International Hostels FAQ's

What are hostels like in other countries? 
Do I have to be a YHA member to stay at hostels overseas?
Are there curfews at YHA hostels?
My plane arrives at 3am can I check in at that time?
Will I have chores or duties to do?
Do I have to bring a sleeping bag?
Do I need to bring a towel?
How do I make international hostel bookings?
What types of rooms are available?
Can families be together in the same room?
I am travelling with both male and female friends, can we stay in the same room or do we have to stay in the single sex dormitories?
Can I buy food at the hostel?
Where can I put my luggage if I go out for the day?
Is there off-street parking at the hostels?
Do the hostels offer Free Airport Shuttle/Bus Pick Ups?
Is there a maximum length of time I can stay at any one hostel?
Can I make bookings for transport and activities at the hostel?
What are hostel kitchen facilities like?
Are there power points in the rooms?
Do the hostels have alarm clocks or hairdryers I can use?
Do you have a list of hostels overseas?
Do you have guidebooks for overseas travel?

Other FAQ's:

International Travel, YHA Membership, NZ Hostels

Can't find the answer you're looking for?

Email us your question

 What are hostels like in other countries?

No two hostels are the same, which is one of the fun things about staying at a Hostelling International hostel! There are farmhouses and Italian villas, converted schools, chapels and castles, lodges set in beautiful acres and modern purpose built hostels. There are even Tepees, yachts and log cabins. The hostels you stay in will often become a unique part of your trip.

Despite their differences, Hostelling International guarantees that all hostels will have a friendly atmosphere, will be clean and well-maintained, will be secure for all travellers whether travelling with others or alone, and they will have an abundance of information on local activities.

 Do I have to be a YHA member to stay at hostels overseas?

Some countires only allow YHA members to stay at their hostels. Most countries however (like New Zealand) allow anyone to stay but offer a discount to YHA cardholders. This discount is typically between NZD$1 and $5 per night. Most countries also offer a 'pay as you go' membership scheme. Check hihostels.com for each countries' policies. 

 Are there curfews at YHA hostels?

Many international hostels in the cities will have 24-hour guest access. Check on hihostels.com for individual hostel information.

 My plane arrives at 3am can I check in at that time?

Most hostels that are located near to large airports will welcome guests at all hours. Check with the hostel before booking to see if you need to know about any late arrival procedures.

REMEMBER: If you have made bookings through hihostels.com you must advise the hostel if you are arriving after 6pm – if you do not they will assume you are not arriving and your bed will be resold!

 Will I have chores or duties to do?

The traditional policy that all guests must help with the day to day cleaning of hostels has been abolished in most countries, which means you will be free from the chores! However, all hostels will expect guests to be considerate to others and to tidy up after themselves!

 Do I have to bring a sleeping bag?

In the majority of countries bedding and bed linen will be provided or will be available for hire. In some countries, similarly to New Zealand, you will not be allowed to use your own bedding. Check before you leave as there will be some hostels that will expect you to have your own sleeping bag.

 Do I need to bring a towel?

Yes! Although some hostels may provide bedding and bed linen rarely will they provide towels or toiletries for guests.

 How do I make international hostel bookings?

When travelling overseas, you can pre-book a bed in a multishare room in many hostels from here in New Zealand. Some will even allow you to book private rooms. You can do this by booking online at hihostels.com – you will need your credit card details to pay a non-refundable booking fee and 5% deposit (also non-refundable).

If you would like help with your bookings we will be happy to help and give you information on recommend hostels. Bookings are secured with a non-refundable 10% deposit if they are made through the international booking network (IBN). All other bookings (for example where we need to email hostels on your behalf) will be charged a booking fee of $10.00 per hostel.

To book through YHA New Zealand contact our Customer Services Team on 0800 278 299, email us or contact one of the following hostels: YHA Wellington City or YHA Auckland City.

All rates quoted when booking international hostels are member rates. If you are not a member you may be charged a surcharge on arrival at the hostel.

 What types of rooms are available?

All hostels around the world will have multishare rooms at their hostels although not all will have private rooms. If they do they might even offer private rooms with ensuite facilities!

Multishare accommodation is a shared room that generally sleeps between 4 and 8 people and can be available in single sex or mixed sex dormitories. This is the cheapest way to stay at hostels and for this reason hostels tend to have more of these rooms.

 Can families be together in the same room?

Families are not always welcome at hostels in some countries. Please check the information on hihostels.com to find out about individual hostels.

 I am travelling with both male and female friends, can we stay in the same room or do we have to stay in the single sex dormitories?

It depends on the hostel you are staying at. In some countries, e.g. Italy, it is quite common that the only beds offered are in single sex dormitories.

 Can I buy food at the hostel?

Some hostels will have their own café/bistro particularly if they are a large hostel. Others will offer hostel meals. However, you should always plan ahead and take food with you if you are unsure of the availability of food at the hostel Many hostels in Europe will offer breakfast included in the overnight rate – again, check before you go!

 Where can I put my luggage if I go out for the day?

Most Hostelling International hostels have luggage storage facilities. For a nominal fee you may be able to hire a locker. Rooms are often lockable so you can leave your bags in the room.

 Is there off-street parking at the hostels?

This very much depends on the hostel and place you are in staying at. Check out hihostels.com for information on individual hostels.

 Do the hostels offer Free Airport Shuttle/Bus Pick Ups?

Most international hostels do no offer free airport transfers, however, they will have links with local services that may offer discounts to guests staying at their hostel. To find out more contact the hostel or go to hihostels.com for more information.

 Is there a maximum length of time I can stay at any one hostel?

Most hostels have a maximum number of nights that you can stay for as hostels are designed for travellers. When booking online the maximum number of nights will show up during the booking process. If you would like to stay for a longer period of time it will depend on the time of year, size of the hostel etc. Contact the hostel directly to make arrangements.

 Can I make bookings for transport and activities at the hostel?

Large city hostels around the world will have close ties with transport and activity operators in their area. Pick the brains of the staff and ask if they can make bookings for you.

We strongly recommend that you pre-book for peak –season activities.

 What are hostel kitchen facilities like?

If a hostel has a self-catering kitchen it will have all the necessary equipment for whipping up any culinary delight – including pots, pans, plates and cutlery. Some hostels will have their own café or bistro for the culinary challenged!

 Are there power points in the rooms?

Most rooms have power points.

 Do the hostels have alarm clocks or hairdryers I can use?

This varies from hostel to hostel. It is advisable to always take your own alarm clock and hairdryer if you are going to rely on them during your trip. Visit our online Travel Shop where you can buy a variety of essential accessories for your trip.

 Do you have a list of hostels overseas?

You can purchase our Hostelling International Guide which is updated annually and lists over 4200 hostels throughout the Europe, the Mediterranean, Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. We also have individual accommodation guides available for some of the more popular destinations.

To order these guide books visit our website Travel Shop or alternatively you can purchase these guides from the YHA NZ Customer Services Team, Freephone 0800 278 299 and most YHA hostels.

Visit hihostels.com for comprehensive worldwide hostel information and bookings.

 Do you have guidebooks for overseas travel?

YHA members are entitled to a 20% discount on Lonely Planet travel guides when ordering through our National Office. Call us on Freephone 0800 278 299 or visit the Travel Shop to place your order.