Youth Hostels For Today’s Traveller!
Looking for a cheap accommodation amenity, try youth hostels. These are mainly supervised shelter that provides cheap overnight lodging mainly to the younger section of people. These were discovered accidentally, when in the twelfth century, a German teacher spent one cold night along with her students in a farmer’s barn. It is when the need for affordable, clean and comfortable lodgings for the young people was realized. An International Youth Hostel Foundation was created in Amsterdam in the year 1932. Nowadays, over sixty countries are members of this foundation.
Sometimes, people tend to get in state of dilemma and they tend to mistake youth hostels as any other luxury or residential hostels, which is totally baseless. There are some significant benefits of these hostels as they provide accommodation at economical cost for the short period of time. Moreover, a large number of people working here are locals who are more than happy to help you out with itineraries, restaurant recommendations and can even sometimes arrange discounts on sightseeing or other activities.
These lodgings are particularly located in scenic or historical areas. The people or guests living in here often cook their own meals, make their own beds and do other kinds of work. You can find cheap amenities in nearly all the countries such as Amsterdam, Italy, China, Paris and Germany to name a few.
Sneak Preview Of Youth Hotels Around The World
Regulations and membership
It is possible to stay at a youth hostel even if you aren’t a member, but it will cost you approximately 600 yen more per night at the privately owned ones (the government run youth hostels charge you the same regardless of whether you are a member or not). At the privately run youth hostels, if you are staying more than 5 days you are better off becoming a member because as a non-member it will cost you 3,600 yen for 6 days. In fact, if you stay for 6 nights as a non-member you automatically receive a member’s card. Membership prices vary according to age. If you are over 19 it is 2,500 yen with an annual renewal fee of 2,000 yen. If you are under 19 it is 1,500 yen and an annual renewal fee of 1,000 yen. You must be over 4 years old to use the Youth Hostels. To become a member is fairly easy to do by going to one of the youth hostels prefectural offices. If you are already a member of a youth hostel in your own country you can use that membership. There are 60 locations in Tokyo and 800 in Japan where you can register. When you go there you are required to have a license or something which identifies you such as a health insurance card. Once you become a member it entitles you to receive discounts (usually 10-20%) on train travel, plane fares, museums and other public facilities. You can also get cheap rent-a-car from Orix (10%) or Nissan rent-a-car (5%).
Most bunk bed rooms are in western style, but there are some rooms with Tatami Mats. Although youth hostels are gender separated, private rooms can also be made available to families or groups.
Average pricing for accommodation at a Youth hostel with 2 square meals is about 4,500 yen/day, although pricing varies between 3,000 yen to 5,000 yen per night. If you pay 5,000 yen you can often get a room with a bath.
When you stay at a youth hostel in Japan you are required to clean your own table and put your sheets on the bed. Although the food is pretty good the prices are comparatively low.
You can book a room 90 days in advance by phone. Generally, cancellation fees don’t apply if you cancel at least 4-6 days in advance. If you cancel one day prior to your stay it costs 50% of the accommodation fee.
Alternatives to Youth Hostels
In addition to youth hostels, there are youth guest houses which are a grade up from youth hostels which are explained in a separate article. Youth Guest Houses are a great alternative for people who don’t want to ‘rough it’ and for those traveling in groups who are looking for decent accommodation. According to some industry insiders, one reason why youth guest houses have come about is because the number of people using youth hostels dropped in recent years. According to one of the youth guest hostel owners there used to be over 600 youth hostels with over 600,000 members but now there are only about 350 youth hostels with 100,000 members. This drop is possibly due to the poor state of the facilities and comparatively low standard of service.
As you can see, it is certainly a very rich and rewarding experience to stay at these lodgings. You can get a chance to meet other travelers mainly students, who can provide some of the valuable advice on the places to see and explore. If you are traveling alone then there are chances that you can find a travel companion and experience the country visiting together.
Nearly, the accommodation here is particularly dormitory style, with large rooms holding between four to ten beds. Many of the rooms are single sex, though there are some that are mixed gender. Additionally, many hostels in some of the major countries offer various amenities and facilities to their guests such as internet access, full kitchens, laundry, etc.
The hostels in Germany offer far more to you than a low-priced accommodation.
Tolerance towards the other one, the helpfulness, open dialogue, and a strong environmental awareness make youth hostels in Germany for its guests an unusual and experience-rich destination.
Beside small cosy old buildings or the experience in castles and residences you also find many houses in scenic delightful environments as well as in large cities.
At first sight it has even the appearance at some, that it would be a 5-star luxury hotel. But after all if you ask for the conditions you experience that you have been landed in a fantastically beautiful youth hostel and will feel at ease in the time of your stay.
Whatever you are looking for – whether conference atmosphere, sport possibilities, school experiences without classroom, or a particularly for families coordinated equipment – with the hostels in Germany you’ll find the fitting for you.
By the way, between youth hostels and schools exists a long active tradition.
Anyhow, it is important for them that they do not only offer touristic attractions. The youth hostels above all attach also importance to obtain conscious travel. The social, economic and ecological consequences of a blind mass tourism are very conscious to them. Therefore, you will still get expert consultation and insider knowledge, and all this free of charge.
Good. Most hostels in Germany are located at places, from which you can discover a lot of beautiful things. Whether it is on a mountain from which you have a fantastic view, or in the country, where you can get to know the very German life, or in the middle of a city, where you can admire the attractive and historical points of interest.
There are even youth hostels with extensive wellness supply! By some I am inclined to call them Secret Resorts. (More about Secret Resorts and how to find them in my specific 4-part article or on my website)
If you however attach great importance to comfort, you should better book your accommodation in a hotel. In the youth hostels often no or little service is offered. Service you usually get in hotels.
Moreover, in Bavaria are lodgings which offer overnight stays only for humans up to 26 years. That is, they proverbially concentrate on the youth. You will find however sufficient others in which is also offered a cosy bed to adults.
Today we have youth hostels in the whole world (I even had the time of my life in the hostel of New York City!). You will however see, feel, and smell that the origin of hostels was developed in Germany.
USA – New York
If you’re coming from Europe you’ll first notice the prices for hostels are quite a bit higher than you’d be used to paying over there. Another NY travel tidbit is to make sure you’re budgeting properly because you don’t want to end up on the streets there at night.
The New York Loft Hostel:
The New York Loft Hostel is jam packed with all the amenities of a hotel, as well it is close to everything you’d want to be close to. How close? I’m talking only 10 minutes from union square and only a couple blocks from the best subway system in North America. Everyday you can start out with a free breakfast in the common room which is where I met all sorts of great people. As well the place has a pool, hot tub and a full TV room with all the goodies. This hostel also has the option for private rooms for much less than a hotel still. As for the regular rates, expect to pay around $25 USD per night assuming you stay in one of the nice common rooms.
Like clean living and an amazing view to go with your New York experience? L Hostel is a multicultural owned and operated facility that goes above and beyond making this one of the cleanest hostels on the east coast. The L Hostel has a private rooftop deck with immaculate views of Harlem. They also have private rooftop rooms to rent which come with amazing views and private deck access which cannot be topped. Private rooms will run you just shy of $100 USD and shared rooms cost around $25 USD!
International Student Center New York
If Manhattan is your ultimate destination then this place is one of your juicy options for hostels right in the posh city center. As the name suggests, you’ll see a younger crowd here which is great if you’re looking to meet new and interesting people. This hostel has all the usual amenities such as full kitchen, clean bathrooms and best of all it is right next to Central Park! This hostel is one of the busy ones so make sure you try and book in advance, if not try and get on a cancellation list just in case. This hostel has a summer special of $25 USD per night which is great, you can’t beat that price for the location.
Broadway Hotel & Hostel:
If you’re in for a stylish stay then make sure you check out this very unique boutique styled hotel and hostel. The upper west side of the city is where most of the action is and the Broadway Hotel & Hostel is within walking distance to a number of hot locations….not to mention it is on Broadway! The Hostel is filled with luxurious, boutique styled rooms for lounging and gaming, it almost has a touch of gothic to its decor. A good portion of the place has been recently upgraded from the private rooms with flatscreens, to the gourmet kitchen with all the trimmings. This hostel is very popular so plan way ahead and expect to pay around $30 USD a night.
461 Times Square Hostel:
If you’re wanting to stay among the hustle and bustle, close to everything fun then this may be the spot for you. Because this place is so popular there is a minimum stay requirement of 3 nights, so make sure you book ahead to nab this great place. This hostel has a bunch of free options including towels, WiFi and city guides/maps. The prices here are competitive to the rest of the city and expect to pay around $30-40 USD for a nights stay here.
Now, Here Are Things To Consider When Booking Any Of The Youth Hostels Around The World
There are some factors which need to be taken into consideration before booking at any of the youth hostels. Of course your main priority is probably price and you’ll be looking for the cheapest accommodation available, but in some cases paying ever so slightly more may be more beneficial in terms of the amenities available and safety.
Remember when you’re staying at one of the youth hostels you share a room with a number of complete strangers. You don’t know them and therefore you cannot trust them with your belongings. Safety needs to be at the forefront of your mind at all times when choosing this type of accommodation.
Ensure the establishment offers secure lockers that you can rent or use to secure your belongings when going out and visiting the nearby sights, this will offer you peace of mind and also ensure that when you return later in the day, your items will still be there.
Over and above price, you will want to ensure that the establishment has availability for the dates you require. If you are flexible on dates, you won’t find any problem finding a host of affordable youth hostels that can accommodate you.
Be specific about your dates, ensure you complete your online request correctly to see what establishments have availability. Once you have the names of the youth hostels, you are able to conduct your own research to find the one that best meets your requirements.
Read through the customer reviews. This is such an important step which should not be eliminated. As with five star hotels, past guests of youth hostels also write reviews on various review sites, this is your opportunity to ensure that the establishment has a good reputation and can provide you with safe and comfortable accommodation for your desired period.
Find out if they have different floors and bathroom facilities for men and women. This is so important if you are girls traveling together. It can ensure your safety and also give you peace of mind that you won’t be bunking with a group of noisy guys.
Remember that when staying in this type of establishment you need to be respectful of other guests. You are all staying in close quarters, so when you get home late at night, be considerate to those already asleep.
Always find out how many guests are placed in each room. Rooms can vary in size and because they comprise of bunk beds, many of the establishment owners will put as many people into each room as possible to make money.
Ideally you don’t want to share with nineteen or twenty other people, six or eight is a good number and you should aim to find youth hostels that can provide you with this service.
As with any youth hostel, there will be common areas that you will have to share with the other guests. These normally comprise of outside areas, a kitchen and living room with television. There are no televisions in the room, but this is a good opportunity to get to know the other guests, make new friends and enjoy some time with some likeminded people.
Ensure you find out what communal areas are available, so you know whether you will be able to cook each night to save money or whether you will be living on take outs.
Finally, ensure you are aware of what is included in the price you are paying. Some youth hostels will charge a small amount more than others, but will include things such as bedding and pillows, while others will charge a basic rate and not have any inclusions. This is something to consider and should be based on how much packing space you have available.
Long story short, youth hostels accommodation does not address the needs of the students alone as most people think. It is an ideal solution for those people who travel on a budget. Convenience is the main reason why so many people prefer hostels as their number one choice. Thus, if you have any travel plans and do not have a budget to live in expensive hotel rooms, then in that situation youth hostels are ideal for you.
Still unsure? Look no further, we have compiled a traveler guide of where to stay for the rest of holiday destinations around the world just for people like you…..Happy holidays!