RESOURCES

Highly Recommended

Welcome to the TheHostelHelper’s resources section, a genuine list of tools and websites I love and strongly recommend for building and optimizing your hostel business.

I have tested every single resource I recommend on this page. Many of the tools listed here are absolutely CRUCIAL to running my own business.

Before digging into the awesome resources I know and trust, an important disclosure. Some of the links below are affiliate links. That means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission – at no extra cost to you. This allows me to continue and improve this website to help you even more.

Hostel Software

A Property Management System (PMS) helps you manage your reservations. It’s the centerpiece of your business. Cloudbeds PMS shows all your rooms and beds with their occupancy in a calendar view where you can easily add, cancel or edit them.

  • Award-winning 24/7 support!
  • Rated #1 for “ease of use”
  • Comes with a commission-free booking engine and literally THE best channel manager for hostels (see below)
  • FREE consultation + FREE demo available

41% of hostel managers use Cloudbeds as their property management software.

With this link, you’ll get a $50 credit +10% lifetime discount which is an exclusive TheHostelHelper offer!

For further information, check out my guide about property management systems.

A channel manager is a tool that allows you to automatically synchronize your availability & rates across all distribution channels. This helps you avoid overbookings, frees up plenty of time and leads to more bookings. Here’s what I love about MyAllocator:

  • FREE if you opt for Cloudbeds property management system
  • User-friendly and intuitive is an understatement
  • Low-cost: starting at $25 USD per month
  • 1 month FREE trial

Did you know that 56% of hostel managers use MyAllocator (by Cloudbeds) to manage their distribution channels?

For further information, check out my guide about channel managers for hostels.

An accounting software overtakes big parts of your accounting duties and is completely automated. Quickbooks is tailored towards the needs of lodging facilities and is by far the most popular accounting software among hostels. 

  • Connect your bank accounts and create automatic reports
  • Compatible to Cloudbeds PMS
  • Create automatic payrolls for your staff
  • Starting price: $4 USD per month! (depending on the package)

With this link, you’ll get a FREE 30-day trial!

For further information, check out my guide about hostel accounting

Website

When you have your own domain (e.g. thehostelhelper.com), you need a site host to store your files. All my websites are hosted on Bluehost. Why? They make it incredibly easy to get a new website up and running.

  • Free domain for the first year!
  • Free business email addresses -> e.g. info@yourhostel.com
  • Outstanding customer service: 24/7 live chat & phone (most important part in my opinion)
  • Host multiple domains with ONE account!

I highly recommend using Bluehost for your website, you can get started for as little as $2.75/month (USD), which is an exclusive TheHostelHelper deal!

Need help with your website? Check out my step-by-step guide to create a hostel website.

In combination with THIS online course, you can’t do anything wrong.

To get a professional business email address and your own website, you first need to register a domain (e.g. yourhostelname.com). My favorite website for this is GoDaddy. It’s cheap, super straightforward and most importantly – it’s safe.

  • Biggest and safest domain registrar worldwide
  • Protect your hostel by buying all relevant domains (.com / .net / .info / …)
  • Check within seconds if a domain is available
  • Domains are easily transferable to Bluehost for webhosting

With this link, you’ll get access to an exclusive TheHostelHelper deal where you can buy your first domain for as little as $4.99/year (USD)!

If you’re looking for a way to automate your emails and earn additional money through special deals or up-selling, GetResponse is your #1 choice.

  • Email Automation: Set up an email sequence once and make extra money for a lifetime!
  • Super easy & intuitive
  • Best price: Starting at $15 per month
  • 30-day FREE trial

With this link, you can test their email automation 30 days for free!

Start an Online Business

In this step-by-step course I’ve learnt how to make a living with online businesses. Hands down, this course changed my life.

  • 60-step course
  • The most genuine teachers ever
  • 18 additional courses on online marketing
  • Awesome online community

Click here to get more information about it.

Furniture & Equipment

The right beds play a key role in your guest’s experience and can affect your reviews to a great extent. Sleeptite is the most recommended bunk bed supplier among hostel owners.

  • Enormous durability & strength
  • Various colors available
  • Designed to prevent bed bugs
  • Suitable ‘under bed lockers’ available
  • Worldwide shipping

Click here to see their full range of available beds.

For further information, check out my hostel bunk beds guide.

On Amazon, you have the advantage to read through thousands of reviews. Hence, you’re able to choose mattresses that have been tested and approved by others. Over the last 10 years, Amazon has developed into a respected distributor for all sorts of things – even quality mattresses.

  • This is my recommendation FOR TWIN MATTRESSES
  • This is my recommendation FOR QUEEN MATTRESSES
  • This is my recommendation MATTRESS COVERS

For further information, check out my hostel mattress guide.

The same principle as for mattresses holds true for your bedding: Choose proven products as opposed to visiting random stores and hoping for the best.

  • Feels softer than 1,000 thread count sheets
  • Wrinkle-free
  • More than 10,000 stunning reviews
  • Complete set: 2 pillowcases, flat sheet, and fitted sheet

Click here to see my recommendation for hostel sheets.

For further information,  read my hostel bedding guide.

Free Tools

Organize tasks with dates, reminders, and priorities using whatever device you have at hand! What I love most about Todoist, is that it recognizes your written text and transforms it automatically in tasks. Hard to explain – go and see for yourself!

  • Delegate tasks to individual staff members within seconds
  • Keep your personal and professional life organized!
    Example: “every Thursday at 8 pm do X”
  • Prioritizing your tasks by means of flags
  • Free version available

This has been a serious lifesaver for me. With this link, you get 2 free premium months.

For a quick step-by-step guide, check out my guide about how to manage your hostel’s staff using Todoist.

If you want to save time, I highly recommend THIS online course.

Evernote allows you to easily capture information from anywhere, using whatever device you have at hand. It puts your notes, photos, audios, PDFs, etc. in one cloud and enables you to literally find it in seconds.

  • Cloud-based, i.e. everything is stored in one place!
  • Can search for words in images, PDFs & handwritten notes
  • Synchronizes with all your devices
  • Free version available

In retrospect, it was the best decision I made in 2017 when I decided to digitize my life.

With this link, you get a free premium month.

To save time & boost your productivity, I highly recommend THIS step-by-step online course. This will change your life.

Once you’ve signed up, you can easily drag and drop files in a cloud-based folder – called your “Dropbox”. This allows you to access your files from anywhere and at any time.

  • Cloud-based, i.e. everything is stored in one place!
  • Ideal for storing documents that you’re editing on a regular basis (e.g. Excel sheets, Word documents, etc.)
  • Data is safeguarded against any type of hardware failure
  • Free version available

I use Dropbox every single day. It’s where I store all my excel sheets and folders. I simply add shortcuts to my cloud folders onto my desktop. Easy & convenient.

With this link, you can sign up for a free account.

If you’re using Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter, you definitely want to check out Buffer! Using social media professionally without Buffer is like writing a book with a typewriter.

  • Schedule up to 10 social media posts at once!
  • Time to implementation in less than 5 minutes!
  • Create one post that is simultaneously published on three channels: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
  • Free version available

For further information about how to use Buffer, check out my foolproof step-by-step social media guide

No matter what kind of images you are looking for, Canva does the job. With Canva, you have access to a wide range of templates which makes creating your own awesome pictures dead easy.

  • “Intuitive” is an understatement for this tool!
  • In need of social media images, rack cards, signs like house rules and other pictures such as for your staff’s manual,…? Canva has got you covered.
  • Free version available

Skip graphic designers and use this tool instead! I personally use the premium tool. However, that’s optional.

Click here, to get 1 FREE premium month.

And with THIS online course, you can easily become a professional designer within one hour.

Optimizilla is the most powerful yet easy-to-use tool to compress your images without lowering their quality.

  • Reduces file sizes up to 90%!
  • Speeds up your website
  • Upload up to 20 images in bulk
  • 100% FREE

Remember: Before compressing your images, crop them into the exact size you need on your website. Use either Paint or Pixlr to do that.

If you or your staff are writing more than 5 emails a day, this tool is a must-have. It allows you to create emails in seconds by replacing keywords through your customized templates.

  • From download to start in less than 2min!
  • Super intuitive setup & absolutely retard-proof 😉
  • Deliver consistent outstanding customer service by using templates
  • Free version available!

This simple tool reduced my time to write an email by more than 70%.

Click here to learn how it works.

Freelancer.com is by far my favorite website to delegate tasks. It offers the cheapest high-quality freelancers for various tasks. Need a logo? New brochure? Photo editing? Marketing video? Blog articles for your website? Web design? … Then look no further.

  • Delegate tasks to professional freelancers all over the world
  • Only pay for work you’re 100% satisfied with!
  • Let potential workers bid on your job offer to get the best price
  • See previous project reviews and select your best freelancer

With this link, you’ll get $20 for FREE to get started! I love this website.

Books

Vikki Matsis is the author of the book as well as the manager of the “NotSo Hostel” in Charleston, USA. In my opinion, the beauty of this book is that Vikki started managing the hostel without much previous experience. Hence, you can benefit from all the mistakes she has learned the hard way!

  • Includes several templates for all kinds of things
  • Most in-depth book available for hostel owners
  • Real-life financial calculations & profit/loss statements
  • Plenty of hands-on advice

It’s not about whether she does everything right or wrong, but about gaining different perspectives on certain topics. Her insights and learnings are invaluable.

The author and serial entrepreneur Nate Bunger is the owner of the “Casa Miraflores Hostel” in Colombia. In my opinion, he has written the most inspiring book for hostel owners.

  • Learn to work ON a hostel business that works for you instead of working IN a self-made prison
  • Get insights on how the mind of a brilliant serial entrepreneur works
  • Make your hostel highly profitable AND fun 
  • Get a holistic view about what really matters

This quick read is a pure motivation cocktail. It clearly shows the bright future the hostel industry is awaiting!

I’ve read 268 books (July 2019) in the category of business and self-help, and this is BY FAR my absolute favorite book. Why? Because it’s the most practical advice I’ve ever received.

  • Make your competitors wonder why your hostel is always fully booked
  • While it’s not written for hostels, almost most principles apply!
  • Plan your success by following the step-by-step process to create your own personalized marketing plan
  • Still in doubt? Just take a look at the reviews

This advice is hands down what other companies pay millions for – packed in 200 pages. An absolute MUST-READ for every serious hostel owner.

FREE DOWNLOADS

Coming Soon

I’m currently comparing different other aspects:

  • Capsule bed suppliers
  • Suppliers for lockers
  • Privacy curtains suppliers
  • Point Of Sale (POS)

Be the first to get noticed when I’m finished by subscribing to my weekly email digest!

TheHostelHelper - Hostel Owner Resource

Join Our Community Of Like-Minded Hostel Owners!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

Once signed up, you will receive a weekly newsletter with helpful tips. You can unsubscribe at any time.