TIP: Make Sure Hostel/Guesthouse Has Access All Night
I know this might seem elementary when it comes to staying in a hostel or guesthouse, but sometimes it is the little things that can help improve your trip and your safety. One of those things is to make sure that you can always get back into wherever you are staying no matter what time of night it is.
I made this mistake one time when I was in Ecuador. I was in this small beach town during Carnival and I was staying at a nice little quaint guesthouse. It was owned by this cool Ecuadorian lady who was in her mid fifties. It was rather small with only a couple of rooms but it was pretty much a steal with a second floor room and balcony.
Well, she told me that she was the only person in the place and when I came back in the evening to just knock and she would let me in. It didn’t matter what time it was. The first couple of days there was never an issue, I would come back around 11pm and knock and Sister Nancy would come and let me in and I would stumble upstairs to my second floor room because the lights didn’t really work that well. No problems right? Well lets just say on the night of Carnival Sister Nancy decided to go out on her own and have a little fun. As a matter of fact I saw her out that night and even managed to have a beer with her. Little did I know that when I was getting ready to head home, she was just heading out for an all nighter.
When I got back to her guesthouse I thought it was strange that she wasn’t answering. After banging on the door for about twenty minutes at about 2am in the morning I finally realized that she just wasn’t home. There was no way to get inside her guesthouse and she was the only one who had the key. I immediately began to retrace my steps to try and find her but that was worthless. She could of been anywhere. Sleep got the better of me so I decided to lay down a wooden table she had in front of her door. I thought for sure I was going to get robbed, for everyone was still out late partying and drinking. All I could do was lay there and try to keep my eyes open until she returned home.
It seemed like forever until the sun was going to rise and sleep finally got the best of me, as well as every mosquito and biting insect in Ecuador. If I didn’t already have Malaria I felt I was sure to get it with every single mosquito bite. They sounded like helicopters as they were flying around me. The sun couldn’t rise fast enough. At that point you just got to throw in the towel and wait it out for there is really no other option. It was quite a sight to see her the next morning stumbling back to the guesthouse after a night of fun. Lets just say that I learned my lesson, and that is always to make sure that there will be someone there to let you in no matter what time you decide to come back from your night out. It is never a good feeling to get stranded outside of your guesthouse no matter where you are at in the world.