Growing up, my older sister and I shared a room for years until she went off to college. It was quite large, running the length of the house, but now that I think about it I can’t believe we survived all those years. Believe me…it wasn’t always pleasant. There was a spare bedroom, but neither of us wanted to forego the penthouse, walk-in closets, bathroom that we would resign by moving to the smaller room. So we ended up sharing the room, each with our own space. Although when I was much younger there was one thing I wanted for my room that I never got, bunk beds.
When you are 6 years old, in the 80s, bunk beds were about the coolest thing to have for your room! I wanted bunk beds so that I could sleep on the top, see everything, and keep all my treasures hidden away up there. Sadly, I never got my wish and was stuck with a boring bed, although I did get a bed tent one Christmas! Anyone remember those?
Bunks and Travel
Traveling the way I have chosen, on a budget, I find myself choosing hostels with shared rooms around the world. The best way for said hostels to get the most money from shared rooms is, you guessed it…bunk beds. Over the last 2.5 months I have slept in my fair share of bunk beds, both top and bottom bunks.
Now I understand completely why my parents did allow for my sister and me to have bunk beds. They are certifiably lethal. I can speak from experience when I say this as, I FELL OUT OF THE TOP BUNK. It was not my shining moment of travel, but I survived! In a recent post summarizing my second month of travel, I asked how you thought I might have received my recent moniker. Well, this is how I earned the nickname Peter Pan…trying to fly out of my bed in the middle of the night. With that, I feel obligated to help you to reduce your chances of becoming the next victim of the treacherous 4 foot, blindfolded, death drop.
- Avoid the Top: Best piece of advice, but not always possible. Try to be the first one into your room and snag a bottom bunk.
- Ensure there is a Railing: If you must sleep on the top, check for a railing which is there to keep you in your bed.
- Use your Pack: If there is not a railing, use your pack on the edge of your bed as a makeshift railing. The sound of your 30lb pack hitting the ground will be much easier to tolerate than the sound of your head hitting the ground.
- Create a Landing Zone: Rooms in shared hostels are usually quite small as hostel mongers try and shove as many people in the smallest space possible. The bags and contents of you and you roommates can act as a nice soft landing zone if you do try to defy gravity.
- Don’t get drunk: Fact – You are more inclined to fall out of bed if you have been consuming large amounts of alcohol.
To be fair….I wasn’t quick enough to snag a bottom bunk (I was too busy jumping out of a plane), there was no railing on the bed, I wasn’t smart enough to think ahead to use my pack, I DID have a landing zone thanks to the explosion of 5 packs in the room, and I may or may not have had a bit too much whiskey that night (opps!) So, I guess you can say I created the perfect storm for myself! Thankfully, I did not get injured and my gracious friend allowed me to sleep in her bottom bunk the rest of the night. Peter Pan lives to see another day!
Please tell me someone else has had this same experience and I am not the only idiot traveler!? Tell me about your bunk bed experiences in the comments below!
Photo Credit: http://advancedgraphics.com/product/peter-pan/