In a previous article, I described my travel experience in South-East Asia through the advantages and disadvantages of the Workaway platform, mentioning the work experiences I made through the latter. Today I want to talk to you in more detail about a working reality that many travellers, including me, have chosen as the optimal way to extend their stay in the country they want to explore, that is to work in a hostel. The idea that many have of this place is a dirty, noisy and unsafe place. But is it really so?
WHAT IS THE HOSTEL?
The hostel is a budget accommodation that warmly caters for all travellers, regardless of age, who are here to have the opportunity to make new friends. It is a place where you can find mixed dormitories of various sizes, or exclusively female or male dormitories where the bathroom is shared. In addition, there are also private rooms with private bathroom facilities in the room. Most hostels offer various activities including shared breakfasts and dinners, themed parties and urban excursions, such as those that the Bello hostel in Bagan organizes daily to discover the various Burmese temples. In this case your only expense is about two euros of the daily e-bike rental. As you can see, the hostel is a very dynamic and therefore also a noisy place, but you can find some quiet where peace and tranquillity reign; it always depends on what you are looking for.
CLEANING IN THE HOSTELS
As for the cleanliness in the hostels, before booking I recommend you read the information and reviews of those who have already have resided there. You may happen to read the comments of someone who has found the kitchen invaded by dirt, or a messy roommate and little respectful of the rules of civil co-existence. As far as my own personal experience, I have to say that generally the sheets, the common areas and the bathroom were clean.
SECURITY IN HOSTELS
As for security, many hostels have lockers where you can store your belongings while you are sleeping or exploring the city. Also, security cameras are watching the entire facility day and night, so there’s nothing to worry about. Personally, I’ve always found people are generally very respectful and no one has ever broken into my locker to stolen my belongings.
kitchen in the hostel
reception in the hostel
WORKING IN THE HOSTEL
If you want to prolong your trip by keeping yourself distinguished, making friends with people from all over the world with whom to spend fantastic moments, working in such an environment can definitely help your case! The hostel needs the same employees as a hotel to perform different tasks:
- customer check-in and check-out
- provide information and guidance to customers
- organize events
- manage social media
- make photographs to improve the site and/or social
- prepare breakfasts
It is not strictly necessary to have special skills to work in this structure, but if you have already had previous tasks in the hospitality world, such as bars and restaurants, this is definitely an advantage. In any case, your personality is the most important thing; in fact, you have to be sociable and friendly as well as being responsible and reliable even when you perform the simplest tasks.
WHERE TO WORK IN HOSTEL
First you have to choose the place to do this kind of experience; in fact you can find work in the hostel almost everywhere, especially in those countries where there are travellers with backpackers or with a limited budget, that is to say most of the European states, South America and in recent years, the main countries of South-East Asia. I always selected the place where I wanted to stay the longest and used it as a starting point of my research.
WHERE TO WORK IN HOSTEL
There are several ways to look for ajob in the hostel. What I used most often was the Workaway platform; in practice I was doing a search of the hostels in the area that I had chosen based on the offer for the period that was fine for me and I contacted via email. Then I waited for their answer that arrived within a few hours or within a few days but in the meantime I continued to search. In countries such as Thailand and Malaysia it is very common for other travellers to have the same idea as you, so it may happen that job positions in hostels are scarce; therefore it is essential to move in time! In my article “15 sites for a cheap trip” I also included other search methods such as Hostelworld and Hostel Management. Also in this case you need to choose the place to stay and then submit your application to the hostels by sending your CV and indicating the reasons that motivate you to be part of their staff. Before submitting your application, I strongly advise you to always read carefully the information about the hostel and also the reviews, just to get an idea.
MY WORK EXPERIENCE IN THE HOSTEL
Among the tasks I carried out in the hostel were those of check-in and check-out of clients, to whom I provided all the information about the structure and the activities they could do in the city, I prepared daily breakfasts and in some cases I also cleaned the rooms. I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world with whom I established a special relationship, sharing moments and unique experiences as during that Christmas we spent away from home, where each of us cooked a typical dish of their country, making that pleasant day a sweet memory that I cherish in my heart.
If you also want to get involved and extend your stay by working and having fun at the same time, consider working in a hostel! It will be a fantastic life experience, one of those that are not even in school books you can learn.