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1. Posted by heathc (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

heathc has indicated that this thread is about Australia

Hi,
I'm just wondering if anyone can give me their opinion on the VIP and YHA hostel cards. Is one better than the other, or should I get both?
Thanks!

2. Posted by isnoo (Inactive 77 posts) 8y

Hi Heathc,

I haven't been involved much in the backpacking business for a while - but my personal opinion is - get both as in some places you won't have both types of hostels. May as well get whatever discounts you can.

Have fun on your trip.

With regards

Kathryn

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 8y

Personally I never went to any location in either Australia or New Zealand which didn't have hostels of both chains.
No wait, that's not true. Milford Sound and Uluru were both exclusively YHA-affiliated, and Mt. Cook was even YHA-owned (the only accommodation there besides what was owned by the Hermitage). However, outside those specialty locations, there always was plenty of choice, and I personally wouldn't bother getting both cards, especially since the non-accommodation discounts they give are indistinguishable.
Which one to get then comes down to which hostel chain you prefer. Individual hostels differ from this following description, and a lot of atmosphere can be made or broken by the individual people staying at a hostel at any one time, but generalizing a lot:
YHA hostels are clean; "faceless" if they're large, but full of charm and personality and very cozy if they're small, and generally preferred by a more quiet crowd who are hoping to get a good night's rest. Although backpackers make up the largest percentage of the guests, you'll see people of all ages, including families with small children, and people who're 60+.
VIP hostels are often hyper modern with all the latest features if they're large, but old and pretty rundown when they're not (I never saw any which were in between, though they'll undoubtedly exist). They're often preferred by people looking to have a good time and party deep into the night. It's rare to see someone there outside the 18-28 age-range.

4. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

For Australia, most of the hostels I ended up staying in were YHA, and virtually none were VIP, so I would personally go for YHA.