Someone has mentioned to me that it is worth while getting YHA membership as it is free and gives you a discount on alot of hostels.
This sounds a bit too good to be true is it???
If it is how do you join as I'm going to want to save as much money as poss!!
It isn't free. It costs roughly as much as 10 nights hostel discount (so in Australia that's $35; the "free" rumour probably comes from various schemes where if you stayed in YHA hostels for ten nights, you'd automatically get a membership, but I don't think those are still running). It only gives you discount to YHA hostels; likewise, the similar VIP card only gives you discounts to VIP hostels (YHA discount is twice as large, but that evens out since VIP hostels are slightly cheaper to begin with; although you need to stay many more nights in VIP hostels for that membership to pay for itself). YHA hostels are generally quieter and cleaner, while VIP hostels are preferred by a more party oriented crowd. (Generalizing a lot; individual hostels differ. I also think YHA is a non-profit organization, while VIP has the goal of turning a profit.)
Those things said, it is absolutely worth getting. Besides the hostel discounts which pay for themselves in no time flat, having any type of backpacker caard like this also gives you pretty large discounts on transport, as well as insignificant but nice discounts in various vaguely travel-related stores.
You can buy a membership card either on the spot at the hostel, or at the hostels and offices of the local Hostelling International branch in your own country (where you can even get a lifetime membership).
[ Edit: Edited at Sep 11, 2006 7:47 AM by Sander ]
Thats great thanks.
Can I join online? I leave in 2 weeks so I'm guessing it would be abit late for that!
Can I join online?
yes. However, if you click through it says they'll send things within seven working days, which is cutting it a bit close. So I'd instead call the phone number listed there, and suspect they'll tell you the address of the nearest hostel where you can pick up a card in person.