Hostel FAQs

Never stayed in a hostel before? Never fear, we've got you covered with a list of everything you might want to know.

No two hostels are the same which is one of the fun things about YHA! There are converted farmhouses, lodges set in beautiful scenery, and modern purpose-built hostels. The hostels you stay in will often become a unique part of your trip. Despite their differences, our hostels have private and multishare rooms, shared bathroom facilities (many with ensuite room options), shared kitchen facilities, 24-hour guest access, an abundance of information on local activities and essential items for sale at reception such as milk, cereals, toothbrushes, snack food and drinks.

All YHA New Zealand hostels have both private and multishare rooms. Some hostels even offer private rooms with ensuite facilities! Multishare accommodation is a shared room that generally sleeps between 4 and 8 people and is available in single sex or mixed gender dormitories. This is the cheapest way to stay at our hostels and for this reason hostels tend to have more of these rooms. Check the availability of your desired hostel to see a full list of rooms available.

All our hostels are fully-equipped for whipping up culinary delights – including pots, pans, plates and cutlery. There are communal fridges available to store your chilled items and most hostels have food storage areas for dry goods too. Some hostels even have their own café for the culinary challenged!

This varies by hostel so check out the details of your hostel destination in particular.

Of course! We like staying connected with our friends and family as much as you do. Lots of our hostels provide this service for free, while some of our more remote locations have a small charge for access.

Great idea! We highly recommend booking ahead to make sure you get the room type you want at the current price. We get very busy during our peak periods and we'd hate for you to miss out. Book online, contact the hostel directly, or make a booking from hostel to hostel as you travel.

When booking direct through the YHA website or directly with the hostel, as a member you are entitled to 10% off the standard rate. If you pay the standard rate through our website, when you check-in and present proof of membership the hostel will then apply a 10% refund.

When booking at the hostel front desk, show your membership card and your 10% discount will be applied there and then.

We are working hard to relaunch our website booking engine which will allow members to book the member rate on the YHA website.

Everyone is welcome to stay with us, but there are definite benefits to being a YHA Member for a start, 10% off your room rate! There's also great local, national, and international discounts on food and beverages, activities, and travel. Sweet!

While YHA started out focusing on youth travellers, we welcome guests of all ages. Lots of our dedicated members have been staying with us since they were kids and have come back with their own children!

Under 18's are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult and either stay in a private room or a privatised dorm if arranged with the hostel. Children aren't permitted to stay in multishare dorms with strangers irrespective of whether a known adult is accompanying them or not.

Although our bunks are fitted with safety rails, top bunks are not recommended for children under the age of 9. If you've got very young children you may like to double-check that your hostel of choice has the facilities you need - some have cots available but these do need to be arranged in advance.

You can speed up your check in process by having your YHA membership, booking confirmation, and photo ID ready to go when you arrive. Some of our hostels also have check in forms on hand for you to fill out during this process.

This helps us fulfill our Health and Safety requirements. In case of emergency it's in everyone's best interests that we can confirm exactly who is staying with us on any given night. We hope it never comes to this but we appreciate your cooperation with this policy just in case.

Check out the reception hours for your stay (on the hostel details page or in your confirmation email) as a first port of call. If you think you might be late, get in touch with the hostel directly so they can let you know their after-hours arrival procedure. In some hostels you'll need a door code to access the building, so this is important!

Nope! Some hostels do request quiet after 10 or 11pm out of consideration for other guests, but you can come and go from most YHA New Zealand hostels 24 hours a day. Just make sure you check for a door code or key card before you head out for the evening!

Traditionally, hostel guests were expected to help with chores. This is a thing of the past - the only thing we ask is that you're considerate of other guests and clean up after yourself. Yes, that means doing your dishes!

Not at all. Due to our Health & Hygiene policy, guests’ own sleeping bags, liners, and sleeping sheets are not allowed to be used in any YHA hostels in New Zealand. Duvets, pillows and all bed linen are provided for every guest and are included in the price you've paid for your stay. Some assembly required in shared rooms, but in private rooms you'll find your bed all made up before you arrive. If you need more blankets or a change of sheets our staff are happy to provide more linen - some hostels even have electric blankets and hot water bottles available if you feel the cold!

It's usually safest to bring your own towel, but most hostels do offer towel hire, some for as little as a dollar. Toiletries are not usually included; some private rooms include the basics and we often have toiletry packs for purchase at reception.

Essential items such as milk, cereals, toothbrushes, snack food and drinks are for sale at reception of most YHA hostels in New Zealand. Some hostels have adjoining cafes or offer meals during the winter season – please check with the hostel directly.

Most hostels do have some sort of locker facilities; some of these are paid, time-limited, secure lockers in reception while some are lockable cupboards in your shared dorm room. We recommend bringing a padlock with you so you have the option of securing your bag or valuables should you need to.

Most YHA hostels offer storage either before or after your stay, sometimes free of charge. In some hostels you'll find secure paid lockers in the communal areas so you can store your valuables without stress. Check with your hostel directly for options specific to your stay.

Most rooms have power points. Some of our hostels are even upgrading their beds and lockers to ones with power points and USB sockets!

This varies from hostel to hostel. Send us an email or check with the hostel staff upon check-in if you can't see these listed among the hostel facilities.

All YHA hostels in New Zealand have close ties with transport and activity operators in their area. Feel free to pick our brains! Our staff can answer your questions and make most of your bookings for you - flick us an email while you're organising your stay with us or have a chat once you arrive.

This varies by hostel so our best suggestion is to get in touch with the hostel directly. Many have been converted from older houses, are heritage buildings, or have carparking restrictions that mean they're not all as accessible as we'd like. Kitchen facilities typically do not have lowered benches etc for cooking your own meals. Many hostels do have specific rooms that are wheelchair-friendly so it's best to check in via email or phone before booking to confirm availability.

All hostels have mixed gender rooms so couples and friends can stay together. If you’re booking online, look for ‘mixed’ multishare rooms, a private room, or email the hostel directly to request a dorm room that you can privatise and have it all to yourselves. If you're booking direct with a hostel, make sure you mention this at the time of booking.

Welcome! We recommend staying in a mixed multishare room or a private room. If you have any concerns, please reach out to your hostel and they'll be happy to help.

Families are welcome at YHA hostels in New Zealand. Most hostels have family rooms available so that you can all stay in the same room. Some hostels also allow families to stay in privatised multishare rooms - simply get in touch with our reception team at the hostel and ask if they can privatise a dorm room. Children are not permitted to stay in multishare dorms with strangers irrespective of whether a known adult is accompanying them or not.

YHA determines a child to be under the age of 18. The rules apply to all children including infants and babies. All children must be booked in as separate guests.

Children are permitted to stay at YHA properties but must be accompanied by an adult and either stay in a private room or a privatised dorm if arranged with the hostel. An accompanying adult, staying in the hostel at the same time, can provide consent for a child to stay in a private room alone.

Although our bunks are fitted with safety rails, top bunks are not recommended for children under the age of 9.

Yes. In order to ensure that all our guests have a memorable experience in our hostels we ask that you have consideration for others at all times, and to interact positively with guests of all cultures who are also exploring the world through hostelling. Read our hostel regulations.

Most hostels allow a maximum of 14 nights for guests staying at their hostel. If you would like to stay for a longer period of time it will depend on the time of year, size of the hostel, etc. Please email the hostel directly for longer stay questions.

They sure do, just make sure you let the driver know when you get on board. Most other bus companies also drop off at hostels.

None of our hostels offer free airport transfers; often the hostels can advise on buses that will take you to or near the hostel. Check the hostel detail page for your stay, get in touch directly, or book your transport options through reception.

Sorry, we don't offer working for accommodation. New Zealand law requires you to have an employment contract, be legally entitled to work in New Zealand, and be compensated in line with our minimum wage laws, so we recommend caution in accepting any working for accommodation offer.

New Zealand has confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Please visit the Ministry of Health NZ for updates. More information can be found here

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