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Pairing hostels with volunteers

01 September 2015
1 Sep 2015 -
El Misti Hostel House april 2015 cocktails preparation

Bartending is one of the traveller skills. Image credit: El Misti Hostel House

Travelling changes people. People change the world. That’s what drove Worldpackers to create an innovative volunteer hostel pairing platform.

Worldpackers is on a mission to help travellers and hostel owners around the world come together. The idea is pretty simple. People want to travel at low cost and hostel owners are always looking for skilled volunteer workers. Worldpackers matches travellers to volunteer at hostels based on a traveller’s skills and their desired destination.

Founders Riq and Eric came up with the idea after Riq left his job as an investment banker in search of doing something with more purpose. He left for Africa and ended up travelling the world for almost 3 years. While working in a 100% volunteer-based hostel in California, he met Eric, the hostel’s general manager. They wanted to bring the idea of a volunteer workforce to life by helping more people travel the world. And that’s how Worldpackers was born.

A traveller can search Worldpackers’ website for positions at hostels all around the world based on their skill set. Once a traveller identifies a potential hostel position, they can apply as a volunteer for anywhere from a week to a year.

A traveller’s skills can be just about anything. The full list includes the following:

  • Administration
  • Arts
  • Bartending
  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Farming
  • Gardening
  • Handyman
  • Housekeeping
  • Kitchen Hand
  • Music
  • Night Shift
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Party Promoter
  • Photography
  • Reception
  • Social Media
  • Social work
  • Teaching languages
  • Teaching sports
  • Tour guide
  • Video making
  • Web developer

A Mutually Beneficial System

The platform allows for potential volunteers and hostels to find each other based on similar interests and needs. Volunteer workforces offer hostels many benefits.

Volunteer workers can actually help reduce overhead costs by decreasing the amount of money hostels spend on labour. The average occupancy rate for a hostel is 59% and this vacant space can accommodate skilled volunteer workers at little to no extra cost.

With Worldpackers, hostel owners can find volunteer workers with the specific skill set they need at the right time. Employee turnover isn’t usually regarded as a good thing, but Worldpackers embraces turnover as an opportunity for hostels to increase diversity and create an exchange of culture. Volunteer workers are motivated to provide great service because they share the same zest for travel as owners and their guests.

Since Worldpackers volunteers come in with a fresh mindset, they can bring new ideas to the hostel. Diverse workforces are a great way to keep a hostel up to date on their practices and offer guests an awesome experience.

Common Connections

Worldpackers makes it fun and easy to connect with people who share the same values. A hostel can list as many positions as they want and ensure that they only receive applications from people who meet their language and skill requirements. It’s easy and free for hostels to list current openings.

Prospective volunteers only pay a $50 fee once they reserve one of the hostels positions. The purpose of the fee is to hold the volunteer accountable to the opportunity they committed to. Every volunteer confirms their stay with an official agreement so that a host can be confident a volunteer will show up.

Hostels also have access to Worldpackers’ staff management system. Hostel owners can track schedules and applications, maintain current job postings and organise conversations with potential volunteers.

Proven Results

If the beautiful platform and ease of use isn’t enough to make you love Worldpackers, the service has shown to improve guest satisfaction and increase revenues through better OTA ratings.

Worldpackers European hostel users have an average Hostelworld rating of 89.1 out of 100, while the average European hostel on Hostelworld has a rating of 83.2 out of 100.

The Worldpackers team is currently conducting a more in depth analysis of how volunteer workforces influence a hostel’s ratings and revenues. Once they have completed their research, we will write a follow-up post to share their findings.

Worldpackers is a fun and innovative way for hostel owners and travellers to come together in a mutually beneficial way. Travellers get to experience new cultures while helping hostels with skilled tasks. Today, the site has more than 82,000 registered users with properties in more than 174 countries.

Browsing the Worldpackers site will be sure to give you wanderlust. Check it out today.

Worldpackers’ Social Links:

Facebook: Worldpacker

Instagram: @worldpackers

Twitter: @Worldpackers

This article appeared on Cloudbeds: Alex Gaggioli, Cloudbeds