This winter we tried something we hadn’t done before. We stayed in a youth hostel! Things You Should Know About Family Hostelling with YHA
Youth Hostels are something that remind me of being in school when we used to go away on these adventurous week away school trips full of orienteering and making our own packed lunches. Anyone else remember this?! It was a load of fun!
Hostels have come on a long way since back in the day and now staying in youth hostel accommodation is a very popular choice for backpackers and families. YHA, Youth Hostels Association of England & Wales, have over 50 safe, clean and attractive hostels around the country. We stayed in one for the first time early January in York and was very impressed.
We like to travel on a budget and in previous years have enjoyed discounted hotels, using Airbnb & and finding cheap online deals for overnight stays, trips and travel. I’m really not sure why we never considered hostels before now but having done it once, we are complete converts.
Our very first YHA stay was overnight in York, a few weeks later we retuned again this time in Manchester. Here is a video from the morning at the YHA in Manchester. Both times have been so pleasant with absolutely no complaints, and worked really well for us as a family traveling on a budget, that we are now going to invest in a YHA yearly membership which will get us discounts wherever we stay with YHA. Yay for more adventures. Our next plans are to try the Edale and Castleton ones.
Things You Should Know About Family Hostelling with YHA
YHA is very family friendly
YHA have dedicated family rooms and offer discounts for families when booking direct (such as, money off your stay and upgrades to en-suite rooms at no extra cost). Whichever hostel you stay at the facilities are always perfect for those with kids, with high chairs, cot beds and even games/play rooms available. The staff are really friendly, having self catering means you can come and go as you please with making family meals, packed lunches and snacks… and there’s parking. YHA offer family breaks through their family support programme, too, so families in hardship can benefit from a break in a YHA free of charge, how amazing is that?
At York, there was a lovely garden outside the hostel and a play room inside (he loved the toys). We plan to go back there in the summer with the idea that Eric can have a play outside while we eat al-fresco. 🙂
YHA is very safe, clean & you don’t need to share a room!
Whilst there are great shared dorms for amazing prices at YHA, which I’m sure are very popular with backpackers, it’s not your only option to accommodation. Families get private rooms with en-suite, ours in the past have been 2 bunk beds and we took the mattresses off to make a big floor bed between them. It was so comfortable!
YHA is fantastic if you are on a budget
If you’re a family on a budget like us but want to go away, on overnight breaks or holidays, YHA is very affordable. Our private family room in both Manchester and York was only £35 in total for one night, and the location of both were really convenient. The YHA in Manchester is just around the corner from the MSI Museum, so really recommend that one for the location… the MSI is a fantastic free day out.
I’ve been eying up the YHA’s in Castleton, Hathersage and Edale… my idea is that it’d be lovely to escape into the countryside for a full days walk and exploration, then head back to the YHA to make a yummy dinner and a good nights sleep… for only a fraction of the price of any local B&B in the area.
A membership with YHA has really good benefits
When we looked into a YHA membership as we had seen it takes £3 off each stay, I was surprised to see just how many benefits there are with a membership… way more than just for staying at the hostel, and they’re really good offers for outdoorsy families, too.
You can get 10% off railcards which include family or two together (we have a two together & save hundreds of pounds on train travel per year), discounts on Go Ape!, money off at Go Outdoors and cycle surgery, and membership to Hostelling International. Plus discounts on over 350 high street brands like Pizza Hut, Toys R Us, Morrisons, Boots & Costa. Who doesn’t love money off?! I can’t believe I didn’t know about this sooner.
We travel on a budget & like to find good value accommodation for our trips. Read this post with my top tips on finding cheap places to stay for more ideas!
Can you recommend any YHA which are especially great for families?
Thanks for reading! <3