Why You Should Work At A Hostel

Zack Garhart
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Have you ever thought about working at a hostel? Have you thought about living in a different city somewhere else in the world but hesitated because of the costs of moving and accommodations?

One way to move anywhere is by working at a hostel, and this article will detail what it’s like working at a hostel.

Traveling is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. There are few better opportunities to learn about the world, other cultures, and oneself than through traveling. Whether that is through the direct experience of being somewhere else or having a conversation with someone who lives across the globe, traveling can open up your world in so many ways. With people coming in from all over the world, staying in a hostel is one of the best ways you can make that happen. 

While we would encourage staying at hostels while traveling, we love the idea of working at a hostel even more. Hostels all around the world are always looking for help. From farmwork and family care to housekeeping and general property maintenance, you can find work doing just about anything at a hostel. 

You’ll see when you’re looking around for hostel work words like ‘volunteer’ and ‘work exchange’. This often means that the job listed does not entail pay, but rather covers your accommodations by taking care of housing and sometimes meals. Every hostel will vary, so it is best to read all the details and reviews that are listed on each job posting. For a deeper dive into what’s out there, head over to Worldpackers, where you’ll find a ton of different hostel gigs from around the world.

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A Glimpse at Hostel Work

The best part about working at a hostel? Social Interaction. It seems obvious, but working at a hostel means constantly being able to meet and interact with people from all over the globe. Most hostel gigs will require you to pull a few shifts doing reception work, which means checking guests in and out. Most hostels will require you to clean and maintain the space, which means a nicer experience for everyone.

Many hostel gigs will also require hosting an event during the week. This could include taking guests of the hostel out to grab drinks, dinner, a show, or just a stroll on the beach. Being in charge of these activities might not be for everyone, but doing so is a great way to force yourself out of your shell and be the host. The best part about being the host is that your guests are usually always rotating, which means the conversation rarely gets stale, and there’s always something to talk about. 

Looking for someone’s first-hand take on what it’s like to work in a hostel? Watch this video!

It’s not just about what’s happening outside of the hostel, but often what is going on inside of the building which can be one of the best things about working at a hostel.

Though the size of the hostel and its amenities will absolutely vary, there is more than likely to be some common area where folks can meet and congregate. As an employee of a hostel, the common area is not only a space that is your home but it becomes the epicenter of all the activity in a hostel. From hanging out and watching a movie, or having a meal together, you’ll find people breaking bread in the common room. Between hosting events and hanging out in the common room, as a hostel employee you’re bound to have plenty of opportunities to engage with new people and make lifelong friends.

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The Beauty of Travel

Have you ever thought of living abroad? What about in Los Angeles? New Orleans? Upstate New York?

Beyond the social setting of a hostel, having an opportunity to live somewhere new for a month, or more, at a time, can be an incredible way to engrain yourself in a community. In so many cities where there are hostels, you’ll find open mics, yoga classes, farmers markets, and other community gatherings. These events are great for not only meeting new people but also becoming part of something bigger. You’d be surprised how memorable your face becomes once you find a favorite spot or event in town. This builds community and can help you make connections that go beyond your travels. 

Whether you are traveling to gain experiences, or simply gather intel on a place you want to live in the future, working in a hostel is one of the best ways to make that happen. Now that you know some of the ins and outs of working at a hostel, we recommend checking out World Packers and getting an idea of what’s out there!


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