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Student Hostel Cards

Travel Forums Europe Student Hostel Cards

1. Posted by eurotrip (Budding Member 16 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

A couple friends have suggested we get student ID cards for hostels from We are not students (34 years old) Does anyone know anything about this.

Also, are there any particular chains of hostels that are better than others?


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5235 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Student id cards sounds like ISIC - which does have checks if you're actually a full-time student or aged under 27 (?) afaik. And I don't know any hostel which gives you a discount for having one (although lots of other places do).
No idea what STA has to do with any hostel card; I guess they could be reselling them though.

Various hostel chains have membership/discount cards though. The two biggest ones are YHA/HI (youth hostel association, nowadays hosteling international) and VIP, although there's also various more local ones (for example Nomands for australia/new zealand/fiji, or BBH in new zealand).

Discount-wise the cards all work out the same, so which to get really depends on which hostel chain you prefer. Many individual hostels break the following general portrayal, and the people staying at a hostel at any point can have a big influence on the atmosphere, but that said, YHA hostels are top of the line, quiet, good for socializing in the lounge in the small versions, or seeming indifferent institutions where the larger flagship versions are concerned, while VIP hostels are frequented by a more party-oriented crowd, and seem to be either top-of-the-line or rather run-down (very little middleground in my experience (although said experience is admittedly rather limited, as I quickly learned I preferred YHA hostels)).
Also note that nearly all my experience is based on hostels down under. The situation might be somewhat different here in Europe (I do know that for example the German YHA in one specific region of the country just won't allow anyone over 27, which just absolutely boggled my mind after happily hanging out with 70 year old guys in various hostels down under).

3. Posted by LauraMC (Inactive 30 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

YHA/HI may be more what your after if you're looking for a decent night of sleep. I've stayed in plenty of HI hostels and they have noise curfews and the like (which keeps partying down). HI hostels are slightly more cleaner on the whole (though there are exceptions) as they don't allow you to use your own sheets and sleeping bags (which easily transmit bedbugs). They also provide lockers that you can lock your stuff up in. Other hostels... may not offer that so you take the risk of your possessions being rifled through in your room.
While all HI hostels have minimum standards, the decor definitely differs with each one. The one I stayed at in Paris had a basic cot in a white closet-type room whereas the HI hostel Amsterdam at Vondelpark was this awesome hostel with soft duvets and sheets overlooking the park.

One thing to check out is the cost of a private room at a HI hostel. Though you might have to share a bathroom with others on your floor, the cost of a private room may be cheaper than a hotel elsewhere. I think I've moved on from the days of sharing a dorm room with 20 other snoring people.

In regards to ISIC cards - they seem to be the standard whereever you go. Many places don't recognize your local student identity card as it could easily be forged.

4. Posted by eurotrip (Budding Member 16 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Sander and LauraMC...thanks for the tips, this is helpful because we are hoping to not be stuck in a room full of young partiers (oh the days of youth!). I may pick your brains re: specific hostels in specific cities closer to the time of our trip, if you don't mind. Thanks again!