A Guide to Scoring Hostel Jobs

Are you looking for hostel jobs to so you can work and travel at the same time? Working in a hostel may just turn out to be exactly what you’re looking for. Although you won’t find many online ads for hostel jobs, there are plenty of opportunities to score paid hostel jobs. If you are wondering how to get lucky with a job in one of these places, here is our guide to getting hostel jobs.

What is a Hostel?

There are still some people out there who believe that a hostel is a spooky place full of swindlers and hustlers. Luckily, that’s not true at all.

A hostel can be best described as a budget-friendly accommodation which in most cases offers dormitory style rooms that you share with other guests, as well as private rooms. These places are usually cheaper than hotels and attract young people who are traveling and hoping to save some cash on accommodation.

What are Hostel Jobs Like?

A hostel employee can be responsible for a variety of chores. You can work at the reception which usually means checking guests in and out and providing directions to sightseeing attractions in the city. Paid hostel jobs also include working in the hostel bar, cleaning the rooms, promoting and planning events, organizing bar crawls and other types of events. Marketing and web design can sometimes be a big part of hostel jobs.

How to Get Hired for Hostel Jobs?

1. Choose Your Destination

The first thing you need to do is decide is where you want to go. The good news is that you can find paid hostel jobs practically anywhere in the world, especially in cities that attract budget travelers and backpackers.

For example, the capital cities in Europe appeal to many young people and there are a bunch of hostels over there. There are also many hostels in Central and South America that are packed with guests between December and April.

In order to gather more information about hostels, you should definitely do some online research before you hit the road. You can find some useful info on websites like hostels.com, booking.com, and hostelworld.com.

All of the mentioned websites include information about the location of the hostel, prices, reviews, amenities, etc.  You can see if the hostel has good reviews, what guests say about the hostel staff, and how busy the hostel gets during the holiday season.

You can also try and search for hostel jobs here:




3. Find a Website and a Facebook Page for Each Hostel

In case you wish to obtain more information about a hostel, check if that place has a website and also take a look at their FB page. There are usually high-quality photographs of a hostel on their website and sections like “about us” can be helpful. Learn about the activities which are offered for guests on their FB page and see how many employees the hostel has.

4. Create a Google Sheet of Emails and Contact Names

It is important to have all the information about different hostels at one place. This is why you should definitely create a Google sheet of emails and contact names for each place. It’s much easier to get hostel jobs when the information that you have gathered is well-organized.

5. See Who Needs Help

You can either contact the hostel via email or just show up and ask to speak with the manager if you are already in town. Expect to go outreach to a number of hostels to see if they are willing to hire you. Some hostel jobs pay better than the others and there are hostels that also offer free accommodation for their employees. This is one of the most important steps and will surely require a lot of time.

6. Explain the Services you Offer

When applying for hostel jobs, make sure to let them know about your skills they can benefit from. Having experience with cleaning, working at a bar, cash handling, and reception is usually a big plus, but there are also people who don’t have experience and get hired based on their personality.

If you have experience in marketing and website media, that’s always a good thing to mention. You could also benefit from skills like filmmaking, organizing events, tour guiding, photography, bartending, etc.

Do you speak many Languages?

Keep in mind that most hostels require from their employees to speak good English, so they can cater for guests from different countries. It’s definitely an advantage if you speak the local language.

7. Set Reminders to Follow Up

You should always set least 4 reminders to follow up. If a hostel is not looking for any extra help at the moment, maybe they will have an opening next month. The truth is that most hostel workers don’t stay at one place for a long period of time, so there is an opportunity to drop in and get lucky with a job.


Working in a hostel can be a really fulfilling experience. You will have an opportunity to meet new people, travel, and work in a friendly environment.

For example, I started out as a developer and a designer doing work exchange at hostels. These were the best days of my life. If you are a designer/developer, you can spend a part of the day working in a hostel for free accommodation and then make some serious cash while doing your own work. What’s not to like?

PJ Manning

I'm an addict - coffee, surf, work, and wine. Been living the travel developer lifestyle since 2012 - constantly looking for where to work and surf next.