Hostel: Bed Bugs or Scabies?

C&N Backpackers – Vancouver, B.C., Canada

If you don’t know, a Hostel is a low cost lodging where guests share common spaces including washrooms, kitchens and lounge areas. You can usually find bunk beds in the rooms. Private rooms could also be available. What makes a hostel different from hotels and motels is that they must offer dormitories.

Positives of hostels include lower costs and sociability. Due to all the common areas you have the chance to meet people for all over the world. Each hostel is different and some my offer in house gatherings as well. The hostel may offer long term lodging for free or at a discounted rate in exchange for work. Working in reception or housekeeping. Many hostel also provide free WiFi.

Negatives of hostels include less privacy and interrupted sleep. Unfortunately when sharing a room you cannot tell the other people what they can and cant do. This can make for many sleepless nights considering the fact that people can come and go as they please due to flights, partying and don’t forget about snorers.

What we have heard was mixed reviews about hostels. We know people that have been to amazing hostels and others that have been to not so amazing hostels. I think there is a negative perception toward hostels. I think it comes from people assuming because it is cheaper that it will be lower quality.

Either way we decided to book our first hostel for one night.


We had traveled to British Columbia, Canada and wanted a reasonable place to stay for one night. We were flying out early in the morning and knew we wouldn’t get in till after dinner. We decided to go with a hostel and came to about $100 a night instead of $300 a night hotel. We had all of our things in the hostel for our flight and did not want things going missing so we booked a private room. This included 1 bed, a coffee table, tv and a sink.

The hostel was above a shop so at first it was hard to find but once we got in it was cute and cozy. The gentleman at the front desk was very helpful and polite. He gave us our key and we went on our way. You could tell the building was old and had that smell to it.. yknow? So we get to our room and go in. It looked like someone really struggled to make the bed and clean the room. We decided that we did not want to use the sheets that were on the bed so we went out to the store and bought 2 small blankets for ourselves and also put a shirt over the pillow.

We woke up and get ready to catch our flight. We did not sleep as well as we wanted because it was so hot in the room. We had a fan that didn’t help much and opened the window that was surrounded by brick walls so no ventilation. As well as the constant worry about the sheets. The washrooms were shared so sandals in the shower are mandatory. The washrooms were half-ass cleaned maybe once a day. Honestly the washrooms could have been worse. We did not end up cooking in the kitchen but did take a look and it was everything you needed; full fridges, stove, microwave and toaster.


Long story short it was a very uncomfortably stay. By the time we got on the plane we started developing these small red bumps all over. Of course we think its bed bugs or an allergic reaction to something. By the time we got home they were very itchy and spreading. We saw no bugs – nothing. We go to the doctor and they say they are scabies. Scabies is an infestation of the skin by mites which are microscopic and burrow into the upper layer of the skin. When talking to the doctor they pointed out that scabies do not touch the face.. and they were on the face. With that being said we thought it was bed bugs which we never saw.

What do you think caused this?

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