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How to Secure Your Belongings In a Hostel

How to Secure Your Belongings In a Hostel

Maintaining Security in the Hostel Life

Keeping safe on the road is a constant concern to most travelers.  In this light, maintaining security of ones personal goods is no exception to this rule.  After all, when you are traveling your bag is both your lifeline and your house, if you think about it.  Below are a few tips that I believe will help you store your valuables and personal items safely.  While you are here, don’t forget to read my hostel etiquette tips!

  1. Check for security lockers when searching for a hostel.  Whether you are using HostelWorld or Hostel Bookers, both have amenities available lists when looking over hostels.  Some hostels offer security lockers, lock boxes, or the like.
  2. Bring a good padlock.  Having a good padlock is the next step to keeping your goods locked up and secure.  Security lockers only get you so far.  Tip: Try to steer away from generic padlocks as they are outdated and quite easy to crack open.
  3. Never flash any valuables. Regardless of it being electronics, appliances, money, jewelery, or something else that can be perceived as valuable.  It will only be a target to a would be thief.
  4. Hide your belongings.  Do not leave your things in plain sight for others to view.  Once you have gotten the things that you need from your bag, either store it under your bed or in a locker.
  5. When in doubt, carry it with you.  If you ever have any security doubts about the place that you are staying, carry those things with you that you cannot afford to lose (i.e. passport, money, credit cards, laptop).

Tip 1: Never carry large amounts of cash.  It is just too easy to lose and get stolen.

Tip 2: When searching for a hostel, in addition to checking for security amenities, you can also view their security rating and read reviews by others.

Tip 3: It is never a bad idea to have a smaller backpack or bag to carry your belongings in on short trips or when you are exploring.  Just be mindful that you need to protect this bag when walking around a new city.


Have you had bad experiences securing your things in a hostel or any other accommodation that you have stayed in?  Are there any special practices that you use that you could add? 

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  1. Really great information, thanks! I was always wondering about how people are able to keep their stuff safe in hostels. I thought that they were unsafe.

    • Thanks Zara! Well, hostels can be ‘unsafe’ but the majority of them have many security amenities like lockers and key cards to help prevent any form of theft. I have heard of some places with little security measures with no theft, whereas I have heard of the opposite as well. You should check with the hostel before going to see what amenities they have.

  2. I wish more backpacks had locking zippers, but there’s also the option of lockable bags you can attach to the bed. I might pick up one of those at some point…
    SnarkyNomad recently posted…Why the Seven Wonders of the World are totally stupidMy Profile

    • Interesting suggestion. I think the problem with just relying on zippers is that people can physically take a bag, then cut it later. Locking something to a bed is also a good suggestion though. Maybe worth looking into.

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