I am going on my first backpacking trip ever and I am wondering if most hostels will have a locker for me to lock up my backpack when I am not in the hostel or sleeping. I will be going to Amsterdam, Prague, Italy, and Greece on this trip.
My main thing is making sure I protect my money and other valuables. I want to have fun and dont want to do something stupid that will ruin the trip for myself and my friends. I was also wondering if the lockers at the hostels are large enough to fit a 65L backpack. I am looking at getting an Osprey Waypoint 65 as my backpack for this trip. thanks for any info
Most Hostels that I've used have provided Lockers, especially HI Hostels properties. In some cases these are a fairly robust construction and in other cases just made from light metal with a flimsy locking mechanism. Most that I've seen are not large enough to fit Backpacks, but will handle Daypacks and smaller bags.
In any case, you'll most likely have to provide your own Padlock. I'd suggest not using a small Luggage Lock for that purpose as they're simply not strong enough. The Padlock should also not be too large, as the mechanism on the Lockers is usually designed for small to medium size Locks. You can use either a key or combination model, but I'd suggest a Lock with "heel & toe locking" (a Locksmith in your area will be able to suggest a suitable product). The smaller Locks at www.americanlock.com/solid_body_padlocks/solid_steel/rectangular_padlocks.jsp should work fine.
Your "money and other valuables" should be kept with you, and not left in your Backpack or a Hostel Locker. It would be a good idea to buy (and use!) a Money Belt, which is worn under your clothing (ie: between underwear and outer wear). DON'T access funds when you can be seen, as this shows thieves where you keep it. Keep enough money for daily expenses in a secure and easily accessible pocket. One important point - if you store your Passport in your Money Belt, it's a good idea to place it inside a small zip-lok bag so it doesn't get damp with perspiration.
I wouldn't bother with the PacSafe product in the link you provided. While it provides a slightly higher level of security, I wouldn't want to haul that thing around Europe. I normally lock the zippers on my Backpack, and sometimes lock it to the bed frame with a small Cable, just to prevent "opportunistic theft". However, there's usually nothing in it except my clothes, toiletries and laundry so not sure anyone would want to steal it. You'll probably find that many people at Hostels leave their Packs open and some gear just laying on the bed. I prefer to use just a basic Lock on the pack to prevent anyone digging through it while I'm out touring.
I often lock my Daypack in the Locker (no valuables in it) along with my Camera bag (the Camera is always with me, so the bag only has accessories when it's in the Locker).
If this is your first trip to Europe, I'd highly recommend reading the Guidebook Europe Through The Back Door before you depart. It will provide you with a lot of information on "how" to travel in Europe. You might have a look at some country-specific Guidebooks also, to help plan your touring in each location you'll be visiting.
You might consider getting an inexpensive membership in HI Hostels, as that will provide slightly cheaper rates and preferred booking.
You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.
thank you for all your help in this thread and the other I started. I will get the book and read it.
yeah I plan to always keep my valuables with me and not in the pack or locker. I will do the locks on the zippers and lock it to the bed or something immobile while I am gone and sleeping and skip the packsafe. I have a little over 2 months till my trip so I will spend my time researching and learning Italian