help exchange   Host 10490
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: variable
Category: Backpacker Hostel
Host ID: 10490
Country: Scotland

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Last Updated: September 21, 2019

Hello everyone!


Welcome to our backpackers! This is a fun, friendly hostel in the delightful Scottish West coast seaside town of Oban. Our motto is "FRIENDLINESS and CLEANLINESS" - so we need year-round help to keep the hostel sparkling clean and to make sure every guest feels welcome and special ?? Get in touch if you can help us with anything that keeps our hostel looking good, our guests happy and our cheerful international atmosphere buzzing!

We are always looking for happy, positive and friendly people to join us. Our business is providing comfortable accommodation and a warm, welcoming atmosphere to our guests, who are young travelers on a budget. Accordingly, we look for HelpXers who are genuine backpackers- travelers-sociable people who will engage with our guests and enhance their experience with us. We can host you for minimum 2 weeks and no more than 2 months.

***Please note! No matter what else you can help us with, please be prepared to help us with housekeeping as this is what we ALWAYS need help with :-) Experience is not necessary, as we can train you to meet our very high housekeeping standards. We need HELPFUL HelpXers - if you`re the sort of person who walks past an overflowing bin or a sink full of dirty dishes and says "they`re not mine, I`m not cleaning them" - DON`T email us, look for another host!***

Oban is a well-serviced tourist town with a population of about 10,000. It is a busy fishing port, and also the "gateway to the isles", the biggest ferry port on the West coast of Scotland. It`s a great base for exploring the beautiful nearby islands, mountains, lochs and glens. There are so many breath-taking walks, bike rides, boat trips, camping and outdoor activities here, not to mention the best, freshest seafood you`ll ever taste! There`s also plenty of nightlife with many friendly pubs all through the town.

The backpackers has three buildings that sleep about 85 guests in total, in both dormitories and private rooms. We clean the whole hostel every day, and there is a lot of coordination and cooperation involved in getting all the work done between check-out and check-in. Our helpers work on average 3-4 hours per day in exchange for shared staff accommodation, including breakfast, internet access and use of the laundry and kitchen facilities. Some days are busier than others, so sometimes you might do more hours, but most days it`s less. Once the work is done you`re free to enjoy yourselves, and there are often chances for you to join in on day trips or other outings/activities with guests and the other staff... so there is plenty of fun to be had and plenty of friends to be made :-)

When you arrive in Oban you`ll have your first day to settle in, familiarise yourself with the town, the hostel and our other lovely HelpXers. The next morning you can help yourself to breakfast then join us at 10:30am where you`ll be eased into the housekeeping routine; there are three buildings and lots of things to learn and remember!... cleaning is not rocket science, but we try not to overwhelm our newcomers ?? You will be well supported in your work here, and you will feel like part of a team.

As you find your feet and as we get to know you, there are various other things you can get involved with; we always need outgoing, welcoming people to entertain our guests and create a relaxed social atmosphere. If you`re good at bringing people together and getting a group going, we`d love to have someone willing to take our guests out for informal walking tours of Oban, for example.

We provide all of your bedding, linen, towels etc. You`ll have access to a very well-equipped self-catering kitchen so you can do your own thing with food for the other daily meals, and even join in on our staff cook-ups if you wish! You will get one day off per week and we try to be as flexible as possible to allow you to explore Oban and its surrounds, and make the most of your time with us.

Our staff are happy, energetic folk with a passion for backpacking; we all strive to make our guests` stay pleasant and comfortable. Our team always needs positive people with an eye for detail and a willingness to engage with Oban, the hostel and our guests. We believe that happy, positive staff set the tone for a fun and relaxing stay for our guests, and likewise, we want your time here to be as much fun as our guests`!

We`d like you to stay at least 2 weeks to get properly involved (and the helpers we`ve had thus far have loved it so much most of them have extended their time here!), and as mentioned above, please be prepared to help with the housekeeping; no matter what else you end up doing, we always, always need help with the housekeeping! We ask for this minimum 2 weeks commitment because especially when we are busy over the summer, it is helpful to have people who are familiar with our routine.

If your English isn`t perfect, don`t worry - we have guests and HelpXers from all over the world, and we are very patient and happy to help you learn. To us, a willing attitude and a big smile are more important than a perfect vocabulary! Likewise, if you haven`t HelpX`d before, or if you don`t have hostel or housekeeping work experience, let us show you the ropes! There is a lot you can learn here and we are very happy to teach you everything you need to know :-)

Feel free to get in touch if you`ve got any questions - we look forward to hearing from you :-)

PLEASE NOTE: We receive a very high volume of applications, and to help us select the best helpers, we can only make decisions on those who have detailed premier membership profiles. You have the best chance of a positive response if you have a comprehensive profile with your interests, experiences, skills and references. Please do NOT contact us outside of HelpX or via a friend`s profile!

You have the best chance of consideration if your own profile page gives a lot of information about yourself, your experience, your interests, what you hope to get out of the HelpX exchange. Don`t be afraid to show a bit of personality; we need to get to know you so we can be sure that this exchange will be mutually beneficial :-) And of course we need to know the dates that you would like to come and HelpX with us, to help us with planning. Don`t worry if you`re inexperienced with housekeeping or if you`re not confident with English; we recruit for attitude, so tell us as much as you can about yourself!

Travel information: buses and trains come up to Oban from Glasgow about three times per day. The last train/bus leaves around 1830 so if you arrive at Glasgow airport, for example, after about 1700, you will need to spend the night in Glasgow and come to Oban the following day.
Tickets for buses and trains are usually cheaper when bought in advance. Timetables and tickets are at for buses, and for trains. We highly recommend the train, as the West Highland Line has been voted `the loveliest train journey in the world`!

In addition to the reviews below, you can have a look at our Facebook group for HelpXers past and present to see what our hostel and our helpers are like - and feel free to ask any questions!

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