Hostel Housekeeper

Working as a Housekeeper in a Hostel

While being a hostel housekeeper may not initially appear as a dream profession, it might just be your perfect fit! Keep reading to explore the advantages and disadvantages of maintaining cleanliness in your accommodation and determine if it aligns with your aspirations!

Housekeeping at a hostel isn’t typically a top choice on most people’s travel aspirations. For many, it’s merely a means to an end, providing them with free accommodation and the opportunity to save money for the dream adventures they have planned. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this practical approach, I’m here to inspire your outlook and explain why traveling the world while working as a housekeeper can be an incredible adventure that enriches your overall abroad experience. This post aim to ensure that your expectations are realistic and you’re well-prepared for the experience.

What does the daily routine of a hostel housekeeper look like?

While the specific housekeeper tasks can vary, typical responsibilities included: changing bed linens, laundering linens, vacuuming guest rooms, dusting surfaces cleaning toilets, sweeping, mopping, managing waste and cleaning the kitchen (No need to worry; you usually won’t be solely responsible for all of these tasks!)

Occasionally, there can be additional minor tasks, like, maintaining the cleanliness of the staff living quarters. But having the duty of cleaning your own living space as part of your official responsibilities is quite convenient!

Hostel housekeeper typical tasks?

Before you eagerly dive into applying for a hostel housekeeper position, let’s delve into the gritty details: cleaning isn’t always a walk in the park.

It’s crucial to maintain realistic expectations because the truth about this job is that you’ll be tidying up after others, often people with varying interpretations of what constitutes an acceptable level of messiness. So, let’s make this crystal clear: you will encounter messes. Depending on your location and the diverse clientele frequenting your hostel, you’ll encounter a range of messes. (Before I potentially discourage you, rest assured that there are considerate individuals who leave their sleeping quarters impeccably in order, stripping their own sheets and leaving nothing but a stray earplug beneath the bed!) If you secure a position in a bustling urban hostel, it’s probable that you’ll stumble upon remnants of raucous parties, envision rooms strewn with beer cans, bottles, scattered bits of paper, food debris, and curious new stains on the floor. Any hostel cleaner will contend with the task of airing out stuffy rooms, addressing some rather unpleasant restroom blockages, and tackling the removal of hair from shower stalls. If you’re the faint-hearted type, this line of work may not be your cup of tea. However, if you’re a detail-oriented individual who revels in restoring spaces to pristine order and takes pride in witnessing the tangible results of your labor, this job offers immense satisfaction!

Left treasure – personal belongings

Now that we’ve established that people can leave quite a mess behind, they also tend to forget a plethora of personal belongings. People also leave behind an assortment of toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, various sprays, and toothpaste. If luck is on your side, you might stumble upon a product you can use rather than discarding it. While this discovery tends to be the norm and results in a bit more cleanup for you (disposing of more items), the upside is that you can occasionally find genuinely cool or useful items left behind – and most of the time, guests don’t want them back! On some days, you might not need to buy groceries, you and the staff can divide up the leftover food. We found boxes of fudge, bags of oatmeal, fruits, coffee, potatoes – all delightful supplements to our meals. In the highlands hostel, discoveries can be more exciting – both posh and practical! Many groups arrived after hiking the West Highland Way or climbing Ben Nevis, the UK’s tallest mountain. They came equipped for adventure and left behind what they didn’t need. Cleaning the bedrooms sometimes felt like a treasure hunt… We never knew what surprises awaited us or where we would find them!

More than just a hostel housekeeper

With all of that being said, working as a housekeeper in a hostel transcends being a mere means to secure a free bunk in a foreign land. It’s not just about tackling the grime with the possibility of minor perks along the way. It’s an opportunity to accumulate valuable life experiences, explore your own self, and forge connections with people. Believe it or not, you might find this job to be one of the most enjoyable times of your life. Now, you might initially find it peculiar to hear such praise for a job, but hear me out. Hostels, by their very nature, are inherently enjoyable places to be. However, when you become one of the unsung heroes working behind the scenes, you open the door to forming lasting friendships. Imagine your fellow staff members – individuals hailing from all corners of the world, some from places you’ve never even visited. They carry their own stories, aspirations, and life experiences. They’ll be strikingly different from you in some respects yet surprisingly alike in ways that truly matter.

Great people

Now, envision yourself working alongside them: you’re scrubbing toilets, making funny faces, and sharing laughs as you tackle shower drain hair. You crank up the music as you strip beds and fold sheets, discovering a shared love for a particular genre or perhaps stumbling upon a new band to adore. You’ll vent about the dishes left behind by inconsiderate guests and find yourself sharing the story of your life as you wash while they dry. You’ll exchange words in various languages and develop inside jokes that transcend language barriers. Hostels are inherently enjoyable places, but when you’re part of the workforce and form friendships with your colleagues, everything becomes a bit brighter. You gain ready-made friends to explore with, a sense of camaraderie and teamwork that can illuminate even the dingiest room or a city you initially thought you didn’t like. Admittedly, there might be instances when you encounter less-than-ideal coworkers, but these experiences tend to be the exception rather than the rule. I can attest that in each place I worked and in other hostels where I spent extended periods, I made at least one steadfast friend with whom I continue to keep in touch, and whom I may visit in their home country one day.

Permanent staff

Additionally, the permanent staff members responsible for running the hostel are generally locals. Spending time with them provides you with an opportunity to dive into the local culture and lifestyle, embracing it with open arms. Allow them to introduce you to the surroundings, offering you insights into their way of life, and perhaps even helping you pick up some local language skills. It’s worth noting that working in a hostel presents an organic way to learn a new language as you traverse new territories. The individuals you come across during your stint at a hostel possess the potential to evolve into lifelong companions.

When your work exchange journey comes to a close, you’ll undoubtedly depart with connections that span across the globe. Ready to go? Check out the the hostel housekeeper roles we have and the latest work exchange positions now!