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What are the Do's and Don'ts of Albergue Etiquette?

Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, September 2014
Both Rebekah have given a great list of do's and don'ts. I would like to add one more:
Don't put your backpack on the bed, it's been put down on the floor, in bars, on the street, in fields, near fountains, etc., so many times each day, before you ever get to see your precious bed for the night.
I have to admit that I have been very guilty over the past, until this was pointed out to me! Anne
annakappa, I am leaving for my first Camino this evening, leaving from SJPdP on Thrusday morning. So with your comment "Don't put your backpack on the bed" has confused me. I thought, from my readings here, that to put your backpack on the bed was the only way to save your bed for the night. Am I wrong?
 
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Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Because of the bedbug situation, people are not advised (or allowed) to put their backpacks on the beds in the albergues.

That said, I NEVER put my pack on the floor.
Bedbugs do not fly, they crawl from bed to bed on the wall or floor.

I always hang my pack from the bedpost or put it on a chair.
If there is no chair, I ask for one.
If that fails, I carry a plastic garbage sack and tie it up in there.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, September 2014
Because of the bedbug situation, people are not advised (or allowed) to put their backpacks on the beds in the albergues.

That said, I NEVER put my pack on the floor.
Bedbugs do not fly, they crawl from bed to bed on the wall or floor.

I always hang my pack from the bedpost or put it on a chair.
If there is no chair, I ask for one.
If that fails, I carry a plastic garbage sack and tie it up in there.
By hanging something from the bed post that is a pilgrims way of saying "that's my bed"?
 
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wawpdx

Active Member
Since this is the thread about how to be considerate of others in the albergue, I would add this. Do not put your personal pack on the chair beside a bunk bed unless the bunk has a ladder. If there is no ladder, whoever is getting up and down from the top bunk needs that chair! If you intend to claim the chair as your own, claim the top bunk too.
 
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Deleted member 3000

Guest
Do not put your personal pack on the chair beside a bunk bed unless the bunk has a ladder. If there is no ladder, whoever is getting up and down from the top bunk needs that chair!
And a chair is for sitting, not pack storage or clothes drying. Don't be offended when someone removes your belongings to sit down or climb to a top bunk! Unless you brought the chair from home, it is for everyone. :)
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
annakappa, I am leaving for my first Camino this evening, leaving from SJPdP on Thrusday morning. So with your comment "Don't put your backpack on the bed" has confused me. I thought, from my readings here, that to put your backpack on the bed was the only way to save your bed for the night. Am I wrong?
You save your bed for the night by putting out your sleeping bag, or maybe a towel and some ítems of clothing. But usually it's a sleeping bag. Anne
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
No. That's my way of keeping my backpack up off the floor where the bedbugs walk!:eek::p
I totally agree if the floor is a wooden one and an old one at that, but if the dorm has a tiled ceramic floor, I don't think that there is such a risk. Anne
 
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annakappa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Yes, but there's nowhere to hide on a ceramic floor. Anne;)

Except in your PACK! :D

No, I realize you're more likely to see them on wooden floors or in older places, but I HAVE seen them in very new modern rooms as well.
I have a good friend who runs an upscale hotel chain in the USA, and he says they're a constant battle.
And these places are swanky.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Well, when in doubt, put the pack in a large plastic bag and close it securely. I have actually done that in one rather dubious looking dorm! After all, hanging it on the bed post doesn't stop them from climbing in either!:(Anne
 
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aina

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018 april
No there is not! Newer albergues do not have a problem, but there are older ones with well-earned reputations for cold showers.
well cold showers are good for you, so even if i have to, not a big problem;D Thanks
 
Past OR future Camino
February (2018)
I agree with all that has been posted--especially what Grayland stated. If you are going to get up early, then for pete's sakes pack up your pack or atleast gather everything together in one lump and when you get up, take it immediately into another area away from those who are sleeping. My German ladies were the thorn of my last days on the Camino. They got up early, rustled around with plastic and conversation and the dreaded headlights, turned on the lights and otherwise woke everyone else up--then proceeded to sit around and make themselves tea before they left! Often they were the last ones to leave! When asked why they got up so early they said that it was because that was the time they always got up and they liked to enjoy their tea before starting out!!! It didn't seem to matter to them that they were making a whole lot of folks very angry--to the extent that folks tried to figure out how much further they would have to go to avoid them.

I carried a small LED light about the size of a quarter on a soft twine "necklace." It worked just fine for bathroom runs if the space was absolutely dark (only needed it once) and before sun-up trail marker finding. Because I always wore it around my neck, I always knew where it was. Some folks had big headlights and you cannot believe how irritating those suckers are in the morning or even on the Camino when flashed in your eyes. I also had a red one clipped to my pack so I could make a last minute check under my bunk if need be or to look at a map if I wanted to retain my night vision.

Another thing is to share clothesline space. If things are filling up, adjust your laundry so others have some room too. If yours is dry, you might want to remove it (especially if it is in a sunny spot) before someone else needing space takes yours down and puts it somewhere -- at one albergue this happened and someone thought the clothing pile was "for the taking." The owner of the clothes was not too happy.

Thanks for your reply - that begs the question of do we need to bring our own clothespins, or do most albergues have them? Thanks!
 
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Momonne

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primtivo, Portuguese, VDLP
Thanks for your reply - that begs the question of do we need to bring our own clothespins, or do most albergues have them? Thanks!
Leave the clothespins at home, safety pins are lighter and not as bulky. And make it harder for someone else to « mistakingly » take your towel, socks or fleece.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Leave the clothespins at home, safety pins are lighter and not as bulky. And make it harder for someone else to « mistakingly » take your towel, socks or fleece.
I took both safety pins, and tiny craft sized clothespins. I only took safety pins on my first Camino, and I found that most clotheslines are not perfectly level, so when I used safety pins gravity usually landed all my clothes in a clump.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
when I used safety pins gravity usually landed all my clothes in a clump
But that is one of the little engineering challenges that make the camino fun. You might take just one tiny clothespin to use at the upper end, and connect all your other items via safety pins!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
But that is one of the little engineering challenges that make the camino fun. You might take just one tiny clothespin to use at the upper end, and connect all your other items via safety pins!
:):):)
I also found it easier to attach/detach the mini clothespins.
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
Agree with all of you.
6 nappy pins 6 g.
6 cut off pegs 14 g.
I took both and sometimes used them all because always did handwashing and didn’t use washers or driers. Pegs best for the lines and pins particularly useful for securely attaching stuff to backpack such as still damp socks.
 
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HedaP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Thank you. :) I went to the local bargain shop today and bought a selection. Good timing because there were various small pegs designed for hanging christmas cards still available. Most lighter than the 6 cut off pegs I already have. :D
Fantastic! They may not be strong enough to hold a regular bath towel, or a pair of jeans, but for the lightweight clothing we take on the Camino they are perfect.
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
The only thing I can add to this is, if staying in an albergue that only has one toilet, don't hog it in the morning - others may be waiting (and anxious). We had this happen - a young lady decided to do all her make-up etc. while several of us waited a long time (which, when you've got a full bladder, seems like an eternity).
 

Cary

Member
Past OR future Camino
del Norte/Primitivo May 2019
The route you take and the way you do it make you no better or worse than any other pilgrim. There is a tendency for a few of those who have walked, travelled further, carried a heavier pack, trekked in the most difficult weather or spent the least amount of money to think they are the truest pilgrims. This type of pride is out of place on the Camino where we are all pilgrims.

I love this and so appreciate your sharing this.
 
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Deleted member 73526

Guest
Take a little pleasure in the considerate acts that you will never be thanked for. Sometimes nobody will thank you, because nobody will notice, and that's a good thing. Remind yourself that your own camino has been better because of all the consideration that others have shown for you without your noticing.
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
An old thread, but these posts never get old; they are worth a bump:
Give your donativo soon after you arrive, so you don´t forget later on.

Find out what time the doors close, and be back in the albergue by then. If you plan to leave early, prepare your things the night before, to minimize the racket you´ll make when you get up. Rattling plastic liner bags or shining your headlights around the room at 5 a.m. will not endear you to your companions.

Don´t expect special treatment, and you will be pleasantly surprised when it comes your way.

If you are abled-bodied and have scored a lower bunk, and the place is filling up fast, and an elderly or obviously suffering pilgrim arrives, give him your lower and take the upper. Elderly and infirm pilgrims should always have lower bunks. Younger and more spry pilgrims must sometimes give them what is theirs by right.

If you get up at 5 am and rush through the next etapa to stand in queue for an albergue bed, do not expect the people who arrive later to creep quietly around the place so you can enjoy your siesta. You woke them up this morning. It´s their turn to wake you up in the afternoon.

If you tend to snore, don´t drink a lot of wine in the evening. It makes you reverberate.

Don´t prance around the albergue in your skivvies, No matter how buff you think you are. There is such a thing as Too Much Information.

Don´t leave your litter on the floor. Wash up what you dirty. Clean up after yourself.

Share. Be kind and thoughtful. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
If early risers knew how little sleep most hospitaleros get, they might be a little more considerate.
Because of the bedbug situation, people are not advised (or allowed) to put their backpacks on the beds in the albergues.
And a chair is for sitting, not pack storage or clothes drying. Don't be offended when someone removes your belongings to sit down or climb to a top bunk! Unless you brought the chair from home, it is for everyone. :)

The bottom line in albergues is that patience is absolutely essential (if you don't have it you will suffer - and then hopefully find a way to develop it PDQ):
very pilgrim probably has some characteristic that drives others nuts!! The Forum has, at a minimum, snorers, bag rustlers, pole clickers, long showers, talkers, packs on beds, insect sprayers, two-bunk hogs, clothes line hogs, flash lights, early risers, locked albergues, late socializing, cell phones, iPods, effete snobs, litterers, the unwashed, beggars, donativo means free, and silent bicyclists.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!
An old thread, but these posts never get old; they are worth a bump:

The bottom line in albergues is that patience is absolutely essential (if you don't have it you will suffer - and then hopefully find a way to develop it PDQ):

I agree!

Except, I don't understand what is wrong with a silent Bicyclist?
 
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TerryB

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
I agree!

Except, I don't understand what is wrong with a silent Bicyclist?

They may shout at you (if you are lucky!), or swear at you as they thunder past because you were in their way! As my old schoolmaster said "an audible warning of your approach is necessary - and I don't mean a rattling mudguard!"
An old fashioned hooter would be good. "Parp, parp, parp" may even raise a laugh ;)

Tio Tel
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!
They may shout at you (if you are lucky!), or swear at you as they thunder past because you were in their way! As my old schoolmaster said "an audible warning of your approach is necessary - and I don't mean a rattling mudguard!"
An old fashioned hooter would be good. "Parp, parp, parp" may even raise a laugh ;)

Tio Tel

Ah yes, I agree on that too! What confused me was I was thinking of inside an albergue!

Davey
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
I never do that. :eek: I'm just too lazy/tired/or whatever to do it the night before. This year I'm going to try it. I'm just not that organised.

But I don't think I annoyed anyone last year ;)
When I get into bed, I bring a couple of small stuffsacks with me with gadgets, flashlight, toiletries, etc. I generally re-pack my pack every morning. So what I do when I get up in the morning, I grab my sacks and my pack and drag them out into a common area, outside the sleeping area, to re-pack.
 

RRat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Very well said, Rebekah. It is really a shame that the worst offenders will never read this forum and thus continue their annoying and rude ways. 😉
I have never understood why people do not prepare their pack and "stuff" the night before and then take it out of the dorm in the morning to dress and get ready to walk....must be a reason.
I'm guilty. The quieter i try to be the noisier I become. My wife says its because I didn't have siblings.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
And don't parade around in your underwear, or less.
Seriously.
Please just don't.
(Looking at you, guys. Women are less guilty of this.)
@VNwalking, this thread commenced before either of us joined the forum, and has now gone full circle. See post #2!

I must admit to finding this a little confusing. Wandering around naked I can understand, but most underwear that I have is no more revealing than the bathers/swimmers/trunks that I would wear at a pool or on the beach. So what is the issue here?
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Wandering around naked I can understand, but most underwear that I have is no more revealing than the bathers/swimmers/trunks that I would wear at a pool or on the beach. So what is the issue here?
It's a good question, that I hadn't thought of.

Context is everything.
Out of doors versus in very close quarters, mostly. And given the context of this being a shared bedroom, how uncomfortable that has the potential to make people feel. There's a big gender differebne in the prevalence of this kind of thing. Women don't tend to walk around in bra and panties, even though it's less revealing than some bikinis.
(Edited for clarity)
 
Last edited:
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RRat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
And a chair is for sitting, not pack storage or clothes drying. Don't be offended when someone removes your belongings to sit down or climb to a top bunk! Unless you brought the chair from home, it is for everyone. :)
That's why I've always liked a top bunk. Even in the US Army. No one sits or leaves stuff on the top bunk.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
It's a good question, that I hadn't thought of.

Context is everything.
Out of doors versus in very close quarters, mostly. And given the context of this being a shared bedroom, how uncomfortable that has the potential to make people feel. There's a big gender differebne in the prevalence of this kind of thing. Women don't tend to walk around in bra and panties, even though it's less revealing than some bikinis.
(Edited for clarity)
A local packaged ice cream maker made this very helpful advertisement to make it easy to tell when the context is conducive to wearing revealing clothes. NB. In Aotearoa New Zealand "bathers" are called "togs" in Kiwi slang. Enjoy.
 
Past OR future Camino
Future
Both Rebekah have given a great list of do's and don'ts. I would like to add one more:
Don't put your backpack on the bed, it's been put down on the floor, in bars, on the street, in fields, near fountains, etc., so many times each day, before you ever get to see your precious bed for the night.
I have to admit that I have been very guilty over the past, until this was pointed out to me! Anne
Since I’ve never stayed at the albergues or even a hostel, but I do want to experience it on the camino… I can’t even imagine any details of staying at one… I guess I get a bed picked for me, yes? Where do I leave the backpack if I’m on top bunk? Just want to figure out the best course of action so I’m prepared…. And do I take my backpack with me everywhere? I have a hard time grasping the whole idea or communal accommodation - please advise (without judgement, please. I’m trying to do my research so I can avoid asking too many questions once I arrive since I don’t speak the language)
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Click on the tag "albergue life" at the top of this thread under the title. That will give you further reading!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Since I’ve never stayed at the albergues or even a hostel, but I do want to experience it on the camino… I can’t even imagine any details of staying at one… I guess I get a bed picked for me, yes? Where do I leave the backpack if I’m on top bunk? Just want to figure out the best course of action so I’m prepared…. And do I take my backpack with me everywhere? I have a hard time grasping the whole idea or communal accommodation - please advise (without judgement, please. I’m trying to do my research so I can avoid asking too many questions once I arrive since I don’t speak the language)
Sometimes you are assigned a bed, sometimes you can choose your own.
If you are in a top bunk just find a place on the floor that won't be in anyone's way. Never put your backpack on your bed.
You can leave your backpack in the albergue, but keep all of your valuables with you at all times. That includes when you shower. I bought a giant zip lock bag at the Dollar store that I take into the shower area. There is usually a dry space to keep it.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
here are 10 etiquette rules for children by Dr. M.E. Waters
theres not reason these shouldnt apply
to adults
to adults on the camino
to all of us
theyre kind of cute
....
Ten Etiquette Rules for Children

Do's1. Stay away from people who are troublemakers
2. Say please, thank you, excuse me, good morning/evening, I am sorry
3. Put your hand over your mouth when you cough
4. Be kind to other people
5. Be polite on the telephone
6. Be neat and clean
7. Obey parents/teachers/elders
8. Go to church
9. Boys should open the door and always pull the chair out for a girl
10. Boys should take their hats off inside the building

Don't
1. Chew gum in class or church
2. Talk with food in your mouth or throw it across the room
3. Talk when adults are talking
4. Use curse words
5. Smoke or drink alcohol
6. Curse parents/teachers
7. Be rude to other people
8. Act ugly in public
9. Put other people down or tease them all the time
10. Lie on other people and get them in trouble
I happen to own a collection of medieval texts of etiquette rules for children (for those interested, it is The babees book, Aristotle's A B C, Urbanitatis, Stans puer ad mensam, The lvtille childrenes lvtil boke, The bokes of nurture of Hugh Rhodes and John Russell, Wynkyn de Worde's Boke of keruynge, The booke of demeanor, The boke of curtasye, Seager's Schoole of vertue, &c. &c. with some French and latin poems on like subjects, and some forewords on education in early England. Edited by Frederick J. Furnivall, Early English Text Society, Original Series 32. A modern English translation is available at https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/58985)

One of my favourite pieces of etiquette advice in the collection is to "always keep your hinder guns from blasting", also good advice for the albergue.
 
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