By Isabel Clift
Think you know HostelBookers? We just might surprise you with these little fact-y nuggets…
1. We started with a team of six in the back room of the Generator Hostel in London…
2. …but London’s Clink78 is our most-booked hostel ever: 151077 travellers have slept in its bunks and possibly partaken in its legendary Happy Hour via HostelBookers since 2004.
3. We’ve got a colourful past. Previous jobs for team HB include two former dancers, a goth club bartender, a journalist on a Royal Navy ship, a fish finger packer, a poker director, an Apple store guru, a bin man, a bar rep and someone who dressed up as Santa Claus to sell perfume.
4. We are nine years old this year and celebrated in age-appropriate style – with a bowling party!
5. There’s been one HostelBookers wedding so far, with the first HB baby on the way in September.
7. The 120 people on team HB come from 25 different nationalities across five continents. (We’ve yet to employ anyone from Antarctica, but hey, if any penguins fancy a career change…)
8. London, where our offices are, is also our most-booked destination. 245493 travellers booked directly with us to stay in London last year.
9. Sometimes at the office, desks get tinfoiled:
10. And other times, pumpkins become Ted:
11. We speak 14 languages including Russian, Swedish and Cantonese.
12. We’ve got a taste for weird food. Between us we’ve tried ants, ant eggs (Mexican escamoles), whale, fried spiders, snake, roasted pigs’ testicles, turtle and guinea pig. Scotch eggs and jelly also cropped up in the answers, proving one person’s ‘weird’ is another’s ‘normal British childhood’.
13. There are three guitarists, two drummers, two pianists and one DJ on the team… and one person who plays the triangle.
14. One of our hostels can fly.
15. We are all backpackers at heart. The furthest-flung (from London) places we’ve been include The Great Wall of China (proof below!), Hawaii on spring break and New Zealand for the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final.
16. 34% of us are tri-lingual. The most popular second language is Spanish.
17. We’ve raised £3473.24 for charity over the years, mostly by ways that let us eat, drink and raise money at the same time. We made £1800 for Children in Need with a bake off and fairground games, £300 last Movember and have cycled to Amsterdam for the East Africa Appeal.