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Top 10 Tips for Working in a Backpacker Hostel

Working for hostels is a great way to save money on your travels and can also lead to heaps of epic kickbacks (including my best ever backpacking job in Byron) and meeting loads of amazing people. But it’s not all easy work or easy to land such a good opportunity. I’ve been lucky with mine so here’s my Top 10 Tips for Hostel Jobs…


1. Have an open mind – you’ll be meeting heaps of people from all different places and backgrounds, it’s one of the best perks

2. Get on the good side of your boss! They’ll make or break your experience, buttering them up can make working on a hangover a breeze and possibly lead to some cash in hand work too.

3. DON’T sleep with backpackers on their first night – well only if they’re staying long term!

4. Get networked in with the local businesses. You have a heap of people who listen to your advice, you recommend a bar or restaurant and they’ll go. Speak to the managers and wangle yourself some kick backs in exchange for punters!

5. Own the free food shelf! Cut your costs right down by keeping tabs on the free food shelf when people leave – free box of wine and some freshly ground coffee…don’t mind if I do!

6. Chat to EVERYONE. People who travel usually have heaps of good contacts – make sure you network with people, whether it’s for a free place to crash elsewhere in the world or a discounted rafting trip, it’s not what you know but who.

7. Get in tight with the long terms. Long term residents and other hostel workers are your only constant in the backpacking world. You’ll share some amazing experiences and help each other out. They’re the ones who’ll become long term friends.

8. Be ready to say goodbye. Meeting heaps of people in a hostel is a double edged sword because you’re always saying goodbye. It’s tough sometimes but you can’t let it get to you…there’s plenty of new people ready to fill the beds!

9. Train your liver! Working in a chaotic travel environment with people who have time and money to kill means you WILL party most nights, go get messed up and make some bad decisions! …maybe take some time out occasionally though!

10. Cook. It might seem odd but arrange an epic meal for a large group. It will create a good vibe, everyone will socialise and it keeps the cost of eating down. If you’re super clever you’ll sort it to pay for your meal too…or even make a bit of extra dollar on the side!