I'm looking into getting a backpacker card, but there seem to be quite a few and I'm not sure which one to go with. YHA seems to be the most popular: any recommendations? Also does anyone know if you can get discounts with countrylink (tilt train) with any particular backpacker card?
From what I can tell, the VIP card seems very popular. Do a forum search and you will find quite a few favourable reviews. I've got no idea if it will give a discount on the tilt trains.
Countrylink used to do special deals for backpackers, not sure anymore. Have you checked their website?
Okay, so i'm not exactly sure of WHAT I have (lol), but it's called a Hostelling International card for Canada. I'm pretty sure you can get it at any Chapters store, or order it online. It's from the Canadian Hostelling Association, and I have a specific type of card (the junior!!) that is valid until my 18th birthday (I'm 16). It worked for me in Europe, so I'm pretty sure it's good worldwide... hence "international".
However, i'm pretty sure its valid just for private hostels. I'm not 100% sure on any of this, so i apologise if my information is incorrect.
You can check out their website at www.hostellingintl.ca (it says to activate your account, but im sure you can find information)
Hope this helps a little!
Hosteling International is the same as YHA - it's just a different name for the worldwide organization, as they definitely don't cater just for younger people anymore (the Y in YHA stands for youth).
YHA and VIP offer about the same kind of discounts - pretty much all transport organizations list them both as being able to give you discounts. VIP has more hostels in total I think, but YHA offers a more consistent quality, and there will be very few places - if any - where you can't find a hostel belonging to either one. (So basically VIP offers more options in the larger cities.)
Very generally speaking, YHAs are more quiet, while VIPs are preferred by people who like partying, and have a better chance of having more atmosphere.
I don't think countrylink has a backpacker discount (greyhound and firefly and the great southern railway etc. do) - but generally speaking with countrylink what you want to do anyway is book your tickets more than a week in advance (two if possible), so you'll get a 40% (or 50%) discount, and that works out way cheaper than any regular backpacker discount would ever do.
Hmm, except that the Tilt Train appears to not be countrylink, but rather queensland rail, which doesn't seem to offer discounts at all.
Although you can get an East Coast Discovery Pass, which might work out cheaper.