Skip Navigation

backpacker cards: should I get one and if so: which?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific backpacker cards: should I get one and if so: which?

1. Posted by kiefern (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

kiefern has indicated that this thread is about Australia

Hey!

In two months from now I'll be travelling Oz for 6 weeks (Kakadu and East Coast). Of course I'm aiming to spend the least amount of cash possible, but the packpacker cards are somewhat confusing to me. Which of all the different cards should I get? I'm reading about VIP, ISIC and what not... And is it even worth getting the card for 6 weeks? I'll be travelling by car for 2 weeks and greyhound bus for 4. Most of my nights will be in hostels..

Thanks a lot!

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 7y

Discount-wise (other than in hostels) they'll give you the exact same thing (most places just ask for "a backpacker card"). So which to get depends on which hostels you'll prefer. YHA hostels have a reputation for being clean and good for a good night's rest (lacking atmosphere in the biggest "flagship" hostels), while VIP hostels are often more party oriented.
YHA discount is $3.50 a night, versus $1-2 for VIP; but VIP hostels often have a slightly cheaper base rate, so in the end it works out to about the same. YHA earns itself back in ~10 nights, VIP in ~15-20 nights.
ISIC doesn't give you discounts in hostels (afaik), so isn't as useful if you're hostelling.

3. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 7y

I got a YHA card for Oz, and made the cost up easily by travelling on greyhound as the discounts are pretty good. I'm not sure what discounts the other cards give you on the buses though. I liked staying at the YHA hostels so I also got discounts on those too.

4. Posted by Highfall (Full Member 26 posts) 7y

Is the YHA card the same as hosteling international (HI)? Or do I need to get the YHA card when I'm in Oz as well?

5. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 7y

Quoting Highfall

Is the YHA card the same as hosteling international (HI)? Or do I need to get the YHA card when I'm in Oz as well?

I see you are travelling with x-plore? You'll be sorted; a YHA card is included :) There are quite a few YHA's in Australia, so it's probably more useful with a YHA than a HI card. But like Sander says, a lot of places just ask for any backpacker card and give discounts with it. Especially useful for greyhound and oz experience passes, as the discounts are big. Also, buying oz experience passes before arriving in Australia will get you even more discount; I think 15% or so.

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 7y

Quoting Highfall

Is the YHA card the same as hosteling international (HI)? Or do I need to get the YHA card when I'm in Oz as well?

YHA is indeed exactly the same as HI (just the name for the Australian branch of it). The card is valid internationally, no matter which country's organization you got it from.

7. Posted by Highfall (Full Member 26 posts) 7y

Oh alright, thanks!