Travelling & Work Opportunities in Backpacker Hostels

Travelling & Work Opportunities In Backpacker Hostels

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Even the most intrepid of travellers have found themselves running out of money abroad. If you’ve gone to work in Australia hoping for a farm picking job but with no luck, you could try working in a backpackers for an extra dollar or ten, or even a bed for the night. If you’re backpacking in Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns or Byron Bay take heed of these tips.

Target your search to find hostel jobs abroad

When choosing your Australian backpackers, aim for ones that look a bit rundown. There could be more potential for work, either in doing the place up or because the backpacker hostel is unable to afford permanent staff. If you’re phishing for jobs before you go, be specific about your skills and what you can offer a particular hostel. YHA has backpackers’ throughout Australia including Brisbane City and they put any vacant jobs on their website – if you’re looking for Cairns hostels try their brilliantly located Cairns Central YHA.


Check hostel notice boards

If you know you’re likely to need work on your travels, keep an eye on hostel notice boards as you pass through. Even if it’s not for now, it may be good to know in the future the hostels that are prepared to hire casual staff.

Network confidently

Chat to people in hostels, including the staff, and let them know you’re looking for work – swap email addresses and you never know what it could lead to. You’re more likely to get hired if a potential employer knows you on a personal level, so make yourself known in the area you want to work. A certain amount of bravado is required, but beware of over bluffing!

Think on your feet

Casual work is best sought out on the spot. If you’re in a backpacker hostel and notice the cleaners are short staffed or they could really do with the pool cleaned, make a proposal to the owner. Demonstrate you can do the job you’re applying for – if you want to work in a bar offer to work for free for an hour and showcase your cocktail making skills and engaging bar chat. If you want to do PR, grab them 10 new guests from the train station.

Use your skills to create your own hostel work exchange

Exploit any manual, artistic or public relations skills you have – if you can play a musical instrument, offer to do a night and see how many people it pulls in. If you can make films offer to make them for the website. They haven’t got a website? Make them a simple one in return for free accommodation. Plumbers, mechanics and electricians can also do well working in hostels.

More odd jobs ideas

* Old ramshackle house on site? Offer to clean it out.

* Dirty staff or hostel cars or vans? Offer to clean them out.

* Rusty old BBQ and no breakfast? Clean it and cook it, then make an arrangement to split the profit.

* Unused broken bikes or kayaks etc? Offer to fix them and highlight the potential money to be made.

* Bleak hostel walls? Offer to create some photographs or artwork.

* Dirty windows? Invest in a rag and bucket and offer to clean them.

* Unkempt exterior? Offer to mow the lawn and sort the flower beds. Locals might see you and ask you to do theirs.

Further Information

View Hostel Jobs Worldwide to find hundreds of hostels that sometimes employ volunteer staff.




blog // magazine // working abroad > tourism, catering & hospitality + volunteer & gap year
This piece was first published in an older version of our blog