Common & frequently asked Youth Hostel questions


Can we hire out the whole Youth Hostel?

Hostels are great places for groups to enjoy a break away. YHA Exclusive Hire allows you to hire out the whole of the building for you and your group at a set price during the year. Perfect for family gatherings, celebrations and activity breaks, visit YHA Exclusive Hire for more information and available hostels.

Will my room be cleaned?

Your room will be fully cleaned and disinfected prior to your arrival. It will be cleaned again on your departure. No staff members will enter your bedroom during your stay, except with your agreement (eg to rectify a maintenance issue) for your safety and security.

Do I have to share a room?

You will have private use of your bedroom for yourself and members of your household. Each bedroom will have a private bathroom either en-suite or allocated for your sole use during your stay.

Do you offer different types of accommodation?

YHA offers various types of experiences as well as hostelling. We have bunkhouses, campus accommodation, camping barnscamping podsglamping and camping facilities. Currently we are only able to offer pods and cabins.

Can I bring pets to stay at YHA?

Dogs are welcome to stay in most of our camping and cabin accommodation.

Unfortunately pets, including dogs, are not allowed in our Youth Hostel accommodation. This is a consideration of other guests who may be allergic as well as the logistics of pets staying. We do, however, accept registered assistance dogs – please stipulate this when booking.

Read more about our dog friendly facilities


Do I need to have a YHA Membership to stay?

No – you don’t have to be a YHA member to stay at a Youth Hostel. However, when you do become a member, you pay less when you stay with YHA and gain access to brilliant member benefits as well as an automatic membership with Hosteling International – perfect if you’re planning on travelling abroad. 

Find out more about YHA membership

Are there any age restrictions?

Whilst most hostels don’t have any age restrictions, there may be some hostels that are unsuitable for young children or guests with disabilities. It is always good to double check beforehand by checking the relevant hostel page on the YHA website.

You must be 16 or over to stay in a YHA hostel without an adult. If you are under 16 you can stay with YHA as long as you are travelling with an adult. If you are under 12, you can stay if travelling with an adult, but not in a dorm room.

Can I book for more than 16 people?

We offer a range of locations and packages which will suit any group. If there are less than 16 people in your party then you are able to book online. If there are 16 or more people in your group, you will not be able to book online.

Please get in touch to speak to our Groups team

I've not received my booking confirmation, what should I do?

The site will send you an email following registration, an update of details, enquiry and purchase.

If you've not received an email then check your spam/junk folder. If your email system has identified the email as spam/junk then you will need to add YHA to your safe sender list.

If the email is not in your junk mail folder then please contact us.

What time is check-in and check-out?

Check-in and check-out times vary from hostel to hostel.

Please check the hostel page for more information.

Can you explain your pricing?

“Rooms from”: this is used to refer to the lowest available price for a room which can be wholly booked. "Beds from”: this is used to refer to the lowest available price for the use of a single bed, usually within a dorm room.

Please note, this is an adult bed price, so it is possible that an under 18 dorm bed could be slightly cheaper. “Private rooms from”: this is used to refer to the lowest available price for a private room. 

How long can I stay at a YHA hostel for?

The maximum length of stay at one location is 14 nights.

Following any period of stay of 14 nights, guests may not return to any hostel for at least seven nights.

Can I arrange my own check-in time at a hostel?

You can find our check-in times on each hostel page and these are the times when you can check-in. You cannot check-in outside of these times.

Cancellations & refunds

How can I cancel or amend my booking?

If you’ve booked directly with YHA, you need to notify the contact centre of any cancellations or amendments to your booking. This can be done by the appropriate form in the booking amendments and cancellations section. For more information please read our terms and conditions for cancellations.

I cancelled my booking more than 28 days ago and have not received my refund yet, why?

Under normal circumstances we aim to process all refund applications within 28 days. Unfortunately, due to unprecedented demand, it may take us longer than usual to process your refund and we apologise for the inconvenience that this presents our customers. 

Our refund process is not automated and all refunds are processed manually by our team members. We are operating with significantly reduced staffing levels it will take time to work through the current influx of refund applications. 

If your refund application has been submitted, it is in our processing queue. We are working hard to get all applications processed as quickly as possible and we thank you for your patience at this challenging time.

Do you have my card details stored to issue my refund?

If your booking was placed online or through our contact centre, your card details have been securely stored and we will be able to issue a refund directly to your payment card. If you are unsure about how your booking was placed, please open the PDF attached to your refund application. This will indicate whether no further action is required on your part or if we will require further information to process your refund. If we require further information from you, you can submit your bank details via email and we will issue your refund by bank transfer. Please do not send your 16 digit debit/credit card number by email.

My account or card details have changed, can I provide you with new details?

We are required to make at least one attempt to process your refund to your original payment method. If this attempt fails, a member of our team will contact you to collect your bank details so that we can issue the refund via bank transfer.

I paid by card, why don't you have my card details saved?

If you paid by card directly with the hostel (either in person or over the phone) your payment was taken on a PDQ machine. This machine does not have the ability to store card details so we do not have this information stored to process your refund for you. In order to process your refund, we will require your bank details to issue a refund by bank transfer.

Can I send credit card details by email to claim my refund?

For your security, we will not request or accept your 16 digit debit/credit card numbers via email. Any debit/credit card numbers sent via email will be rejected by our server. In addition, our National Office is currently closed and we do not have access to a PDQ machine so we are unable to issue a refund to a debit/credit card at this time.

Will I receive a confirmation that my refunds been processed?

No. Due to the high number of refund applications, we are unable to send refund processing confirmations at this time.

Why have you requested my bank details for a bank transfer?

If we do not have your card details securely stored to issue your refund, a member of our team will email you to request bank transfer details. Please do not send your 16 digit debit/credit card numbers by email. The information we require for a bank transfer will depend on your country of residence.

Can my refund be issued by cheque?

No. Our National Office is currently closed and this means we are unable to issue cheques at this time. If you would prefer a refund be issued via cheque, we will not be able to fulfil this until our offices reopen. Our reopening date is yet to be confirmed.

What information do you need to issue a refund by bank transfer?

The information we require will be dependent on the country/region of your banking institution.

UK banks 

If your bank institution is located within the UK we will require your account number, sort code and the name of the account holder to process your refund.

Banks outside of the UK

If your banking institution is based outside of the UK we will require your International Bank Account Number (IBAN), a BIC/SWIFT number and the name of the account holder to process your refund.

Food and drink

Can I bring my own alcohol?

Please note that most of our hostels have licensed bars on site. Because of our responsibilities as the licence holder it is not possible to let anyone staying at, or visiting the hostel, bring their own alcohol. This does not apply to those hostels without a licence or when you have booked the whole premises under our Exclusive Hire arrangements.

Please note that we expect all of our guests to behave responsibly at all times and adhere to our behaviour policies and the conditions of booking. Thanks for your understanding and support. You’ll find that all of our bars offer a good range of very reasonably priced alcoholic drinks and beverages, including the local offering and a team ready and willing to serve you.

Hostel facilities

Is bedding provided?

When staying in a hostel, all bedding, including pillows, is provided for you. Please note: We ask customers who are staying in our hostels to refrain from bringing your own bedding/sleeping bags. This allows us to maintain a high quality, clean environment for all guests. If you are staying in a camping barn, you will need to bring a sleeping bag or bedding.

Please check the hostel pages for more information.

Is there a hairdryer or kettle in the room?

These items are not provided in the rooms at most YHAs. In a limited number of hostels, we offer Premium Rooms which may contain a hairdryer or a kettle - please see the hostel page for more information.

Is there Wi-Fi available at the hostel?

Wi-Fi is available at a number of our hostels. It is free for guests to use in communal areas or throughout the hostel at selected locations. Check out the facilities section of the hostel page for more information.

Do I need to take a towel?

You can rent a 500gsm towel or you can buy a YHA branded, 500gsm towel at the hostel.

Alternatively, please bring your own towel/s. In certain hostels and selected rooms, towels are provided.

Please check the Need to Know section on the hostel pages for more information. All bedding is provided.

What provisions and facilities do you have for disabled customers?

At YHA, inclusivity and equality are at the heart of what we do. While we are still far from satisfied with the progress we have made towards achieving fully accessible facilities, we are proud of the work we have done so far.

View the list of hostels with adaptations for those with mobility impairments

The majority of our hostels have access statements available to view on their hostel page, this can be found under the Need to Know section. 

If you are still uncertain, or are unable to find the information you require, please contact us for further assistance. 

Do YHA bedrooms have power points in them?

The majority of YHA bedrooms have power sockets within them. We are a long way into the process of rolling out a standard specification of bed across our network, which includes a power socket, a USB port and a small shelf for storage of your mobile device whilst it is charging on every bed.

For more information about the specifics of a room you have booked or are thinking of booking, please contact the hostel directly.


What discount do I get when I make a booking?

As a YHA member, you are entitled to a discount of 10% off the cost of accommodation and any pre-booked meals that you add at the time of booking. This applies to rooms and dorm beds. The member discount cannot be applied in conjunction with any other offer.

If you have anyone under the age of 26 in your booking, you will also be entitled to an additional 5% booking discount.

Any discounts added to pre booked meals apply only to breakfasts, packed lunches and the Supper Club menus where available.

If you book a whole hostel on Exclusive Hire, you are entitled to a member discount of £30.

Does my membership discount apply to other people staying with me?

Yes, it does. As long as the booking is made in your name, and the booking is for less than 16 people, your member discount applies to the whole booking. 

How do I claim my member discount on a YHA stay?

You will need to log in or register on the YHA website before you make your booking to obtain the 10% member discount. You can also book in person at a hostel, or over the phone through our Contact Centre.

Can I book and stay with YHA, and get my member discount, if I haven’t received my card yet?

Yes, you can. We will have a record of your membership purchase and will use this to verify your entitlement to your member discount.

How long will it be before I receive my membership card?

You should receive your YHA membership card within 7-10 working days.

How does Direct Debit work?

A YHA membership Direct Debit is renewed automatically every year. This means that the membership fee will be debited from your bank account automatically, so you will not need to do anything to renew your membership. We will notify you at least 10 working days prior to your account being debited.

I don’t live in the UK, can I still become a member?

If you live outside the UK, you will not be eligible to purchase a YHA membership online. We suggest that you buy Hostelling International membership, which is recognised in over 3,700 hostels worldwide here, or buy membership in your home country before you travel.

What about booking through another website – will I receive my member discount?

Unfortunately not. If you choose to book through a third party website you will not be able to receive discounted member rates. The only exception is if you book through the Hostelling International website, where you will be able to obtain your 10% discount on accommodation only.

Is there a cooling off period after I join as a YHA member?

Yes there is. You will have 14 days from the date of purchase to cancel your membership if you feel it is not for you. This will only be valid if you have not already used any of the benefits.

How do I access my other member benefits?

To claim your other YHA membership discounts with our partners, follow these steps:

  1. If you do not already have an account on the YHA website, register on www.yha.org.uk
  2. Log in to your account using your registered email address and password
  3. Once you arrive at the 'My Account' dashboard click the 'My YHA Membership' link on your account menu

You should now see your full member benefits, and instructions on how to use them.

What are my voting rights?

All YHA members have the right to vote online on motions (except motions brought under urgency), the election of trustees, and the election of the Chair and Association Members of the Nominations Panel. 

Under company law, voting on resolutions at a general meeting of YHA (England & Wales) is restricted to Company Members, either in person or by proxy vote. Therefore, members do need to become Company Members in order to vote on resolutions.

We communicate with members about voting by email, so please ensure you are signed up for YHA emails. You can check this, as well as sign up for Company Membership, in your online account under “My profile”.

Dogs at YHA

Are dogs welcome to stay at YHA sites?

Yes – dogs are welcome to stay at most of our YHA camping and cabin sites and YHA Exclusive Hire sites.

Exceptions to this are YHA Idwal Cottage, YHA Alston, YHA Alnwick, YHA Bracken Tor, YHA Bracken Tor Lodge, YHA Caldbeck, YHA Castleton Mews, YHA Cheddar – Barton, YHA Cheddar – Main Building, YHA Elmscott, YHA Exford, YHA Gower, YHA Hawse End, YHA Ingleton, YHA Kettlewell, YHA Littlehampton, YHA Llangattock Mountain Bunkhouse, YHA Malham Main Building, YHA Okehampton, YHA Osmotherley, YHA Rhosilli, YHA Skiddaw Bunkhouse, YHA Wooler and YHA Exford.

Any assistance dogs can stay at any YHA site free of charge.

Is there a charge for dogs to stay?

There is a charge of £5 per night per dog in pods, cabins, bell tents, tipis and huts. This additional charge is made to allow us spend additional time cleaning and preparing our premises for the next guests.

It is free to bring your dog if you are sleeping in your own tent.

Can guests book and pay for dogs online?

You can make your booking for Camping and Cabins online as usual.

The fee for any dogs staying with us will need to be paid on arrival.

Is there a limit on the number of dogs that can stay?

Yes, there is a limit of two dogs per adult guest.

Do YHA provide bedding/facilities for dogs?

YHA does not provide specific dog bedding.

Guests will need to bring their own bedding/baskets and dog food.

YHA will provide water bowls in all individual pods, cabins, bell tents, tipis and huts.

Why can dogs stay in camping and cabins products but not in the main hostels?

There is a very mixed clientele who enjoy staying with YHA which involves many very young families and the shared use of many communal facilities.

In order to ensure the most comfortable and relaxed stay for everyone, we think that this is the best possible solution.

Still need help?

If you're still having problems, and can't find what you're looking for then please get in touch. 

Contact us