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Hostelling International

(Same membership as American Youth Hostels (AYH), International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF), Youth Hostel Aossociation (YHA)).


Hostels of Europe


Worldwide Hostel Guide


Hostelling International

(book available for purchase)


Hostels of Europe



(for HI members only)




Hostels are ideal accomodations for budget travelers. They are usually dormitory-style with 2-10 beds each and separated by sex. Some hostels have curfews at night and lockout periods in the afternoon. You may be asked to do minor cleaning chores as well, but not always. Many busy hostels do not accept reservations, so arrive early in the morning (think seven) to have the best chance. If you don't like being spontaneous a booking agency, such as IBN, can hook you up with hostels that do take reservations. Note though that IBN is for HI members only.


Hostelling International is the largest hostel organization. Member hostels often must abide by standards such as midnight curfew and afternoon lockout. Non-members are charged three extra dollars at participating hostels, but after six stays they are considered full members. Thus, it can come out better than ordering your twenty-five dollar membership (which you must do before you leave). However, some hostels give preference to members. An alternative is Hostels of Europe, a collection of independant hostels, which offers discounts to members. There are also some hostels free of affiliation that will have fewer standards but fewer restrictions.


Most hostels require you to have a sleep sheet, which is two sheets sewn together like a sleeping bag. Some hostels do not allow you to use your sleeping bag because they carry bugs. Also it is a good idea to bring a towel and your own soap.


Young, adventurous and diverse. Most travelers are extremely friendly and they are a great source of good inside information about your future destinations. Or, if you are traveling alone, you can join a group that shares your next destination. There are common rules of courtesy to respect other's sleep and space, but don't expect to hear a pin drop. They are very safe, yet you should keep your valuables on you or in the lockers that hostels sometimes have available.

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