Frequently asked questions

Common and frequently asked questions about our hostels

Accommodation

Do I have to share a room?

Plenty of our youth hostels have private rooms and many even have en-suite bathrooms.

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.

For your safety and security, no staff members will enter your bedroom during your stay, except with your agreement - for example, to rectify a maintenance issue.

Are dorm rooms available?

We are pleased to be able reopen dorms at selected hostels in each of our regions in England. In Wales there remains some Welsh government restrictions that impacts on the opening of dorm rooms.

We know many of our members and customers are excited to stay in our shared accommodation again.

The pandemic has left many people still apprehensive about sharing rooms with people outside of their family and friendship group. Demand from international travellers – a significant user of dorm rooms – is not expected to return until next year.

Guest and hostel team safety is our top priority, and our dorms trial at YHA Manchester has demonstrated the importance of room ventilation. We have selected hostels that enable suitable ventilation to maintain a safe environment.

Across the network this season we will ensure each of our regions offer dorm room availability, alongside private rooms, YHA Camping & Cabins and YHA Exclusive Hire, and look forward to giving our members and customers a warm YHA welcome.

Does YHA offer different types of accommodation?

YHA offers various types of experiences as well as hostelling. We have bunkhouses, campus accommodation, camping barns, camping pods, glamping and camping facilities.

Can I hire out the whole 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.

Can I bring pets to stay at YHA?

Pets - including dogs - are not permitted in our hostels. This is a consideration of other guests who may be allergic as well as the logistics of pets staying.

Assistance dogs are welcome at any YHA site free of charge. Please inform us if you plan to bring an assistance dog during the booking process. You can leave a note in the 'Special requests' section when booking online or tell an advisor if booking over the phone.

Dogs are welcome to stay at most of our Camping & Cabins and Exclusive Hire sites (subject to a fee). Find out more about YHA's dog-friendly accommodation or read our dogs policy.

Booking

Do I need to be a member to stay with YHA?

You don’t have to be a member to stay with us. However, when you become a member, you save on every booking with YHA and gain access to brilliant member benefits.

You'll also get automatic membership with Hosteling International - perfect if you’re planning to travel outside England and Wales.

Are there any age restrictions?

While most hostels don’t have age restrictions, some hostels may be unsuitable for young children or guests with disabilities. It is always good to check beforehand by viewing the relevant hostel page.

You must be 16 or over to stay in YHA accommodation without an adult. If you are under 16, you can stay with YHA as long as you are travelling with an adult.

Under 12s (including infants under 3) can stay if travelling with an adult in our private rooms and Camping & Cabins, but are not permitted in dorm rooms.

Do children have to pay the same price as adults for camping?

When camping with YHA, children under the age of 3 years can stay with us for free. Any child over the age of 3 years will be charged full price for entrance to the campsite.

Please inform us if there is an infant in your group during the booking process. You can leave a note in the 'Special requests' section when booking online or tell an advisor if booking over the phone.

Can I book for more than 16 people?

We offer a range of locations and packages that will suit any group. If there are less than 16 people in your group, you can book online.

If there are 16 or more people in your group, you can book the entire place online through YHA Exclusive Hire or make a group booking by contacting our Groups team.

I haven't received my booking confirmation, what should I do?

You will be sent an automated email when you register on the YHA site, update your details, make an enquiry or purchase something.

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

If the email is not in your spam/junk folder, please contact us.

What time is check-in and check-out?

Check-in and check-out times vary by hostel. Please check the relevant hostel page for more information.

Can you explain your pricing?

'Rooms from' refers to the lowest available price for a room which can be wholly booked.

'Bed in a shared room from' refers to the lowest available price for the use of a single bed within a shared dorm. This is an adult bed price, so it is possible that an under 18 bed in a shared room could be slightly cheaper.

'Private rooms from' refers to the lowest available price for a private room.

'Camping & Cabins from' refers to the lowest available price for our Camping & Cabins accommodation - this could be pitch-up camping (if offered by the specific hostel) or one of our glamping products.

'Entire place from' refers to the lowest available price for hiring the whole building through YHA Exclusive Hire.

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 7 nights.

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

You can find our check-in times on each hostel page. You cannot check-in outside of these times.

Why does YHA require photographic ID?

When you choose to stay with YHA you are supporting one of the nation’s leading youth charities. Our hostels welcome people of all ages, and one of the unique features of YHA is how our hostels can accommodate school and youth groups, adult groups, families and individual travellers. 

In 2020, YHA appointed an independent safeguarding auditor to review YHA admissions arrangements. YHA asked what a leading youth charity could do to further improve its arrangements to provide a safe environment for all of our guests and, in particular, young people. The recommendation was to implement a request for photographic ID to those that wished to use our services. As a result we have implemented these recommendations and updated our admissions policy and booking terms and conditions.

Thank you for your support in making YHA an even safer place.

Cancellations and refunds

How do I cancel or amend my booking?

Bookings made directly with YHA can be amended or cancelled online via our amendment and cancellation forms. For more information, read our booking terms and conditions.

I cancelled my booking 28 days ago and have not yet received my refund; why?

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. We are operating with significantly reduced staffing levels so 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 how your booking was placed, please open the PDF attached to your refund application. This will specify if we 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 number 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?

Due to the high number of refund applications, we are unable to send confirmation that your refund has been processed 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 number by email. The information we require for a bank transfer will depend on the country/region of your banking institution.

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.

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.

If your banking institution is based outside 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?

Many of our hostels have licensed bars on site. Due to our responsibilities as the licence holder, it is not possible to let anyone staying at (or visiting) the hostel to 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.

We expect all our guests to behave responsibly at all times and adhere to our behaviour policies and the conditions of booking. Thank you 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. We ask guests to refrain from bringing their 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?

Hairdryers and/or kettles are not provided in the rooms at most YHA hostels. 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 WiFi available at the hostel?

WiFi is available at many of our hostels. It is free for guests to use in communal areas or throughout the hostel at selected locations. Check the facilities section of the hostel page for more information.

Do I need to take a towel?

You can rent or buy a 500gsm towel at the hostel. Alternatively, please bring your own towel(s).

In a limited number of hostels and selected rooms, towels are provided.

Please check the 'need to know' section on each hostel page 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 a list of hostels with adaptations for those with mobility impairments.

Most of our hostels have access statements available to view on their hostel page, which can be found under the 'need to know' section.

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

Do YHA bedrooms have power points in them?

Most YHA bedrooms have power sockets in 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 while it is charging on every bed.

For more information about the specifics of a room, please contact the hostel directly.

Membership

What discount do I get when I make a booking?

YHA members are entitled to a discount of 10% off the cost of accommodation and any pre-booked meals that are included at the time of booking. Member discount cannot be applied in conjunction with any other offer.

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

See full details on how you can save up to 15% on your booking.

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

Yes. As long as the booking is made in your name, your member discount applies to the whole booking.

Member discount is not available for groups of 16 or more, except for Exclusive Hire bookings.

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. 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 to 10 working days.

How does Direct Debit work?

YHA membership Direct Debits are renewed automatically every year. This means that the membership fee will be debited from your bank account automatically and you do 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 - or buy membership in your home country before you travel.

Will I receive my member discount if I book through another website?

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 Hostelling International, 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. You will have 14 days from the date of purchase to cancel your membership if you wish. 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 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, select 'My YHA Membership' 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?

Dogs are welcome to stay at most of our Camping & Cabins and Exclusive Hire sites (subject to a fee). For a list of exceptions, please see our dogs policy.

Assistance dogs are welcome at any YHA site free of charge. Please inform us if you plan to bring an assistance dog during the booking process. You can leave a note in the 'Special requests' section when booking online or tell an advisor if booking over the phone.

Is there a charge for dogs to stay?

There is a charge of £5 per dog per night in our Camping & Cabins accommodation. It is free to bring your dog if you are sleeping in your own tent. Up to two dogs are permitted per adult guest.

For Exclusive Hire, it costs £30 per dog for the duration of your stay. Up to four dogs are permitted per booking.

These additional charges are made to allow us to spend additional time cleaning and preparing our premises for the next guests.

Can guests book and pay for dogs online?

You can book Camping & Cabins accommodation online. The fee for any dogs staying with us will need to be paid on arrival.

For Exclusive Hire, you can add up to 4 dogs to your booking as part of the online checkout process.

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

For Camping & Cabins accommodation, there is a limit of two dogs per adult guest.

For Exclusive Hire, the limit is four dogs per booking. 

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 camping pods, cabins, bell tents, tipis and huts.

Why can dogs stay in Camping & Cabins products but not in hostels?

A wide range of people enjoy staying with YHA, which involves many very young families and the shared use of communal facilities.

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

I already have a booking and now want to bring my dog, what should I do?

Please contact us so we can update your booking and take the required payment.

Are dogs free to go everywhere?

Dogs must not be left unattended in the hostel, vehicles or hostel grounds.

When hiring a property on Exclusive Hire, dogs are permitted in bedrooms but are not allowed on beds/furniture or in kitchen areas. We also ask that, if they are assigned a specific dog-friendly bedroom, owners stick to this room for the duration of their stay.

What happens if my dog damages the property?

Owners are responsible for their dogs at all times. Any damage caused by a dog must be paid for by its owner.

What facilities are there for dogs?

Bins are provided and owners are asked to clean up after their dogs. Owners will need to bring their own equipment such as poop bags, bowls, food, dog beds and towels.

If you're hiring the whole hostel on YHA Exclusive Hire, we also provide a hose attachment outside the hostel, for showering mucky pups before they re-enter the property.

Exclusive Hire

Will we have the property to ourselves?

Yes - the manager will meet you on arrival to show you around and hand over the keys. After that the property is all yours - you can come and go as you please!

At some of our properties, the hostel manager or staff may live on site. Please rest assured that they are always in a separate area and will not invade your privacy.

Do we have to clean the property?

You will be expected to leave the property as you found it, therefore there may be some tidying and cleaning to do when you leave.

All cleaning materials are provided and all we ask is that you leave the property as you found it – but we don’t expect you to be mopping the floors or scrubbing the showers!

We have a large group of 80 people, are you able to accommodate us?

Many locations are suitable for larger groups and make great venues to get together. Enter the number of guests in our hostel search to find properties that can accommodate your group.

How far in advance can I book?

You can book up to 18 months in advance and we open the dates up for bookings on the 1st of every month.

Do you have a catering service?

Catering is not available when using a hostel on an Exclusive Hire basis. Most of our properties have self-catering facilities available for guests to use.

Is YHA Exclusive Hire available all year round?

Every property is different - most properties offer Exclusive Hire between October and Easter, however, some are available outside of these periods. Please see each hostel page for availability.

Are cots and highchairs provided?

Some properties are able to provide these facilities but they are not provided as standard. Please check the relevant hostel page.

Can I make a booking without a deposit?

We require a 25% deposit to secure a booking which is part of our terms and conditions.

However, if you need to be invoiced or can only pay by cheque, we will hold the booking for up to one week. If payment is not received within this time, the booking will be cancelled.

Why are the bed numbers different for individual rooms and Exclusive Hire?

When a property is being hired out through YHA Exclusive Hire, we need to make sure that all the facilities, such as kitchens and bathrooms, are sufficient for your stay. This could mean that sometimes we need to limit bed numbers in order to ensure a comfortable experience. It may also be for health and safety restrictions.

If you have seen a property but the bed numbers are not adequate for your group when hired on an exclusive basis, please contact us and we will try to find a suitable alternative.

Still need help?

If you can't find what you're looking for, please get in touch.

Contact us