12 Secrets about Hostels that You’ll Learn When You Live (and Work) There

Ever think about working at a hostel?

For many of us who are solo travelers or traveling on a budget, hostels are a great option. Nowadays, hostels have become a social lounge for travelers to meet like-minded wanderers from different countries. We chat, make friends and then travel together so hostels are a perfect place to stay when on the road.

But what about actually living in a hostel?

It’s not a secret that some travelers want to stick around sometimes. They’ll either want to recharge their batteries or have found a hostel and destination they just want a little bit more of. Living in a hostel is quite a fun, exciting thing — with familiar and new faces surrounding you every day.

So, if you’re thinking about living and working in a hostel, here are the things you should know.

It Can Be A Really Great Job

Taking people on walking tours, pub crawls, or to shows doesn’t exactly sound like hard work, does it? If you love meeting people and spending time discovering new cultures and listening to life stories, and just having fun, working in hostels can be the best kind of job there is.

Your Get Free Food

Your food will likely be thrown in for free as part of your employment, and no one will turn that down! Sampling the local delights and saving some pennies to fill your stomach is definitely a perk of the job.

Make Friends for Life

We all make connections on the road when traveling. It is, after all, the best time to make connections with people who are, like you, disconnected from everything and everyone else. Before you know it, you hit it off and keep in touch, most likely even meet again in another place, some other time in the future, and turn that transient connection into something more permanent.

You Get Your Own Bed

No swapping and changing rooms every time you’re due to check out, you get your bed and that’s it. You get to make your claim, and then at least get to unpack everything you own. You are your home when you travel, but yes, it helps to be home in a bed you can call — even for a bit —your own.

Goodbyes Get Harder

Transience has its perks, and its low points. And making genuine connections just make traveling worthwhile, and moving on all the more difficult. When you say goodbye to travelers, most of the time it’s for good. But the memories will always stick, and it will always be bittersweet.

You’ll Have to Ask and Answer the Same Questions

“Where you from?” “How long you travelling for?” “Where you going next?” Open ended questions are great when you have to get to know someone, but when you hear it 17 times per day, every time….

And You Get Long-Winded Answers

“I’ve been here for this long, but working here this long, and I’m not sure how long I have left, and I got the job because of this and I like this job because of that and I’ve traveled here but not there yet”…so many words!

They’re (Always) Watching You

Everyone will know who the staff at the hostel are, so if you’re sneaking off from hostel duties to go and get busy with someone, people might pay a little more attention — especially your colleagues!

What Sleeping Pattern?

You might have to get up early on hostel duties, had a late night with guests or may just have napped way too much during the day, your sleeping patterns don’t get much better working in a hostel.

But There will Be Quiet Nights

Wherever you are in the world, hostels are not always busy. Sometimes, it will even be lonely. And it can even get quite boring.

Then You’ll Have Alone Time

You’ll probably catch up on that Netflix series. Or, maybe even watch it twice over.

Hostel Life Forever

Hostel living is still traveling, just staying dormant for a while. You’ll travel through people, through the life and experience they’ll share with you. You’ll love it and once you develop the confidence and experience to enjoy this kind of work, it’ll be something you’ll be glad you did, even for just a couple of months in your life.

Got more secrets you’d want to share? Tell us in the comments!

About the Author

Tommy Walker

Tommy Walker

Tommy Walker originates from Northeast England. He began his journey on the road back in 2012 throughout Asia, Oceania and Latin America. Now, over 4 years in, he is a freelance travel writer and content marketing specialist. Tommy has visited the Philippines twice and especially raves about Banaue. He has attended Sinulog festival, swum with Whalesharks and even DJ’d in Boracay!He was featured in the Business Insider, BBC and Choose Philippines. Tommy goes by his own motto “every new place is a good place.”If you don’t see Tommy focused doing Hot Yoga, trailing through rainforests, ducking into the ocean or eating local street food, you’ll see him at a small bar drinking what the locals drink!