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Being on a tight budget when you travel is half the fun of backpacking, working out where to say, how to eat for cheap, what local booze you can procure. Having to spend half your daily budget on replenishing your deodorant, shower gel and toothpaste supplies is not so much fun however.

lost toiletries

What’s worse still is leaving your stuff in the communal hostel shower block. Schoolboy error. You’ve pushed the boat out and bought that sexy new Nivea, exfoliating shower gel, you know the one with the ‘bits’ floating around, God it’s expensive but it just feels so good. Can’t wait to have a shower this evening.


Shower time, moan and groan in ecstasy as you scrub off today’s traveling dirt, you feel every cent of that $7 bottle as you feel cleaner than you’ve ever been before. Heaven. Ok so it was pricier than the normal shower gel, but it’s awesome so it’s ok. And besides, it’s gonna last at least 3 or 4 weeks. I’ll get my money’s worth. Dry off, return to your room, get changed, leave.


Shower time the next day, grab your towel and get ready to shower. “Boys, where the hell is my new shower gel? Have any of you used it?”, “nope. No. no mate”. Hmmm. Then you remember.


You left it in the shower cubicle. Oh shit.


Swiftly sprint to the shower cubicle, towel in hand and there you see you’re precious gel, lingering roughly where you left it, but 98% empty. Every other dirty backpacking scumbag has had their way with it, used it and abused it, and left you with the dregs. Sloppy seconds doesn’t even come close. Absolute bastards.


You squeeze out the remaining globules, and wash yourself down, trying to calm yourself about your loss. There’s not even enough to properly was yourself. This will be the last time you make that mistake. How are you even gonna properly wash yourself now though? At the absolute lowpoint of your grief, you realize some idiot has left his Calvin Klein shower gel beside shower number 2!  Yes! Sucker! And so it begins again. Happy travels!

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11 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Travel Rant: Leaving Your Toiletries in a Hostel

  1. Pingback: 周二的旅行咆哮。把你的洗漱用品留在旅馆里 | 一步之遥-数字游民指南
  2. I want to leave an extra point on this –

    in New Zealand years ago I realised I had made a travel mistake by packing too much stuff, so I took an evening to wittle it down to only the stuff I needed.

    I had 2 towels – so I left the biggest one in the hostel
    I had soap and shower gel – so I left the shower gel in the hostel
    I had 2 sun creams – so I left one in the hostel

    I did this deliberately as I wanted other travellers to have my stuff rather than bin it or walk round the hostel asking people if they wanted it…if you ask people they might politely say no, if you leave it in a shower room, they will probably use it.

    To this day, I still do that if I have too much stuff with me – feels better to leave it for a fellow traveller.

    So if you got a free green towel in the Crash Palace Backpackers in Rotorua in 2007, then that was mine and I wanted you to have it – it was pretty clean too.

  3. ahhh…. people who leave stuff in the showers…. u gotta love them…. thank u !!!! haven’t bought shower gel in ages…. there’s always some hanging around… i am working in a swiss hotel…. and the other staff leave all there ‘shit’ in the shower…. so many to choose from…. and do u know, if u change ur diet, u dont need Deo….. fish makes ur BO smell bad… so does meet and coffee and beer and ciggies…..

  4. It’s funny because it’s so bloody true! You feel like such an idiot when you leave things behind yet so smug when you realise there are other idiots out there who also leave things 🙂
    On my second night of overlanding Africa I had an amazing shower and used my scrubbing puff thing. The next morning we were leaving on the truck and a couple of us were talking about how amazing the showers were because they had such a cool design to them and were built by the owner…when I noticed that I’d left my scrubbing power hanging up on the back of the door; fail hahahaha

    1. aaaaaaagh i feel ur pain Toni, unless i was the one who grabbed your scrubbing thing – i was in Africa for most of last year 😛

      1. Well it was blue so you could have got away with it being a man lol. I miss Africa every flipping day – my heart aches to go back! 🙁

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