Volunteers are an essential part of the hostelling movement, playing a key role in sharing their own life experiences and passion for travel with hostellers locally and from around the world. Hostelling International volunteers are vital contributors to the future of hostelling by providing innovative ideas, resources, as serving as hostelling ambassadors in their local communities.
Below you will find more information on the activities program and how to get involved as a volunteer.
My new favorite spot in Portland is the balcony next to the top of the Aerial Tram. For eating, I enjoy the Vista Spring Cafe, all of the McMenamin’s Pubs, Cha Cha Cha’s, Stanich’s (in my opinion, the best burger in Portland), Industrial Cafe over on Vaughn and “The Deck” out on the Columbia River. My favorite parks are Overlook Park on Interstate, Forest Park right at the end of Thurman and the park at the top of Council Crest (what a coincidence that it’s on the 4T hike).
One of my most memorable experiences with the hostel was while I was leading a 4T hike. Three young women from England were on the hike with me and we had such a good time together that the next day we all went up into the Columbia Gorge together and went on a beautiful hike up there. We even exchanged emails so we could send each other pictures that we took.
I am not a native Oregonian, but I am a West Coaster. I’ve lived in Alaska, California, Washington, and I’ve been in Oregon about ten years now.
I love volunteering because while I traveled it was very rare to find a hostel that offered their own tours/activities, and even more rare that those activities would be free! Volunteering is a way for me to give back for all the great experiences I had in hostels around the world. Plus, I get to meet travelers and take them on fun activities around Portland.
A memorable experience I had while leading an activity was when I took a group to see Trek in the Park. Although the event was advertised as a live performance of a Star Trek episode in the park, at least half the group that signed up thought we were going on a hike or trek in a park. But everyone still had a great time despite the confusion.
My favorite spot in Portland would be the food carts. I love the variety of ethnic foods made by the people from those countries. There is so much variety, you could eat something different everyday for a year. I also love Portland’s happy hours, hiking in Washington and Forest Park, and Portland’s vibrant music scene. Doug Fir and Mississippi Studios are my favorite spots to catch a show.
I love to travel, and when traveling I enjoy spending time with locals. Volunteering at the hostel gives me a chance to change up roles and welcome visitors to Portland. I love living here and showing visitors some of my favorite places. Volunteering with Kitchen Connection lets me try out some classic recipes and celebrate holidays. Dirty rice and jambalaya for Mardi Gras and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving! Who knows what’s next- maybe a jello cool whip American Flag Cake for the 4th of July! It’s been fun explaining some of our food traditions to visitors from afar. My favorite places in Portland are Powell’s Books, Oregon Zoo and any of our fantastic brunch locations (too many favorites to pick one).
I’m the “other” Tom (also much older than Tom W). Moved here last year from Chicago where I volunteered at the HI Chicago Info Desk for over 11 years plus led hostel outings to such places as Millennium Park and neighborhood and ethnic festivals. Now that I’m living in Portland I still have stars in my eyes and love exploring new places with HI travelers. Too new to the area to have real favorites yet, but the weather and beer have definitely lived up to expectations and I really love all the music venues and the musicians that call Portland and the Pacific Northwest home. I am the Frogman. I found my soul mate at the Barcelona Aquarium.
I am a Philadelphia transplant who loves the outdoors and moved to Portland five years ago after falling in love with the beauty of the Pacific northwest. I love volunteering at the hostel because I have traveled to 25 countries and love to meet new people from around the world. My favorite activities in Portland are hiking, camping, dancing salsa, and going to happy hour.
As a Portland native I enjoy sharing my city’s sights and stories with visitors from all over the world. Meeting people from all over the world at the hostel is an amazing experience. It lets me embrace my global curiosity, which I gained from traveling to various countries. I enjoy assisting hostel activities, leading brew pub crawl tours and showing newcomers particular spots in the city, such as the Oregon Zoo.
I’ve lived abroad in Australia, Poland, and Austria, but Portland holds a special place in my heart. My favorite places in Portland are Powell’s Books, the Thurman Street entrance to Forest Park, the Portland Art Museum, the food cart pods, and the many quirky eateries (Slappy Cakes for breakfast, Blue Star for donuts, and Le Bistro Montage for a late dinner). I am an avid hiker and my favorite weekend getaway is to the Colombia River Gorge, particularly to Oneonta Falls.
Ever since I was old enough to pick up a National Geographic, I’ve been obsessed with seeing as much of the world as possible! So far I’ve been to four continents, many countries, and I’ve had so many amazing adventures. During my travels, some of my favorite memories were the ones I made with the people I met while staying in hostels. Getting a chance to volunteer not only helps me continue to meet new, international friends (without having to leave home), but also, I can now give back by helping other travelers create unforgettable memories of their time in this amazing city! I love being able to show off Portland and see it from the eyes of someone coming here for the first time! There are so many great aspects to this city, it’s hard to say what I love most. From amazing and eclectic food, to awesome local bands and music venues, all the great beer and bars, and the access to all things nature; it really is just a fabulous place to spend time!
I moved to Portland from Iowa on New Years Day 2015 on a whim, as many Portland transplants do. I started volunteering at the hostel as a way to meet local and international travelers alike and bond over a shared interest. Though I studied history, my favorite part of traveling has always been the food, the drink, and the people, so I’m happy to share the experience of Portland’s unparalleled food and drink scene with anyone who will join!
There are enough different craft beers and food carts in town to try a new one every single day, and I’m trying my hardest to do just that. My current go-to’s are Bailey’s Taproom for an awesome selection of local brews that is constantly rotating, and Kargi Gogo because where else are you going to find traditional Georgian cuisine?? (I’m also a little biased since the owners are Iowans, too!)
Some of my favorite travel moments include skydiving from a rickety plane in Swakopmund, Namibia, partying with my best friends for a month straight in Cuernavaca, Mexico, meeting my Swedish doppelganger in Bucharest, and stripping down (yep, all the way) for a painful scrub at a Turkish bath in Istanbul. I could talk about my experiences for hours upon hours, but I want to hear yours, too!
Here is our current schedule of events. Click on the event name in the calendar to find out more information. Below the calendar are descriptions of our most common activities.
Become a Volunteer
We are always looking for new volunteers to join our volunteer team and show travelers the unique side of Portland.
Are you outgoing? Do you enjoy exploring Portland? Are you interested in leading a group of international travelers on a variety of activities, including walking tours, pub crawls, hikes, outdoor concerts, festivals and more?? We are looking for you! Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com for more information.
Information for Current Volunteers
Below is the unscheduled events calendar. Please take a look at what activities are available to lead for the current month.
Contact Lauren with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.