I’ve worked in hostels for the past three summers, partly because I enjoy it and partly because work in my city dries up rather dramatically at the end of June. One of the things I love (and sometimes hate a little bit) about hostel life is the people – you meet such a variety of interesting humans in this job, but after a few weeks, you might find you get a little sick of them.
This is absolutely not to discredit all the incredible people I’ve met travelling and working in hostels, I’ve met some absolute legends. This is meant to be a TONGUE IN CHEEK look at some of the more common travelling types you might come across if you’ve ever worked in or spent ample time in hostels:
I mean hostel virgin of course, calm down everyone. This is usually either someone very young on their first big trip, or someone who had no idea what they were letting themselves in for. These guests tend to fall into two camps – they’ll either love it, get involved in everything and drink everyone under the table, or they’ll spend their entire stay looking really confused about the fact that there are other people in their room.
THE PARTY BOY/GIRL
There’s always one who can go harder than everyone else. I know this, because that person was me in 2016. I LOVE these guys because in a particularly difficult week, they’ll remind you why hostel work is so much fun. They’ll rock up at 9am moderately sauced and they’ll be a great asset to have during pre drinks and nights out. You’ll see them slinking back into the hostel at 11am after a 48hr bender involving a minor celebrity, six goats and a yacht. When they leave, you find out they’re actually a heart surgeon or software engineer and then you understand why they went so hard. Shout out to two of my favourite guests from last year, who rocked up from a night out high as balls, with 45 minutes to go before their flight to Ibiza. Incredibly, they made it.
THE LIVING NIGHTMARE
This is the guy (or indeed girl, although in my experience its been more likely to be a guy) who you might have a weird feeling about in the beginning. Maybe they have an unusual habit. Maybe their personal hygeine needs a little work. Maybe they’re just very very rude. Whatever it is, they turn your job into a nightmare. Special mention goes to a recent encounter I had with a dude who didn’t change clothes for five days, bought jars of unidentifiable food into his bed and spent half the week peddling hallucinogenics. Safe to say that, after day six without a shower, he was forcibly removed from the premises.
The typical guest from across the pond has, in my experience, a North Face jacket, an expertly-packed backpack and amazing teeth. They will have planned their itinerary to the letter, although they’ll inevitably get so wasted on the first night that they’ll forget their 8am prebooked tour of the Sagrada Familia. They also know the lyrics to every hip hop song ever regardless of how white and from Connecticut they are.
THE COOL AUSSIE*
Most Aussies fall into this category, in my opinion. They’re friendly, they’ll talk to anyone and they’ll drink more than most of Ireland combined. Invariably at this time of year we have at least five of these (usually) guys in residence. They’re always inexplicably buff despite having spent most of their trip existing on hangover food and beers. They’re always legends. Follow them on Insta, they make great social posts too and they always end up in the VIP on nights out. Liberal use of the C word to be expected.
*NB shout out my Kiwi crew, you guys are equally cool
THE ‘SORRY, I DIDN’T REALISE WE HAD A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL FAMILY STAYING HERE’
Inevitably you’ll encounter a guest who isn’t used to doing things for themselves. Maybe they come from a very privileged background, or maybe they’re just a little lazy, there’s always one. Once a girl coming back from a night out asked me repeatedly how to ‘operate’ the TAP in the kitchen, then asked me to make her a sandwich. She then dismissed the sandwich because she was gluten intolerant. I’ve also had guests ask me to buy them drugs (recreational, not medicinal), demand to be let into their rooms hours before check in, and once a guest gave me 50 Euros to clean his belongings and put them in storage (he was checking out for 24hr to fly to another city).
Typically a mediocre white boy with a shell necklace. No, I don’t want to hear Wonderwall. No, I also don’t want to hear your own material. Yes, I already know what your top ten bands and and I couldn’t give a flying eff. NB guitar can be substituted for other instruments.
Usually a lot cooler than me. Usually filming or editing something, usually also have really good teeth. Cool hats.
THE EXPERT TRAVELLER
Their backpack is more organised than your entire life. They’ve been doing this for months/years and they know every trick in the book, which makes them very good roommates. They’ll take advantage of all the free food and probably know more about the city they’re visiting than most of the locals. Possibly in possession of ayahuasca.
Have you ever encountered any of these usual suspects on your travels? Hell, maybe you are one! Hit me up in the comments below with your own experiences, plus anyone I might have missed!