Working in hostels abroad is a great way to supplement your travel budget and to stay on the road longer. Running a hostel is a lot of work, and in many developing countries the entire task falls on one family, with the wife cooking and the children acting as servers and housekeepers.
Hostel jobs abroad are typically very informal and you may be rewarded with a free place to stay, free food, and sometimes even meager pay. Types of jobs in hostels vary widely, from gardening to cleaning rooms to technical computer work. If you have special skills such as building websites, bartending, play an instrument, or paint you have a better chance of finding work. Most budget travelers never realize how many times they could have stayed for free had they just offered their services!
Sometimes simply offering to wash dishes will get you a free meal and a place to stay — very useful if you are on a tight budget!
How to Find Hostel Jobs Abroad?
There are some forums and websites for finding hostel jobs, but typically hostel work is not advertised. There is no need to with so many young budget travelers coming through, hostels have an endless supply of labor. Some hostels will post bulletins on the wall, but the best way to end up hostel working is to just approach the owner with a request for work.
It may be helpful to stay in the hostel for a while to build trust and a relationship with the family before you ask for work. Offer your time for just a couple of hours a day or for just one task such as weeding the garden. As they see you can be trusted, you will be given more jobs.
Best places for Hostel Working?
You will have a tough time finding informal hostel work in places that are members of a big chain. Branded logos on signs and association memberships are never a good bet. Work is best found in family owned guesthouses, bungalows, and hostels in developing places such as China, Southeast Asia, and South America. Hostel jobs abroad in Europe and Scandanavia are more competitive and will most likely require some skill such as bartending or entertaining.
Interested in organic farm work? In some countries such as Australia and New Zealand, local farmers will query the nearby hostels for cheap labor to help pick fruit and other crops.
Completely lost and wondering what is a hostel?
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- Hostel Working experiences in China.
- Teaching English as a second language.
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- Don’t want to help clean the hostel? Here are some other travel working ideas!
Sites for Finding Hostel Work and Jobs Abroad:
- HostelManagement.com Forums
- Helpx.net – lists organic farms, homestays, and hostel jobs
- GumTree.com – for jobs and gigs in Europe and Australia.
- Craistlist.org – Sometimes you will find hostel jobs listed under “gigs” or “etc”.
- Hostel Jobs on Twitter – Find out about new opportunities for work abroad
Hostel working is a great way to save your travel funds along the way!