Skip Navigation

VIP and YHA Memberships

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific VIP and YHA Memberships

Page
  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

11. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 9y

Quoting aharrold45

Other than an STA travel card, I don't think either of a YHA card or Nomads card is of any great financial value.

If you stay at a hostel of either organization for more than 10 or 15 days respectively, they'll have earned themselves back. So for any backpacker travelling around the world for any appreciable amount of time, they're of tremendous value.
In most countries you also get the exact same discounts with these cards (at least with the YHA one, I'm not quite certain how widely recognized the Nomads card is outside of Oceania) as you'd do with an ISIC card.

So, Amy7785, to respond to you, get the card of the organization whose hostels you most like to stay at. I've already described YHA in a post above. Didn't stay at many Nomads hostels myself, but I'd call them "more alternative".

12. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Quoting Sander

If you stay at a hostel of either organization for more than 10 or 15 days respectively, they'll have earned themselves back. So for any backpacker travelling around the world for any appreciable amount of time, they're of tremendous value.
In most countries you also get the exact same discounts with these cards (at least with the YHA one, I'm not quite certain how widely recognized the Nomads card is outside of Oceania) as you'd do with an ISIC card.

Generally only boring people, old people or clean freaks who want good quality clean rooms, locker hire at an extra fee, but not such a good hostelling experience stay at YHA/HI affiliated hostels unless no other hostels exist in the area or the others are completely booked out in the dorms. They are normally a few dollars/Euros/Pounds or whatever the local currency is more expensive than non HI affiliated hostels. As for if you stay 10 or 15 days for the card to earn itself back, the cards must vary considerably in price in different countries, because that sure aint the case where I got mine. I'd estimate that I would have spent approximately 30 days at YHA/HI hostels where the card is of any use and I sure haven't saved in excess of $150AUD which is how much I paid for my YHA card. If I am lucky I would have saved $90AUD if that and in one case I even found that staying at an HI hostel I didn't get it any cheaper for being a YHA member than what anyone walking off the street gets without a card. That was only once, but every other time you get a small discount but you also still pay more for staying at the YHA hostel than almost any other hostel in the place. With the ISIC card (which until recently I only had a Youth travel card which is not as useful as a Student one), I would have saved well over $500AUD so had I has the student STA travel card well I probably would have saved at least $1000AUD on entrance fees, bus fares, train tickets, tours etc.

As for the YHA card getting the same discounts as a ISIC card that is just a load of rubbish. A YHA card is alright for getting a small discount on a YHA hostels or HI hostel but other than that when you are travelling it gets hardly any discounts. Before leaving it can also be handy to get small discounts from selected travel gear retailers where you live. An ISIC card will get you a discount in almost every country you go to where it gives a big discount for student rates at attractions, on buses and trains and even some tours. A YHA card or a Nomads card isn't a student card, so you can't get a student discount meaning it costs a lot more for every single attraction you visit than if you had a student card.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 9, 2007, at 6:34 PM by aharrold45 ]

13. Posted by Del007 (Budding Member 38 posts) 9y

ABout the STA Youth cards, can a person pick one up in Australia? I kind of saw on the website that they are $18, which is pretty cheap if you ask me, and added discounts on a budget are always a plus!

also, this notice appears on the website

"Please Note

Discount cards currently being issued are valid until March 2007. Cards issued from December 2006 are valid for 18 months, until March 2008."

Considering it is currently March 2007, I wonder how long the new cards are good for?

Del

14. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 9y

Quoting aharrold45

Generally only boring people, old people or clean freaks who want good quality clean rooms, locker hire at an extra fee, but not such a good hostelling experience stay at YHA/HI affiliated hostels

Why thank you. Which one of those do you judge me of being?

I'm sorry to hear you've had bad experiences with YHA hostels, but personally I've had really good experiences. I've stayed at - let me count them - 17 YHAs in New Zealand, of which 12 had good to amazing atmosphere and cozy lounges where I met awesome people with whom to have long conversations, swap experiences and generally have a good time. In Australia I stayed at 10 YHAs, and 7 of them were good to amazing.
Sure, there's always the "flagship" big city YHA institutions that feel very massive and impersonal (although you still often get out of them what you put in yourself), but you know this in advance, and there's always alternatives. (To take Sydney, stay at the Glebe YHA rather than the Central YHA.)
(I've also stayed at a YHA in Germany and one in Sweden, and they both sucked, while the one I stayed at in Canada was decent, but not good - there's definitely vast regional differences in quality - but as the topic of this thread is YHAs in Australia...)

I'd estimate that I would have spent approximately 30 days at YHA/HI hostels where the card is of any use and I sure haven't saved in excess of $150AUD which is how much I paid for my YHA card.

Ah, you must've gotten a lifetime membership or something. A one year membership card (which is what almost anyone would get, as lifetime memberships are only available for people from the same country as the hostel) cost me $35 ($40 in New Zealand, €15 in the Netherlands), and the discount per night for all YHA hostels in Australia is $3.50 ($4 in New Zealand, €2.50 in the Netherlands).

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 10, 2007, at 5:52 AM by Sander ]

15. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Quoting Sander

Quoting aharrold45

Generally only boring people, old people or clean freaks who want good quality clean rooms, locker hire at an extra fee, but not such a good hostelling experience stay at YHA/HI affiliated hostels

Why thank you. Which one of those do you judge me of being?

I don't really know you and as far as I know I haven't stayed in a hostel while you have been there to socialise with you, so I can't really judge which category you fit in to. Being 28 like your profile says you aren't in the old category yet (at least in my view) in about any 7 years then you'll be in that category for staying in a hostel. When I made that comment I made sure that I added the word "generally" to cover for those people like yourself who have had some good experiences with YHA or HI affiliated hostels and don't consider themselves to be in any of those categories.

The YHA hostel in Oslo is amongst the most boring hostels I have ever stayed at, definitely in a hopeless location and is hell expensive compared to every other hostel in Oslo but was the only one with any vacancy when I was there. Hostelling International in Washington DC is about the same in terms of being boring, hell expensive infact maybe a bit more boring but located in a much better location. The one in Kings Cross area of London is in a very dodgy part of town and is also very very boring with no atmosphere at all and very small and very expensive dorm rooms.

What I find that generally makes YHA or most hostelling international hostels more boring than others is the fact that rarely do they have large dorm rooms ie 10+beds. Most the time the dorm rooms or like 4-6 beds in size sometimes as much as 8, but hardly ever above that. Often you will have a dorm and the room is half empty and most the time it only hold people like 26 and older so it has travellers who are often wanting a quiet time instead of a socialising time. Also most the time they don't have the option of mixed dorms, so you are stuck in a room with a bunch of boring males or bunch of females if you were to be female. Mixed dorms are far better than same sex dorms unless of course you are gay or lesbian and in which case the same sex dorms are perfect for that type of person and you may find your future there.

Often with the location of the hostels being in bad areas or outside of where the main stuff that interests most backpacker type travellers, makes it so that any socializing at night is restricted to the hostel which then often limits you to sitting in the TV room often watching some boring crap that one or two people want to watch who were there first but the rest are just there because their is nothing else worth doing except maybe go on the internet which also costs heaps at YHA/HI hostels compared to elsewhere. I am yet to find a YHA/HI affiliated hostel which even after the discount is cheaper than the other more highly rated hostels in better areas. They have to charge more because of the big annual cost of having the right to claim you are Hostelling International Affiliated. Check the ratings and costs o hostelworld for the normal hostels and then compare that to the ones that claim to be HI affiliated. Cleanliness will be the main thing that will often be 100% approval rate with YHA/HI hostels and security will also often be up there, but the rest of the criteria will often get a much lower rating.

16. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Quoting Del007

About the STA Youth cards, can a person pick one up in Australia? I kind of saw on the website that they are $18, which is pretty cheap if you ask me, and added discounts on a budget are always a plus!

As long as you have some sort of proof of Age on you ie your passport well then you shouldn't have any problems getting a card in Australia at any STA travel branch. Often they will be able to do it as you wait.

With what that notice says, I got a student card through STA travel just a couple of weeks ago so it would fit under that notice. The card I got expires In March 2008, but it says on the card that it is valid from December 2006-March 2008 (even though my class finishes in September). So if you got it in July 2007 it would say valid from December 2006-March 2008 even though you would have purchased it 8 months after the date it says it is valid from. So in effect you would only have July 2007-March 2008 of it being valid in that example, or if you got it right now you'd only have 12 months validity instead of the 18 months that you would have had you purchased it 6 months ago.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 10, 2007, at 3:24 PM by aharrold45 ]

Page
  • 1
  • 2