1. Done Laundry In A Communal Sink
When you think about it, this is actually a pretty gross thing to do. Sinks are full of germs, dirt and a whole lot of assorted gunk – so using them to clean ones clothes is actually fairly counterproductive!
However, doing laundry in many hostels will set you back anywhere from a few dollars up to around $10 – which for some people is the equivalent of like two or three days worth of food! As a result, pretty much every backpacker in existence has done a shoddy DIY wash job in a bathroom sink and used their hostel bunk as a drying rack.
It may not be ideal, but at least its cheap!
2. Survived On Nothing But Instant Noodles For A Week (Or More)
I like to call this the ‘Broke Backpacker Diet’. Basically, such a diet involves consistently eating anything that is non-perishable and dirt cheap, despite the very real possibility of developing scurvy!
When I travelled through Greenland, food was unbelievably expensive (and with the exception of literally two meals) I ate instant noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am definitely not the first backpacker to have lived off such a diet, and I will certainly not be the last.
Sometimes we travel to eat, and other times we sacrifice decent food to help fund more time on the road.
3. Used Soap As Shampoo (and Vice Versa)
Is this good for your hair and skin? Nope! But y’know, in a pinch you can make anything a lot more multi-purpose than you initially expected.
4. Had Sex In A Dorm
If you haven’t done this before but you stay in hostels regularly, rest assured that there is still a high chance that it will happen!
We all know that having sex in a dorm room is totally not cool, but sometimes it just seems to be the only option. Picture this: you have found yourself totally enamoured with another person, you have had a couple of drinks, the chemistry between the two of you is palpable and at that point in time, all you can think about is getting naked with this new person. However, unless you are willing to risk getting arrested for public indecency, you find that your dorm is the only place semi suitable for getting your rocks off.
Is it acceptable? Not at all! But have a lot of backpackers done it? Yep, they most certainly have.
5. Gone 3 (or More) Days Without Bathing
I honestly can’t explain it, but once you really get into the backpacker mentality, personal hygiene goes totally out the window. We aren’t (completely) disgusting, it’s just that embracing the ‘euro bathing’ lifestyle (face, underarms and nether regions get washed) can be so much easier, and if you are staying in a hostel without hot water, can be the only way to make bathing bearable.
To whoever invented baby wipes/face wipes – so many backpackers owe you big time.
6. Given Themselves A DIY Haircut
If you haven’t ever haphazardly attacked your locks with some dodgy scissors, maybe you haven’t been on the road long enough! There comes a time when you just need a haircut, but if you are on a budget, paying someone to do it is pretty much out of the question.
Funnily enough, the act of cutting my own hair has persisted. Even though now I am financially stable enough that paying for a haircut won’t mean forgoing food for a week, I often still just give my hair little trims when the mood strikes.
7. Paid For A Meal Entirely With Coins
To the restaurant in Budapest that I frequented and then never paid in anything but piles of change – sorry guys, my bad.
8. Entered A Restaurant or Cafe Purely For The Free WiFi
So many backpackers bang on about ‘dining like a local’ and ‘immersing themselves in culture through food’, but what they don’t tell you is how many Starbucks chains they have entered just so they could do a little scroll on social media.
9. Silently Imagined Ways of Murdering The People Having Sex In The Bunk Above You
The irony! The hypocrisy! Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.
But even though so many backpackers are guilty of getting their rocks off in a dorm, it is still unbelievably annoying when it is someone else doing it!
10. Forgone Shaving and Let So Much Bodily Hair Grow Free
See #5. This is especially true if you are travelling in colder climates – nothing like thick clothing and plummeting mercury to make you want to let your hair (leg, facial, arm etc) grow free and possibly add a little extra insulation.
11. Had Beer For Breakfast
Nothing like a little hair of the dog to help one recover from a night out partying!
12. Developed A Crush on A Hostel Staff Member
I don’t know what it is – but there are some people who seem to become insanely more attractive when they go into a certain career and profession. Bartenders, firemen, musicians and hostel workers all fit within this category.
It is inexplicable, but for some reason, developing crushes on hostel staff is a pretty common phenomena.
If this happens to you – buy them a drink, you never know what will happen!
13. Stolen Food From A Hostel Breakfast
Finding a hostel with a free breakfast is the backpackers equivalent of finding the holy grail. If there is uncut fruit (think bananas, apples, oranges), bread, packaged condiments or muesli bars – you better believe that most of it will not actually be eaten at breakfast. Extra pieces of fruit and haphazardly made sandwiches get sneakily shoved into backpacks by pretty much anyone looking to save a few bucks.
14. At Times Became Really Sick of Living Out of A Backpack
Aching muscles, dirty clothes, broken belongings and eating nothing but cheap shitty food for days can sometimes start to wear on people…
15. But Not For Long, Because A Backpacking Iife Is One of The Happiest Lives Around!
Just ask any backpacker, they wouldn’t trade it for anything.