I love plastic bags. When I go on holidays, I don’t bring back a bunch of souvenirs. Instead, I bring back plastic shopping bags. Obviously, this has the effect of making me look worldly and exciting when carrying junk around my hometown. I know that one day a tall, dark and handsome man will stop me in the street to inquire about my Billa Zilnic bag, we’ll fall madly in love and months later we’ll elope in Azerbaijan or Kiribiti.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. Plastic bags make great souvenirs and are also rather useful. However, improper use of plastic bags while hosteling could have disasterous consequences, and may even lead to death. That’s right, the other travelers in your dorm may be driven to suffocate you with that lumpy IKEA pillow if you’re constantly crinkling plastic bags. It’s not okay to have each individual item of clothing wrapped in its own plastic bag, which you then pack and unpack a hundred times until you’ve pieced together the perfect “sexy backpacker but not trying too hard” outfit. Same goes for your toiletries- you don’t need one plastic bag for your shampoo, another for your conditioner, a third for your body wash and a fourth for your lotion! Your plastic bags are loud! They are waking people up! They are keeping people up! They’re annoying! And they’re rude!
I admit that I keep a few things in plastic bags in my backpack. I steal those nice, thick dry cleaning bags from the nice hotels I stay at, and when I’m backpacking I use them to keep my dirty clothes separate from my clean clothes. I also tend to keep dirty shoes in a plastic bag, and sometimes I use large ziplock bags for swimwear and tights (anything that might become snagged). The key to packing with plastic to do your packing and unpacking during daylight, when people aren’t trying to rest or sleep. If you know you’ll be sneaking out of the hostel at 5:00 am to catch the first train, deal with your plastic bags the night before. If you know you’ll be coming back to the hostel at 3:00 am after a night of partying, get whatever you’ll need from your plastic bags before you go out, and leave them neatly folded on your dorm bed.
You might think that I’m being ridiculous, but I’m just trying to keep you safe. The sound of crinkling plastic bags all night is enough to drive the kindest hostel-goer to acts of madness, and you don’t want to be the cause of their fury!