking and you’re thinking, “What should I bring to a hostel?”

Yes, it’s tedious.

Packing, on the other hand, is a game! After a few attempts, you’ll see that you’re becoming better and better. Your packing list will soon become second nature – no thought necessary.

But, until that day comes, you’ll need a killer list of hostel essentials.

This is your one-stop-shop for the ultimate hostel packing list: this list! Variables, of course, will vary (as they often do). However, inside this list, you’ll discover a recommendation for just about every hostel need, gizmo, and goodie your mind can think of. Furthermore, it is unlikely that it could for some.

So forget about your packing difficulties because I have the ultimate hostel checklist for you, my darling hostel student.

Table of Contents

What to Bring to a Hostel

I’ll say it again: the variables will vary. What you consider a ‘hostel necessity’ will be heavily influenced by how you travel and the kind of traveler you are. Similarly, where you’re going will influence your packing; hostels in Europe and hostels in Southeast Asia are two quite different experiences.

In general, though, don’t overpack. The age-old wisdom is to take your packing and then reduce it in half – especially your clothing for the hostel. You can under-pack on clothing since you’ll never need as many as you think, plus the chances of discovering free items left over at a hostel are fairly high. The most costly item I possess is a pair of underpants purchased by my mother; everything else was given to me for free.

The Bucket List Goa Best Hostels In India
The Greatest Packing List For The Simplest Hostel Lifestyle

Hostel Packing Tips

How can one become the greatest like no one else has ever been? In general, it’s simply a matter of getting into the habit of doing things. The more precise you are about preparing for the hostel, the faster you will learn the skill of packing:

    • Again, don’t overpack!
    • The goal is to be as organized as possible. Keep your components in logical locations, and remember where they are.
    • Placement should be prioritized. If you’re only passing through and staying at the hostel, have your toothbrush, towel, clean underwear, and other essentials handy.
    • Have you ever wondered how the experts keep their belongings so neatly packed? bum badaThey’s like sacks inside bags only they’re cubes. You could even give them names!
    • Keep your liquids, creams, and the like safe (again, location!) – the last thing you want in a close-quarters shared living environment is a cheeky little bag explosion.

Hostel Tricks

Trickery of the highest kind. I’ll go over a couple of them again as we go, but here’s a list of amazing methods and tips for staying at hostels, whether to save money or simply have a better stay:

    • Make your dorm room into a home. Keep it tidy, hang something for a privacy curtain, hang a dreamcatcher. Simply do something! Make your great self known.
    • Before you start hostelling, learn some delicious dishes. Pack them in your head — they’re cheap but nutritious – then cook up a storm at the hostel. You may make friends by providing supper or earn money by selling it.
    • I didn’t include Tupperware on my hostel packing list since it’s honestly a pain to travel with, but you may want to consider it if you’re the crazy chef type.
    • You may occasionally save money in a hostel by offering to sleep someplace else on the property, such as in a hammock or outdoors somewhere (foreshadowing).
    • I’m not suggesting you should take someone else’s amenities, but they often go unnoticed in the bathroom or shower. Consider it a life-long loan.

Hostel Essentials

Is that enough hostel deception for you? Are you ready to go on to the main course? Good appetite!

The necessities are first on the hostel packing list. You should pack these items regardless of the sort of hostel you’re staying in. They’ll make your stay a lot more enjoyable, and most of them are very necessary for any backpacking trip.

I mean, this isn’t a checklist of items to bring to a hostel. I’m not your mother; I can’t tell you what you should do! But if I were your mother, I’d nag you until you place these items in your pack.

A Smile

Make It Contagious As Well

You can’t even bring a grin with you?

It’s no problem; you can even apply it directly to your face.

When you’re on the road, you’ll need to grin and show off those pearly whites. You’ll meet a lot of interesting people when living at hostels, and the best approach to get to know them is to smile and be kind. You can never underestimate the power of a warm and kind grin.

A Microfiber Towel

Towels are a must-have item for every trip. Interstellar hitchhikers should always have a towel with them. I mean, a backpacker.

Is there a towel service in hostels? There may be situations when this is the case, I don’t know

Do the best ones? Others will give you a complimentary hostel towel, while others will charge you money for the privilege.

Towels made of microfibre material, on the other hand, are a must-have for everyone visiting a hostel. Or, for that matter, any of my other travel accessories.

They’re so little, dry so quickly, and there are so many ways to utilize a towel in our little galaxy that it’s hard to keep up.

Best Microfiber Travel Towel

Check out the Active Roots Microfibre Towel; it’s a towel that just towels like no other towel.

Hostel Packing Best Eyemask

Earplugs and a Sleeping Mask

These are unquestionably essentials at a hostel. Depending on your level of light sensitivity, you may want to use a sleeping mask in addition to earplugs. Free earplugs may be found at certain hostels, which is
awesome! What’s the point of taking the risk?

Pack some earplugs and an eye mask for the hostel since you never know who may be returning after a night of partying intoxicated or who will be conducting terrible actions in the bunk next to you.

Even if you can’t sleep, at least you won’t have to see or hear what’s going on around you.

Best Luggage Travel Lock


It’s a must-have item for every hostel, and it’s something you’ll certainly want to bring. Just as with hostel towels, you may be able to get a lock for free, but that’s unusual.

This is one of the best locks for dorms that you’ll find. Because you can’t lose the number lock, it’s better than a key (try not to forget the code though). You won’t have to deal with the “I only have one key” irritation if you end up sharing a room or locker in the future. Particularly if they guard their key with their life.



Best Headlamp

What’s the point of bringing light inside a dorm? Because if you dare to switch on the dang light, I will find you and turn you into a pie!

We’re back. A good headlamp is a must while staying at a hostel. You won’t have to switch on a light in the dorm, and if someone is banging, you may employ disco-strobe lighting effects to scare them away. Plus, it’s a terrific vehicle for taking on new challenges!

You may check out our list of the best headlamps for travel if you need assistance deciding.

Headphones (Noise-Cancelling or Otherwise)

Sleeping in dorms with headphones in is a nice alternative to earplugs but the fun doesn’t stop there. Wanna watch Youtube while you poop? Pop those suckers in!

Wanna completely ghost someone over breakfast? Well, pop those suckers in!

In all seriousness, headphones are super important hostel packing; some days when staying in hostels, you just don’t feel like talking to anyone. We’ve got a sweet roundup of the best travel headphones but as for me personally?

I travel with headphones with replaceable cords. Before I leave the country I buy like 10 extra cords (the cheapest and most Chinese knock-offs, of course), and that keeps me set. I’ve had the same headphones for years now!

Book or Kindle

How To Swim For Dummies

It’s a guarantee that hostels will have books. Travelers have been exchanging books for as long as the game has existed. Because of this, sometimes spooky novels may be found (or books not in your native language).

A wonderful book for hostel packing list 101. Nothing surpasses the sensation of opening a book that smells like Gramps. However, books are not the most practical travel item, which is why many people have switched to a Kindle.

They’re not a book, but they’re still quite fantastic nonetheless!

Hostel Gadgets

It’s time for Gadget to depart! What with your helicopter head, extended arms, and awesome theme tune, you’ve got your hostel gadget packing down pat.

Or are you saying the same thing? The hostel packing list for gadgets is here!

Best Universal Adapter

Universal Adapter

Add this to your list of items to bring for a vacation unless you’re not traveling overseas. No oddly shaped power outlet will ever defy you again. All gaps must be filled!

Yes, a universal travel adaptor will cover you pretty much anyplace you go. It also has several USB charging connections built-in as an extra benefit!

Hostel Packing Best Charger

Multi-Port USB Charger

Speaking of which, whether it’s a separate charger or a multi-slot universal adaptor, the more holes the better. The maximum number of slots.

Travelers like sharing their experiences, and our holes are no exception. When all the outlets are full and someone needs a hole, give them yours. Sharing your slot with them is the finest approach to building a friend.

Hostel Packing Best Multi Cable

Multi-Charging Cable

It’s like a hydra; USB, Micro USB, and Lightning are all covered! You may or may not need to bring this to a hostel, but a multi-charging cable is so light and simple to carry that there’s no reason not to!

Someone is going to need a charger they don’t have at some point, and that’s when you come in all brave and heroic, delivering power to the public.

Hostel Packing Best Extension Cable

Extension USB Cord

This is a very practical packing method for a hostel, as well as a bit of a gimmick. It’s also quite easy, so I’m always amazed that more people don’t bring it to a hostel.

It’s only a USB extension cord for charging your phone and other USB-charged devices, but it’ll come in useful when your bed doesn’t have a power outlet next to it.

Best Powerbank


Powerbanks are a must-have for backpacking trips and hostel packing.  Okay, I promise this is the last charge thing!

We have a penchant for charging stuff. A power bank is at the top of the list of things to carry hiking, maybe only surpassed by a towel (and a bag). It’s never wasted space — curse you, Nepal’s 46-hour bus journeys! Always have this device with you when you go to a hostel. It’s just what you need when all available spaces are taken.


The speaker-bearing human reigns supreme in the country of the tuneless! The speaker is another essential item to take for hostel life. Make a career as a DJ. Just play some good music.

Breaking down the best travel speakers is another voyage, but my choice is the JBLs: they’re as sturdy as a brick, not too expensive, and the sound quality is excellent.

Ideal for lengthy trips into town to purchase beer or for trekking.

Best Headphone Spltter

Headphone Splitter

It’s not one of my own hostel needs, but it fits with the overall sharing is caring attitude.

When you want to share some music with a pal, use a headphone splitter and you’ll both be rockin’ out together! A headphone splitter would be quite beneficial for viewing Netflix with others.

Hostel Packing Best Pocket Wifi

Pocket WiFi

A pocket Wifi is quite useful for a digitally nomadic hobo. Take your WiFi with you!

If you don’t have roaming coverage and don’t want to purchase a local SIM card, this may also be beneficial for accessing the internet while on the road.

Hostel Clothes Packing List

Here’s another reminder that I’m not your mother. You must bring your clothing to the hostel, buddy!

We have various evaluations of the finest travel outfits, so here are a few examples:

    • Sexy travel pants
    • Sexier travel jackets
    • Sturdy-ass travel shoes
    • Down Jacket is also available (for colder climates)

Do your homework and prepare your clothing for hostel travel correctly! Nonetheless, here are a few items to keep in mind.

Clean Underwear

Best Harem Pants

Harem Pants

Harem pants are awesome! They’re so comfortable that it’s as if you’re wearing nothing at all!

As a bonus, If you sit cross-legged, your massive lap of extra material is ideal for rolling a J over — no waste!

Harem pants are similar to the typical backpacker attire. If you haven’t already invested, now is the moment.

Okay, I’ll keep you in the dark for a while. You only got one motherly moment. Freshly laundered underpants pave the way to good interpersonal connections.


Best Shawl

Shawls — they serve the same purpose as towels but look much better when wrapped over your head like a hood! I have a plethora of hostel packing ideas for shawls:

    • Make a privacy curtain by hanging it over your dorm bed.
    • When you go to do the laundry, wrap your soiled clothing in it like a bag.
    • Shawls are meant to be shared with other chilly folks.
    • Added a blanket!
    • It’s a cushion.
    • A blanket for a picnic
    • A fantastic tool for rolling a joint over.
    • If the hostel has a dog, wrap the shawl over its neck to transform it into Super-Dog.
    • Put some belongings in it and attach it to the end of a stick to make you appear like an authentic hobo.

In your quest, go find your shawl. You are chosen by a shawl. After many places and journeys, you will one day give your shawl to your ambitious dirtbag child. This is the way things go in life.

Best Hostel Packing List Sandal

Sandals / Thongs / Flip-Flops / Slippers / Feet Thingies

At the very least, sandals or thongs are required for trekking. Shoes that are simple to put on and are ideal for warm temperatures.

They’re also great for packing for hostels. Taking your shoes on and off is a bother, but there are many hostels with filthy floors that you may not want to walk on (looking at you, suspiciously colored shower tiles). There are other hostels where people would stare at you strangely if you stroll about without shoes on, but such places are fucked.

Put some thingies on your feet, regardless of where you’re from or what you name them

Hostel Packing Best Mesh Laundry Bag

Mesh Laundry Bag

The following several items aren’t technically hostel attire, but they do fall under the umbrella category. Do you know those mesh laundry bags with holes in them?

This is since you retain all of your clothes inside of it in the washing machine and it all remains together. Genius!

Maybe you already knew, but I didn’t. I wash my clothes by hand most of the time since it’s free (sometimes in an empty bin because the hostel won’t give me a bucket).

Hostel Packing Best Washing Powder

Washing Powder

The name of the game is to save money! Go ahead and be Captain Sillypants if you like paying hostels to use the washing machine and then paying again for the washing powder. Meanwhile, We’ll be over here using the washing powder we got from home to wash our ordinary practical jeans.

The nicest aspect is that you may carry one that is completely biodegradable with you.

And multifunctional. And it smells wonderful! Have you had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Bronner?

Dr. Bronner is someone you should meet.

Hostel Packing Best Scrubbing Brush

Scrubbing Brush

Okay, the last hostel travel needs for keeping your clothing clean and gleaming. If you want to be a broke hiker, you must scrub your clothing! (And always fix them rather than buying new ones and just change your clothing with items found in the trash…)

Right, so this isn’t for everyone, but I’m serious. If you want to save money, wash your clothing at the hostel yourself at least sometimes. You may even acquire one of these laundry bags that will wash your clothes while simultaneously making your breakfast.

Hostel Packing for Fun

Your whole packing list for a hostel stay cannot be made up of just basics and requirements. It’s a dorm. You’re there to have a good time!

Harem Pants

Hostel Packing List Jerry Hallo

Have you seen this guy?

Jerry is his name. He kicks ass and takes some names just to remember who needs another ass-kicking later.

In hostels, Jerry sits on my pillow and watches my stuff. It’s as though my bed is a mini-home.

Even if you go alone, it’s always wonderful to have a companion.

Best Leather Journal


Another item that should be at the top of any packing list for a vacation. Every traveler should pack a journal. You’ll look back on your entries when you’re old and wrinkled and grin.

Sometimes fantastic things happen, and sometimes your mind becomes preoccupied; either way, write about it.

Long Papes

The genuine hero of any hostel is the one who continues to offer skins when everyone else has run out. Be the hero we need. Answer the phone.


It’s what you should bring to a hostel if you get fortunate! You couldn’t pack them, but things happen, and people aren’t prepared, resulting in a lousy night of lackluster hand stimulation and unsatisfied ambitions.

Or, perhaps, you do something idiotic, in which case…

Safety Wings Travel Insurance

But travel insurance isn’t a lot of fun. It certainly is!

What could be more entertaining than reading lengthy insurance policies and spending enormous amounts of money while answering a slew of questions?

Yes, that’s not really ‘fun hostel packing,’ but you could forget those condoms, and then one thing leads to another, and the four-out-of-ten handwork isn’t cutting it, and bang! You must be tested.

Or you might simply trip and tumble down the steps. Don’t be a jerk – always think about top-notch travel insurance coverage!

Members of Nonstop Asia crew have been using World Nomads for a while and have made a few assertions. They’re a user-friendly and competent service provider that the team recommends.

Safety Wings is the only insurance provider The Nonstop Asia trusts to protect them when exploring the world’s most remote corners. Check out our Safety Wings Insurance review to see why we recommend them.

Obtaining a quote from World Nomads is straightforward – just click the button or picture below, fill out the required information, and you’re on your way!


Many hostels will most likely contain some musical instruments. In general, the instruments will be in poor condition. Many hostels would not even have musical equipment. And music is enjoyable.

Taking a guitar or ukulele on the road. There’s a djembe, a harp, and a bloodied triangle – it’s all terrific! Just bring something with you. If you’re a musician, this is a must-have item for your hostel packing.


Many hostels include games and cards, which are similar to instruments. It’s still not a given.

So why not bring a game with you when you travel?

UNO is always a classic, and a deck of cards is a flexible option. For additional ideas, see our compilation of the greatest travel games.

Yoga Mat

Best Yoga Mat

Some people believe that wherever there is a hostel, there is yoga. Aside from that, yoga mats have a plethora of applications!  It’s lovely to simply sit with a friend and watch the sunset.

If you’re a serious Asana fan, a good travel yoga mat is a must-have for your hostel experience. Yoga mats will not be available at all hostels (believe it or not).

Polaroid Camera

In my travels, I’ve met a few of the folks that travel with a Polaroid camera, and I just bless them.

They’re actual, physical images that you may give to someone as a gift right now. It’s pure whimsy.

Backpacking Travel Essentials

The last piece of the hostel packing list goes through some of the most important fundamentals of what to carry travel. These tidbits and bobs may not be considered hostel packing, but they will be quite useful for any foreign hosteling adventures.

If you’re searching for a far more complete list of what to pack for a vacation, go no further than below.


Well, of course. You can’t go hiking unless you have a backpack. We have a plethora of delicious stuff about backpacks for you to read – cheers for intelligent purchasing!

    • Best Hiking Backpacks
    • Laptop Backpacks Mega-Review
    • The Best Travel Bags
    • Carry-On Backpacks Roundup

I will, however, direct your attention to AER Travel Pack 2 and our assessment of it. It’s a contemporary backpack that was created with a certain sort of backpacker traveler in mind.

It could or might not be perfect for you, but it’s worth a look.

Best Backpack Boom
Best Backpack Boom
Best Active Roots Daypack


Active Roots folding daypacka basic travel daypack. Also, don’t forget to bring a daypack. You’ll meet new people and go on hostel excursions, most likely to stunning waterfalls or labyrinth-like tunnels. You’ll be doing something, and it’ll be an experience!

So bring a daypack! One person will be in charge of the lengthy papes and rubbers. What about something light that folds up into a teeny-tiny nothing?

Best Toiletry Bag

Toiletries and Hanging Toiletry Bag

Packing toiletries for a trip is a chore. What are your plans? What can you purchase while driving? But, as if by magic, you now have the ideal toiletry packing list in your perfectly moisturized palms. Is there anything else you’re overlooking?

Yes, a hanging toiletry bag. Pockets, organization, and the freedom to hang it wherever there is a hook: it’s a type-dream! A’s a wet dream. Get one of these and you’ll never forget your toothbrush again. That’s not true; the toothbrush is constantly forgotten.

Backpacking Tent

Why would I bring a tent if I’m staying at a hostel?

Hold your horses, I’ve got a great hostel trick! If you ask to pitch a tent outdoors, you may be able to negotiate a cheaper price at a hostel (depending on a variety of factors). Furthermore, sleeping outdoors by oneself is incomparably superior to sleeping in a hostel with nine other people’s sleep-gases.

Best Backpacking Tent

You don’t need an expensive tent, however; a cheap hiking tent will suffice in most climes. Here’s our resident backpacking expert’s top recommendation.

First Aid Kit

Trave First Aid Kit

So any half-baked hostel should have first aid kits on hand. However, many fully-equipped hostels still do not. It’s also very dependent on where you are on the globe.

The amount of travelers I’ve met who don’t have a first-aid kit astounds me. “I’m going to go to far-flung regions but not bring any medical supplies!”

Bring a bloodied first aid kit with you to the hostel and any backpacking expedition. Don’t be the jerk who traveled 10,000 kilometers across the world without even a bandaid

Mosquito Net

Yes, It’s not essential for all conditions, but when it comes in handy, you’ll be pleased you carried it.

In general, hostels in climates that require a mosquito net tend to have them. They’re also usually shite and full of holes. This is when including a mosquito net on your hostel packing list comes in useful.

Fuck you, mosquitoes.

Best Water Bottle Iron Flask

Travel Water Bottle

Plastic must be avoided! Plastic is a moron. Even more stupid than mosquitoes.

Carry a reusable water bottle with you and you’ll never need to purchase another plastic bottle again. As a result, you are a part of the solution.

Iron Flask press water bottle is very cool, plus it’s also insulated. Forget about water; water is just for losers! Instead, fill that stuff with scalding hot mead. Plastic was not used by the Vikings.

Best Filtered Water Bottle

Filtered Water Bottle

The ultimate backpacking trip must-have, especially if you’re traveling in a nation with tainted drinking water. Seriously, between the money, you’ll save on water and the plastic you’ll save, bringing a solid filtered water bottle to a hostel is an absolute must.

We always propose the Life Straw as the ultimate badass premium option. That aforementioned backpacking gear expert even reviewed it right here.

Money Belt

Best Security Belt

Oh, money belts are very handy! They’re a great way to keep your money secure, and you’ll always know where your passport is. It’s right there, idiot!

I like those with many pockets for maximum storage (again, condoms and weed). You also have smart and easy-to-use concealed spy belts that will keep your cash safe. In any case, a belt-themed bag to keep your belongings handy is a must-have for a hostel stay.

Sleeping Bag Liner

There’s a method to packing this for a hostel, just as there is with the tent. Hostels supply bedding – I’ve yet to come across one that didn’t – and bringing travel sheets to a hostel is ridiculous.

Having said that, the hostel bedding may be a little musty at times, and not in a good manner.

Also, there are occasions when it is just insufficient, and you will be chilly. In any situation, a sleeping bag liner is important. Here’s the liner I’ve been using for years.

It’s similar to a portable sleeping sheet, but it’s much more versatile than simply packing for hostels. Just remember to, uhh, wash it. I’m speaking from experience.


Okay, so with this packing, you could avoid the hostel all. At this point, you may as well sleep outdoors. Trekking hammocks are ideal for this purpose!

However, they’re also great for smoking joints, relaxing with buds (heh), or thumping in!

Perhaps, but most likely not. I’m not sure, I’ve never tried.

Still, hammocks are always fantastic, and bringing one to the hostel just implies you’re the amazing man who brought the awesome hammock. Be fantastic.

Hostel Packing List Complete!

What a beautiful list! It’s certainly not the ideal hostel packing list for you, but that’s half the fun!

Take what works, pick up a pen and paper, and create your own.

All of this being stated, the most essential thing to remember to bring to a hostel is a positive attitude. In general, if you’re in a pinch and have forgotten one of your basics, someone at the hostel will be able to assist you. T’s what makes hostels so appealing.

Every person is a traveler. Everyone understands. Remember to smile, share your joints and slots, and have an open heart for everyone you encounter. So, please, be a nice hostel visitor!

Don’t forget about the bloody toothbrush.

Share this article:

Recommended Services

Sending Money

Wise is the cheapest and fastest way to send money to Thailand. I use it and so do many of my readers. Go here to get your first transfer free.

Bank Account

Need an international bank account that holds multiple currencies and lets you transfer, receive & spend wherever you are, with a MasterCard. I’ve used one for 5 years. Check out here


Hotels: Agoda offers good deals on hotels in Asia. This is because they are located in the region and secure lots of special promotions. It’s also worth trying Hostel comparison.

Travel Insurance: SafetyWings is great for trips to Asia and elsewhere. I’ve used them for over 10 years

Powered by 12Go system

– read more –

Related stories

Best Clubs in Bangkok

16 Best Clubs in Bangkok In 2022

One thing to remember though folks, especially for travelers to Bangkok. Bangkok is a booming international city, and although there is a ‘travel’ vibe to