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20 Random Acts of Kindness for Backpackers

by Natasha Young Feb 23, 2010
Kindness goes a long way, even when it is just a small act.

Imagine a hostel in which revelers tip-toe silently through the dorms, cups of tea appear beside your bed while you’re in the shower, and your bill has already been paid when you go to check out.

A figment of my imagination? Not necessarily.

Inspired by Danny Wallace’s book Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways to Make the World a Nicer Place, here are 20 ways to spread the love this February:

1. Do the washing-up in the hostel, even when it’s not yours.

2. Write your top tips for nearby places and post them on hostel notice boards.

3. When you’re hosteling with friends, invite solo travelers out for dinner and drinks.

4. Travel with a plug-in mosquito repellent and keep the dorm mossie-free. Raid makes a good one.

5. Offer to guard other people’s stuff at bus stations while they buy their tickets.

6. Buy a CD from a local busker, copy it onto your iTunes and leave the CD in the hostel.

7. Pack some biscuits and a magazine from home and give them to a compatriot who has been traveling for ages.

8. When you’re heading out for a heavy night, leave your toothbrush and whatever else you need out on your dorm bed so you don’t have to rifle through you backpack at four in the morning.

Call or Skype your friends on their birthdays. It’ll mean all the more that you’ve remembered to call from the Amazon.

9. Offer to make the hostel reception staff a cuppa joe.

10. Call or Skype your friends on their birthdays. It’ll mean all the more that you’ve remembered to call from the Amazon.

11. If you’re next to a nervous flier, keep them talking during take off and landing to take their minds off the flight. Hold their hand if need be.

12. Rinse the hostel shower after use and clean the plughole.

13. Use cloth bags for your stuff rather than plastic ones. Your dorm mates will love you for not rustling in the morning.

14. Pack a few pairs of extra ear plugs and offer them to people trying to sleep in noisy dorms.

15. When you get on a local bus, pay for the person behind you too.

16. Buy a bag of dry dog food and feed the strays as you wander around a new city.

17. When you leave a country, give your left-over currency to travelers heading in the other direction.

18. Support new businesses that aren’t in the guidebooks.

19. After you take photos of other travelers, email them your pics. If you take a great shot of a local, consider printing off the photo and taking them a copy.

20. Call your mum and tell her where you are.

Got one of your own? Add your random acts below.

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