How To Get A Job at a Hostel

Why work at a hostel?

Working in a hostel is flexible, laid back and a whole lot of fun.  You're in a backpacker hub surrounded by people who, like you, are on a path of adventure and self discovery.

By working at a hostel you're in for an extended stay in the city which means a better opportunity to learn more about the city and its' culture.  Not only that, you'll also have a unique insight into how locals live as those will be the people you'll be working with.

How much does it pay?

This is not the type of job people do to earn large sums of money.  It is mostly for people who are looking to extend their stay and have a minimal cost of living.

By working at a hostel you'll have a home base for a bit and have all the benefits of staying in a hostel without having to pay for it.  Your accommodation will be free and you'll most likely also get free or discounted food and drinks.

As for money, some places will pay you a small living wage depending on what job you have and you might also be able to make commissions from promoting and selling tickets to tours and other events.
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Best time to work

It goes without saying that the best time to look for a hostel job is when there are jobs readily available.  Every travel destination has it's peak season and so it's just common sense that that's the best time to apply.

In Europe the peak season is in the summer months while in Southeast Asia and Central and South America it's during the winter and early spring.

Skills for the job

If you're a social butterfly then you have half the skill needed to work at a hostel.  Sure, they want people who can do paperwork, change sheets and clean toilets, but they also want people who have an infectious energy and vibe to them.

They also want people who are flexible, open minded and have a good work ethic.  It also doesn't hurt if you speak additional languages, are well traveled and understand the "hostel life".

How do I get the job?

When you book your hostel, let them know you'd also be interested in working there.  In reality though, it's best to just go there and talk with the owner or manager.

If they like you and think you'd be a good fit with the staff and guests, they'll likely be pretty happy to bring you on board.

Bigger corporate hostels, despite needing more staff, will have more rules and processes to go through.  They'll often have their hands tied with rules and regulations and only hire you if you sign a contract and are legally allowed to work and pay taxes.
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