Some private rooms, though, are too small to do many of these things. Like my room in Rivas, Nicaragua

A Backpacker’s Guide to Enjoying a Private Room

When backpacking solo we often find ourselves greatly accustomed to sleeping in a room with 4-12 other people. The dorms are living organisms in themselves. There always seems to be someone sleeping, no matter what time of day, and there are always people in the bathrooms. Some of us who have been on the road for a very long time have gotten so used to living in dorms that we get bored the few times we reward ourselves with a private room. We miss having the people around. We feel like we’ve been tucked away from the world, stuffed in a closet. I recently was given a private room in Campo Grande, Brazil and in my boredom I compiled this list as a guide for things to do once you, the backpackers, are put in this stressful position of having a private room. This is my Backpacker’s Guide to properly making use of your private room.


  1. Go into your bag and just throw your clothes all over the room.

    Some private rooms, though, are too small to do many of these things. Like my room in Rivas, Nicaragua
  2. Build a fort out of the mattress, blankets, pillows and whatever else you can find.  Invite friends.
  3. Have a “room party.” Make invitation fliers and post them all over the hostel.
  4. Wear a t-shirt around that says “Girls/Boys I may not be very pretty, but I’m pretty sure I have a private room”
  5. Take a 32 minute long shower.
  6. Recreate your favourite movie scene in front of the mirror.
  7. Walk around naked for at least an hour. Don’t forget to close the blinds on your windows first.
  8. Sleep in until 1 in the afternoon without caring what anyone thinks of you.
  9. Sing really loudly and then occasionally reach your head out into the hallway and yell “Hey Sinatra! Keep it down!”
  10. Laugh really loudly and keep saying “Oh (insert your name here) you are the funniest person I have ever met, then walk around the hallways and introduce yourself to everyone who may have heard. Be sure to wink.
  11. Run tiny laps around your room, preferably wearing gym clothes and a headband.
  12. Walk into the dorm rooms from time to time and say things like “oh so this is what a dorm room looks like” and “sheesh, it would be horrible if someone started snoring in these tiny dorm rooms.”
  13. Buy a set of toy army figures and play war.
  14. Jump on the bed. *Note: watch for ceiling fans.
  15. Keep poking your head out of your room and saying “where is my room service? I ordered it hours ago!”
  16. Invite dorm stayers to go on tours of your private room.
  17. Set up a lemonade stand in your doorway
  18. Put a sign on the door saying “No Girls allowed: Brendan’s secret hideout.”
  19. Ask people if they want to play hide and seek. Once you get a game going just go hide in your private room with the door locked and watch TV.
  20. Make a list of what people should do when the get a private room. Don’t forget to check them off as you go.