Packing list for staying in a hostel

In this article, I will talk about all the basic stuff you will need while staying in a hostel. Moving into a hostel can be less than thrilling and being clueless as to what to pack can add to the misery, but don't worry I got your back. This list will guide you through.


Hostel. Ugh! I hate that word. I dread that word. Alright, alright, some find living in a hostel enjoyable and even delightfully memorable. Not me though. Staying in a hostel can be a nightmare or a pleasure or it can be something in the middle.

Regardless of whether you like joining a hostel or not, whether your experience exceeds or fails your expectations eventually, you should be equipped with the following paraphernalia to survive the ordeal, erm, I mean, hostel.

The basics

Bath and Self-care essentials

  • Water bucket
  • Water jug
  • Soap box
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Carpets/ Door mats
  • Towels
  • Comb/ Hair brush
  • Mirror
  • Ear buds
  • Hair oil
  • House slippers
  • Nail clipper
  • Hand towels
  • Hand wash
  • Sanitary pads

Bed essentials

  • Bedsheets/ covers
  • Blanket
  • Pillow
  • Pillow covers
  • Sleep mask

First aid essentials

  • Sterile cotton
  • Sterile gauze of various sizes
  • Plasters of various sizes
  • Painkillers that you commonly use at the discretion of your doctor
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors-have one dedicated for first aid
  • Band aids
  • Alcohol-free cleansing wipes
  • Antiseptics
  • Thermometer
  • Skin rash cream
  • Burn cream
  • Anti-repellant cream/ spray
  • Anti-histamines
  • Distilled water
  • Anti-emetics
  • Other medicines prescribed by your doctor

Closet essentials

  • Hangers
  • Sweater

Laundry essentials

  • Laundry detergent
  • Clothes brush
  • Laundry bag
  • Clothesline
  • Clothes clips/ pegs

Cooking essentials

  • Induction stove
  • Pans and Pots
  • Ladles
  • Knife
  • Spoons and forks
  • Grater
  • Dish detergent
  • Dish scrub
  • Plates
  • Water glasses
  • Tiffin/ Lunch boxes

Security essentials

  • Lock pad and keys for your room, closet, and suitcases/ luggage bags
  • Keychain-It is better to have a number combination lock pad, so you don't have to worry about carrying keys every time you step out of your room. Let us be honest; we always forget the keys.

Stationary essentials

Stationery comes in handy; it always does. When should not be a question.
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Sharpeners
  • Glue/ Glue stick
  • Stapler
  • Stapler pins
  • Scissors
  • Cellophane tape
  • A small notepad-to note down laundry details in case you have laundry services. You can also use some notes app on your phone.

Pandemic essentials

  • Facemask
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant spray for surfaces


  • Multipurpose-use storage containers-small and big
  • Wallet
  • Handbag
  • Stationary holders
  • Fevikwik-Come on, now. Don't tell me you never used it in the most unexpected turn of events.
  • Small storage trays to keep you room keys/ frequently used hair accessories

Other stuff you might need

  • Deodorant
  • Mouth wash/ rinse
  • Dental floss
  • Tongue scrapper
  • Fabric softener
  • Tissues
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Dehumidifier of some kind
  • Pedestal fan
  • Closet fresheners
  • Bathroom fresheners
  • Room fresheners
  • Shelf liner
  • Self-adhesive hooks/ tape to hang up the stuff that reminds you of sweet home

Depending on whether you are staying in a school or college hostel, you may not need some of these things. Some hostels provide some of these things like water buckets/ jugs and keys to closets and laundry services. Make sure to check in with your hostel administrator about whether electrical items such as induction stoves are allowed and what all will be provided by the hostel.

If you would like to cook yourself a delicious meal in your room, check out my easy one dish recipe.

I hope everyone has a good hostel life and I wish everyone the best. Let me know in the comments below if you would add anything else. Also, what is something you didn't realize you needed until that one moment?


Author: Umesh29 Jun 2022 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 1

I remember that during my PG, I was staying in a rented room and had a small kitchenette attached to it and I had more and less the same inventory as mentioned by the author in this article. The only difference was that I had a kerosene stove for cooking purposes.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao29 Jun 2022 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

The author has not left out any article to be packed so that I can add on to it. A very elaborated list of items has been given by the author.

I stayed in a hostel for about 2 years during my Post Graduation. But the hostel is the university hostel where food need not be cooked by the student and hostels are providing food also. So I never carried those items required for cooking to my hostel room. The university hostel was having a first aid center and all the items mentioned by the author were available in that center and there was no necessity for me to pack them while going to the hostel.

As mentioned by the author, hostel life is not very encouraging and food may not be as per our expectations and we have to compromise and manage.

Author: Dr. Paresh Gujarati16 Jul 2022 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

The author did a fantastic job by listing the required packing list. Normally I do the packing in my own way. I imagine each situation starting from when I get up in the morning. What do I need when I get up in the morning? I list all of them down. For example, brush, toothpaste, towel at the time of taking bath, clothes to wear after bathing, belts, perfumes, shoes and socks. This was part one. If I have to visit some place after that, I think about the travel list for that city. This is my way to pack the things. This helps us not to forget any important items while traveling.

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