Hi, I'm heading off in late may and being a little older than the average traveller on gap year, I have a few questions
1. Are you aware of any age restrictions for hostels in parts of the world?
2. Do I need to be a member of Hostels international ot YHA etc to be able to stay in an hostel?
3. is there any other advise you recommend that you think might be relevant for a guy who hasn't set foot in an hostel for over 10 years...
1.Most do not have age restictions, except for a few youth hostels, and the ones with bars might not allow anyone UNDER a certain age.
2.I have never heard of it being mandatory to belong to the WHA.
3. Have a GREAT time!
It depends on the hostel more than anything else if they have age restrictions. Generally, if they do have them, it's minimum age more than maximum age.
Most hostels do not require you to be a member to stay there. YHA hostels for example are open for non members too, but you pay a dollar or two more per night. At the same time, you actually get a 'savings card' and every time you stay at a YHA hostel as a non member, you get a stamp on this. When it's full, you get a YHA card just like anyone else. This can be useful if you are not sure you will always be staying at YHA hostels. HI probably works similarly...
Not really, they haven't changed that much. As long as you're aware that you could have a bunch of people coming back at 4 in the morning that make a bunch of noise, that helps
Also where are you going? It may not be worth it, although in SA its very good value for money having one, you can only stay one night as a non member I think and its often more expensive
The Only place in the world i am aware of which has maximum age limits for Hostels in Bavaria, where all hostels (official, and some private) have a 26yo maximum. But even there there are lots of cheap alternatives.
You do get a few isolated ones which do, but not many.
As per Sam's reply, there are very few only open to members only (some do exists), and most let you stay for a 2 or 3 euros/whatever extra, and add to your card which gets you membership for free anyway after, i think, 5 nights.