I found a clean + modern looking hostel where I will be staying for 4 nights in Paris. (I'm actually kicking myself because I waited too long to find a decent hotel I could afford. Oh well, that money will have to go towards other things...) My only reservation is that I will have at least one piece of large baggage, and even though I have some hostel experiencenot in a big city, and not where the hostel was completely bookedI'm worried about safety. I can't see how there would really be a problem, but I would like to hear from others about how to protect "things" in a shared living space like a hostel. Sleep with wallet/key to baggage?
Will, Most Hostels provide Lockers, but guests usually have to provide their own Padlocks. If you didn't bring a Padlock, many Hostels sell cheap models. It's important to protect things like money, credit cards, Passport and electronics, so those would go in the Locker. In my experience, most people in Hostels don't worry too much about leaving their large Packs open with clothing and so on, as there's nothing there that's too attractive to thieves. Having said that, I always lock my main Pack if I'm out of the room and my Camera bag stays in the Locker. Happy travels!
Ken, thanks for sharing your experience. Much appreciated.
Typically, you will have a locker that looks like the long lockers in a gym and requires a gym lock you bring with you. Definitely keep your stuff locked up. Hostels aren't bad but they have a deserved reputation for items disappearing that were left unattended "just for a second".
Re Brad's: "a deserved reputation for items disappearing that were left unattended" We left our extra gear in the basement left luggage storage room at an Oslo hostel for two weeks a number of years ago. Our bag was too big to fit the lockers but we noticed that many others just left their bags in the luggage room. We were away for 10 plus days in the mountains and did not have any problems. The "deserved reputation" for theft may be partly country related. That said, don't leave anything that you cannot do without or cannot replace unattended. And yes, hostels sell locks and sleep sacks for those of us who didn't know the routine.
Will, One comment on the previous two replies..... The items that are more likely to "disappear" in a Hostel are things like expensive electronics (iPhones, Tablets, iPods or smaller items that are easy to pocket). Those should be kept in the Locker and don't leave them alone while they're charging. The highest risk seems to be when other guests in a Dorm room will be checking-out, as once they're gone it's almost impossible to find them even if a Police report is filed (nor is it worth the effort for Police). From what I've seen (so far), things like clothing (especially dirty clothing) and toiletries usually never disappear. Many people using Dorm rooms just leave their packs completely open, either on their Bunk or stuffed in the corner. One other point to mention - be sure to take a Towel and soap, as those won't be provided. Some Ear Plugs may be a good idea too, in case one of your room mates snores like a Gorilla! I've had that happen (it's a long story). Cheers!
Thanks all, thanks again Ken.
For the lurkers: The thread discusses urban hostels and the perceived rampant theft and the need to sit on your junk, have locks etc. Beats me, it's been way to many years since I've stuck my nose in one. BUT, rural hostels are a different story. In these there's electronics scattered all over the place. Laptops and tablets are left on beds during the day, the common rooms (which have more outlets) are full of stuff charging during the night, lockers are around but they're used without locks. People move others folks things, but not very far and only after checking that everwhat they move is topped off. Wallets and passports are left on the bed when you tromp off to the shower. A few months ago a gal came into the common room and flopped on the couch after leaving her jacket, wallet, and phone on a prime chair. She eventually trundled off to the sack, we needed the seating space, somebody stuffed the small stuff in the jacket and put it on a hook in the foyer.