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AIBU to be scared of staying in a mixed dorm?

(35 Posts)
soloyolo Fri 03-Nov-17 13:39:50

Given how public transport grinds to a halt over Christmas, I'm looking to book a room somewhere to avoid having to get ridiculously priced taxis everywhere. It would be so much cheaper to book a room in a dormitory than a private hotel room!

I am in my 30s and slightly overweight. I am not particularly attractive. This does not stop me from getting unwanted male attention on a regular basis - creeps have no beauty filter. If anything, I think they go for the less pretty because they think we're more likely to succumb to their 'charms' being desperate. Honestly, I'm not being vain.

I can quite easily sleep on a train, on a plane, on a bus... it feels safe. There are lots of people around, many of whom are awake, there are paid staff members - it just doesn't feel unsafe.

But in a dorm? Whether mixed or not mixed. The default status of the other people is asleep, so no one is awake to spot anything dodgy. Isn't there an inherent risk all my possessions will get stolen and/or I'll get raped?

I don't plan on taking much stuff and I could sleep with my phone under my pillow. But how do I ensure my physical safety? Am I being ridiculous to be apprehensive? Does anyone have any advice? I will be on my own.

HarrietKettleWasHere Fri 03-Nov-17 13:44:39

Stay in a single sex then?

The only reason I felt uncomfortable staying in dorms in my younger days is people are bloody arse holes at being loud and disrupting other's sleep. And sometimes you have to hear them have sex.

Carebear1357 Fri 03-Nov-17 13:45:32

Do etap hotels exist anymore? I remember them being really cheap and clean. What about local b&b?

redexpat Fri 03-Nov-17 13:48:45

Is it a hostel? Ive never had any trouble. Some hostels have private rooms at reasonable rates. Might be worth looking into.

puddingpen Fri 03-Nov-17 13:48:58

Most hostels I have stayed in have had cages or lockers to keep your stuff in. Some cost extra, some are free but you need your own padlock. I have stayed in many youth hostels in my time. I definitely prefered single-sex dorms. Or at least single sex showers. I always kept my valuables with me in my bunk and slept hugging my handbag! I never felt unsafe though.

SilverSpot Fri 03-Nov-17 13:50:54

There are probably horror stories out there - but I've always felt safe in mixed dorms.

I mean, if you wanted to go out and rape someone, there are more discrete ways to do it that to do it in a dorm full of people.

Hostels sometimes have lockers you can put valuables in, but phone passport and purse in bed with you is probably safest.

Maybe stay in a single sex dorm if you are worried?

DunkMeInTomatoSoup Fri 03-Nov-17 13:51:32

If you're that worried, pay for accomodation where you will feel safe. Then sick a chair under the door for good measure. That'll ward 'em off

brasty Fri 03-Nov-17 13:52:40

Hate mixed sex dorms. The female singe sex ones always sell out first.

ChelleDawg2020 Fri 03-Nov-17 13:53:14

You probably won't get raped or robbed, but if it is a concern to you then you won't sleep very well so I don't think the dorm route is a good idea.

Single-sex dorms aren't really an option either, the "guests" are not automatically immune from robbing or sexually assaulting you simply because they are the same gender.

Get a cheap hotel room, an Airbnb, hire a transit van and sleep in the back - but dorms are a big no-no unless you have the protection from a group of friends sharing with you.

HarrietKettleWasHere Fri 03-Nov-17 13:55:11

I would think myself far less likely to be sexually assulted in a room where the other occupants are also female confused

soloyolo Fri 03-Nov-17 13:55:30

I didn't do the whole backpacking thing when I was a student, so I have no point of reference. Yes, I'm looking into a hostel - trying to book somewhere at the most expensive time of year, which is why the price differential between a room in a hostel and a hotel/B&B is so vast.

There don't seem to be that many female dorms in the area where I'm searching - mostly mixed. But as another poster points out, I'm not sure that would be any safer.

Just trying to establish if I'm being unreasonable in being worried, or if I should suck it up and pay the extra cash for a private hotel room...

Jaffalong Fri 03-Nov-17 13:56:02

YHA hostels have single sex dorms and you don't have to be young or a member to stay in one.

www.yha.org.uk

soloyolo Fri 03-Nov-17 13:59:13

Have any other female posters stayed in dorms by themselves and felt OK? I imagine it's very different when travelling as part of a group.

Jaffalong Fri 03-Nov-17 14:01:11

You can also book a single private room in yha hostels. Look at the link I posted above

twilightcafe Fri 03-Nov-17 14:02:00

If you can afford it, why wouldn't you get a hotel room?

sparechange Fri 03-Nov-17 14:04:46

Where abouts are you looking?
Maybe some MNers can help you find something?

(does public transport really grind to a halt though? Maybe double check the timetables before committing to a hotel?)

soloyolo Fri 03-Nov-17 14:12:45

Jaffalong There is a YHA a bit further away than I would like, but it is walkable (just about) so that is actually an option. Really cheap too. Will consider it, thanks for suggestion. Given they've been going since the start of time (ok, slight exaggeration), I imagine YHAs are a bit more reputable/safe than your average hostel?

twilightcafe I feel a bit daft paying over the odds for a room in the city I live in. The whole point of booking a room is to put me within walking distance of where I'll be volunteering, as the alternative is paying for taxis and staying in a hostel works out cheaper.

sparechange When I said I was looking over Christmas, I did mean Christmas itself. There's zero public transport on the 25th or 26th!

steppingout Fri 03-Nov-17 14:13:40

I've stayed in mixed dorms on my own a fair few times and always felt fine. The only thing that was annoying was not feeling that comfortable getting changed in the room so tended to do it in the bathroom instead but that wasn't the result of anyone being pervy. My experience has been about 50/50 between everyone just being in their own little bubble and places with more of a feeling of community. As above though, if you're really worried you might not sleep that well so probably worth factoring that in.

ButchyRestingFace Fri 03-Nov-17 14:14:09

Is this in the UK? I didn’t think mixed dorms were still a thing here.

Single sex dorms I wouldn’t have an issue with.

HarrietKettleWasHere Fri 03-Nov-17 14:18:11

I definitelystayed in a mixed dorm in London while I was house-share hunting a few years ago.

I didn't feel unsafe (lots of people in the same boat) but I didn't get much sleep. The French couple shagging in the bed above me and the group of Chinese tourists eating KFC on the floor at 3am were particular highlights....

It was about £13 a night though.

IHaveBrilloHair Fri 03-Nov-17 14:21:15

I did it loads backpacking in my younger years and never felt unsafe

ButchyRestingFace Fri 03-Nov-17 14:21:17

The French couple shagging in the bed above me and the group of Chinese tourists eating KFC on the floor at 3am were particular highlights....

Oh dear God.

I think I’d rather find an all night cafe. Or s doorway.

brasty Fri 03-Nov-17 14:24:04

Mixed dorms are very common in British hostels. I would not want to get changed in one.

ButFirstTea Fri 03-Nov-17 14:30:04

Can you cycle or hire a car for your journey to and from wherever you're volunteering rather than stay overnight? It might be cheaper, especially if you go through Zip Car or similar.

bluddyknackered Fri 03-Nov-17 14:30:50

I reckon if it's over Christmas time it could be full of noisy people wanting to have fun, rather than a nice quiet sleep before you volunteer. I think I'd rather find an Air BnB (we found a reasonable one in Edinburgh last Christmas, to my surprise) or a cheap hotel like a Travelodge or guest house. Or even suck up the price of taxis for the joy of my own bed!

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