Life in Byron is pretty sweet these days.
The suns still shinning, the surf still pumping and I’m still working.
I have a paid job working for the infamous Cheeky Monkeys (alongside Nick, who’s helping me with this post), but it’s not the paid work that actually works out the bets for me. Sure the dollar is helpful – but it’s my second job thats actually giving me the ultimate in backpacking perks.
It’s the work me and Nick have found as bus touts for our hostels (Aquarius and Cape Byron Lodge).
On the face of it driving 2 days on and 2 days off trying to convince people to book beds seems rather arduous.
But it’s a job packed full of extras.
For our ‘hard work’ we get free accommodation. Thats a saving of over $200 per week. That alone would be well worth it.
But the businesses of Byron have their marketing down to a tee and every tout from every hostel is on the pay roll (albeit rather on the down low) of many a Byronian business man!
Lets lay out what we do and what we get!
Free Bar Tabs
Yep that’s right – free booze! Every tout has a stamp for Cocomangas club. For every person coming into the club each week we get $1 worth of free drink. Couple that with a 50% tout discount and it starts looking rather tasty! Last week I scored $70 worth of free drinks!
The same goes for Cheeky Monkeys. Each hostel has it’s own VIP night – and the touts drink for free if we get a certain amount of people in.
And on top of that Coco’s ply us with free cocktails every Thursday, and Cheekys give us free drink vouchers and free soft drinks – and once a month they hold a tout party…which means a free keg between us all!
Working for Aquarius also scores me 7 free drinks at the bar downstairs per week, 30% off usual drink prices and 50cent schooners of goon….yes thats right…50 CENTS!
It would be rather irresponsible of these clubs to give us all that booze without something to soak it up – so we get free munch too!
Coco’s gives us free dominoes every other Thursday.
But it’s Cheekys that own the show here – every tout gets a free meal EVERY night of the week!
Couple that with my free nightly meal at Aquarius and 30% off the cafe prices and you have some well fed backpackers!
Touts are the first people backpackers meet when hitting Byron. We also give everyone a free tour and offer some tips on the town.
Tour operators keep us sweet and get themselves some easy advertising by taking us along with them for free.
Sea Kayaking, Whale Watching, Surfboard Hire, Nimbin Tours…plus a whole heap more are all chucked our way!
The touting crew are pretty pimping in their own right. We’re the fountains of knowledge, VIP access and discount drinks in each of our hostels. What more could a poor lonely attractive backpacker want on their arrival in our fair town?!
Abusing our position? Slightly.
Getting away with it? Most definitely!
As a backpacker looking for work touting is the creme de la creme when it come to Byron at least. We’re not slaving away in some office in a big city, wearing suits and awaiting the point when we can get back on the road again – we’re partying every night, meeting hundreds of new (and very attractive) people every week, lazing at the beach on our days of and basically getting everything we need to enjoy Oz and survive thrown into the bargain.
So next time you’re trawling the internet for jobs think for a moment.
Do you really want to spend the next 6 months wasting away, working like you did before you came travelling?
Or do you want to live for free and do everything you dreamt of?
Go hit the hostels and bag yourself the ultimate in backpacking work.
Touting is where it’s at.