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Covid-19 FAQs


What can I do about an existing booking on

We understand that due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its health implications, you may want to change your plans.

Before cancelling your booking we’d encourage you postpone and contact the hostel to re-arrange a future stay. You will find the hostel contact details in your booking confirmation or on their listing on  

If you are unable to re-arrange your booking we can offer you a credit for the deposit to your account. 

However, please consider that your deposit would go a long way to ensure that Hostelling International can continue its charitable work during and after this unprecedented situation and we’d be grateful if you chose to give up your deposit as a donation to HI. 


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What is the cancellation policy related to Coronavirus?

We have introduced temporary Terms & Conditions to cover bookings affected by this pandemic.  These can be found here - 

For bookings made before 26 March 2020

If there is a government restriction stopping you for travelling to your destination, and you are unable to rearrange the booking for another date, we can offer you a credit in the amount of the hostel deposit.  This credit will be stored on your account with to use on any future booking you make on  The credit is valid for 12 months. 

However, if there is no valid government restriction stopping you from making the journey you can, of course, still cancel the booking but you would not be eligible for a credit for the deposit.  In this situation the standard Terms & Conditions would apply as you have chosen to not make the trip. 

For bookings made after 6 April 2020

As you have made your booking at a time when we were following government guidelines regarding travel etc then the booking was made at your own risk and we are unable to provide you with a credit for the deposit. 


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Why does Coronavirus not impact the general policy for

Cancellation due to Coronavirus is dependent on several factors, including where you're travelling to, your country of origin, your arrival date, and your reason for travelling.

Individual reservation policies are set by the property you’ve booked. As such, it would not be appropriate to make a universal change to our policy.


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Can I move my booking to a future date?

We would encourage you to move the date of your booking before cancelling.  This can only be done by the hostel and is subject to availability etc.  Please contact the hostel directly to see if they can move the booking for you.  You will find the hostel contact details in your booking confirmation or on their listing on  


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Will I get charged additionally if I move my reservation to a future date?

If you change your dates and the property has availability there may be a difference in price (higher or lower). This may be due to seasonality or different rates on weekdays versus weekends etc.

The deposit paid for your original booking will be taken into account by the hostel but if the rates are higher, you will have to pay the difference between the original price and the price for your new dates. If they are lower, the price difference should be reflected in your booking.


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Can the booking be transferred to someone else?

Please contact the hostel if you would like to transfer the booking to someone else, this can only be done by them and is at their discretion. 

Each hostel has its own policies around this type of amendment to a booking and can inform you appropriately what those policies are.


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If I can’t move the date how do I cancel my booking? 

You can contact either the hostel of to cancel the booking but any appropriate credit can only be given by Hostelling International 


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I have cancelled my booking but have not received a credit?

It may be that you cancelled your booking with the hostel and they have not advised us.  Please contact for help.  If you cancelled your booking at the time there was a valid government restriction for the date of your booking then we can process a credit for you.


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How can I use my credit from my account on

With regard to the credit, as I am sure you can appreciate this situation is a quickly evolving one and applying a credit is a new option for us.  Whilst we have applied a credit to your account it is not currently possible for you to see it.  Our developers are currently furloughed but as soon as they return to work this will be their priority to resolve. 

In the interim, if you are confident enough to make your booking now please contact for help and advice. 


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I would like to make a donation to Hostelling International.  How can I do it?

Firstly thank you for considering us and supporting us at this time when we need it the most to help us ensure we can survive this crisis and continue with our mission to provide a global village of quality accommodation for people from all countries and cultures to meet and learn from each other. 

There are two ways you can contribute to us.

  1. Visit our Just giving page -
  2. Visit our donation page to donate to our suitability fund -


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What is Hostelling International doing to ensure that your hostels are safe when they reopen?

Hostelling International has introduced some HI Quality & Standard Guidelines to help hostels understand how they can open safely but each country is responsible to ensure they are compliant with their government guidelines.

However examples of these include: -

  1. Reducing the occupancy in Dorm rooms to ensure that Social Distancing is possible.
  2. Providing guests with personal facilities i.e. Towels, cutlery etc to use and clean themselves whilst they are staying and then returning them on departure at which time they will be sterilised before they can be reused.
  3. introducing new internal signage to provide clear guidance to guests
  4. installing protective screens at reception
  5. initiating new operating procedures that ensure once you have checked in, your bedroom won’t be entered by a team member for housekeeping, other than for essential maintenance
  6. keeping communal spaces such as self-catering kitchens, dining areas, laundry facilities, locker rooms, drying rooms and lounges closed for the time being
  7. removing non-essential and difficult-to-clean items from rooms and public areas, including seating and most storage lockers in bedrooms
  8. offering a food and drink takeaway service instead of shared dining and bar facilities

These are only examples of the measures being taken and more information should be available from the National Association for the country you are visiting.Contact information for our National Associations can be found here -


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Why is it not possible to book all hostels?

This may be due to multiple reasons.  Some of our hostels are seasonal and therefore because most of the season has been missed it is not economically viable to reopen in 2020 for a short time.

Also, some hostels are being used for other purposes.  They have been leased to local government to house both keyworkers and vulnerable sectors in society.

Some hostels are taking the opportunity to refurbish. 


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What have Hostelling International and the hostels done during lockdown?

At Hostelling International we furloughed 20 of our 24 staff to ensure that we can continue with our mission at the end of this crisis.  Our Customer Service Team are full time and 2 others are working part time hours.   Those working are working from home. 

  1. Some hostels have been not been closed, they are leased to local governments to house keyworkers and vulnerable sectors of society.
  2. YHA India made 10,000 face masks for local people and handed them out.
  3. YHA England & Wales are offering free stays for Emergency workers.

These stories and more make us all proud to be members of the Hostelling International network and family. 


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