Help us transform strangers into friends! 

Hostelling International USA (HI USA) was founded in 1939. Over the years, the talents, skills, and ideas of volunteers have been essential to enabling us to thrive and grow right here in Northern California.

Join our diverse team of volunteers who are dedicated to the ideals of a global community and travel. Volunteers meet people from all over the world, share their travel stories, and meet other volunteers with similar interests.

Volunteers are an essential part of the hostelling movement, playing a key role in sharing their own life experience and passion for travel with travelers locally and from around the world.  HI USA volunteers are vital contributors to the future of hostelling by providing innovative ideas and resources and by serving as hostelling ambassadors in their local communities.

HI USA Volunteer Philosophy

Hostelling International USA is committed to: 

  • Treating volunteers as colleagues (not just ‘free help’).
  • Connecting volunteers with suitable assignments (with consideration of personal preferences, skills, life experience, education, employment background and availability).
  • Training volunteers about HI USA (its policies, its people, its programs).
  • Preparing volunteers for the job at all time (orientation, information about new developments, training for greater responsibility).
  • Providing volunteers with sound guidance and direction by someone who is experienced, patient, well-informed and thoughtful, and has the time to invest in giving guidance.
  • Offering multiple opportunities over time (through advancement; through transfer from one activity to another; through special assignments).
  • Listening to volunteers and inviting volunteers to share suggestions and to have honest opinions respected.
  • Appreciating volunteers for the time and skills contributed.

Would you like to lead a tour of your San Francisco neighborhood, share your favorite restaurant with travelers, or bring a group of hostellers to a cultural event?

We have several volunteer opportunities available in San Francisco, including Tour Guides, Event Leaders, Sports/Outdoor Leaders, and Information Concierges. Lead pub crawls, visit museums, bike the Bay, or escort hostel guests to cultural events, dinners, or street festivals.

Tour Guide

San Francisco residents who love their city and know it well are needed to lead hostel guests on walking tours of both well known sites and more obscure attractions. Tour guides offer guests a chance to experience the unique history, architecture, and social fabric of San Francisco's legendary neighborhoods.

Event Leader

This is the perfect opportunity for San Francisco residents who love to attend city events. Event leaders bring hostel guests to San Francisco's unique happenings and celebrations--such as Gay Pride, Bay to Breakers, Chinese New Year, or Day of the Dead--as well as pub crawls and outings to live music and dance hotspots.

Sports/Outdoor Leader

Looking for unique volunteer opportunities that contribute to everyday health? We're looking for sports and outdoor enthusiasts to volunteer for our “Healthy Traveler” initiative. Teach yoga courses in a National Park, bike the Golden Gate Bridge, lead coastal hiking tours, or organize a healthy communal dinner at one of our hostels.

Information Concierge

Staff the information desk at one of our San Francisco hostels, and help travelers with everything from restaurant recommendations to directions to the cable cars. You'll get to know San Francisco even better as you share your insights with our guests.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Ready to find out more about volunteering? Look for HI USA volunteering opportunities near you!