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Booking Terms & Conditions

We hope you find all the information about our Terms & Conditions at Hostelling International here, otherwise please visit our FAQs.

HI Terms and Conditions for Transactions

This page sets out the terms and conditions for any transactions or exchanges of information made via websites which are operated by Hostelling International. It applies to customers who take such actions and is additional to the Website Terms of Use which apply to all users.


The role of Hostelling International (“HI”) is to help you find the right hostel and to help both you and the hostel enter into a legal contract that governs your stay.

If you choose to book, your contract is with the hostel (or Youth Hostel Association (“Association”) who runs the hostel), not HI.

HI's duties are to accurately display the prices supplied by the hostel, make you aware of their terms and conditions and ensure your booking is confirmed with them. Our role is that of an intermediary.

We collect a non-refundable deposit payment at the time of booking. 

We are happy to handle any issues related to our role in showing the prices, terms and conditions and making the bookings. If you have any issues regarding the contract covering your stay or your stay itself, these should be addressed with the hostel (or Association that runs the hostel).

You will need to pay your balance to the hostel (or Association that runs the hostel) and this will typically be due on arriving at the hostel for your check-in. However in some cases the balance will be due before your stay, the hostel may contact you to ask you to make this payment in advance. 

COVID-19 Proof of vaccination - To ensure the safety of travellers and staff, and comply with governmental regulations, many hostels in our network now require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test result. You'll be asked to show the required documentation at check-in.
Our hostels will do their best to communicate this with you but it is the traveller’s responsibility to check before they book or travel what are the rules in place in the country and hostel they are travelling to.

If you are trying to book for a group of 10+ people, please visit our Groups website to send a group enquiry to the hostel rather than making multiple individual bookings. Hostels may refuse multiple individual bookings that make up a large group.

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As your contract is directly between you and the hostel (or Association who runs the hostel), it is essential that the hostel is aware if you would like to cancel. 

In most cases, the cancellation must be made at least 24 hours prior to the arrival time. The arrival time at your destination hostel is considered as 18:00 (6pm) local time to the hostel. However, some hostels have a stricter cancellation policy, please check before booking. 
For cancellations within 24 hours of arrival time, the 'late cancellation and No show' charges apply.
In the event of a cancellation, the booking deposit is always non-refundable, unless stated otherwise in the booking conditions. 

It is our responsibility to ensure you are aware of the terms and conditions of cancellation although these are set by the hostel or Association. You are required to review these terms before booking and we also send you a copy with your confirmation email.

You can cancel a stay using these options :

  • Cancel by sending an email to the hostel - If you did not create an account, contact the hostel directly via phone or email (see the hostel’s page or confirmation email for contact details).
  • [CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE] Cancel online - If you created an account then we offer an online service to transmit the cancellation to the hostel. In the case of using the online service we provide, HI accepts that its role is to correctly transmit your cancellation requests and will of course take responsibility if the hostel does not receive that cancellation request for any reason under our control.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have implemented a temporary cancellation policy applies from 26 March 2020.
If you have an existing booking with and are unable to stay due to governmental restrictions related to Covid-19 which prevent you from travelling (such as travel bans or enforced self-isolation), or the hostel you booked is no longer able to accommodate you, the following options are available:  

1. Don’t cancel, postpone your stay
Contact the hostel to re-arrange a future stay. You will find the hostel contact details in your booking confirmation. Any amendment is at the hostel’s discretion and is not guaranteed. The pre-existing Booking Terms and Conditions still apply.Please do not contact HI to reschedule bookings as we do not have the capability to deal with such requests.  

2. Cancel your booking 
If you must cancel your booking, then contact HI at info[at], stating your booking reference number. Pre-existing Booking Terms and Conditions still apply, which means your hostel booking deposit is non-refundable.   
However, as a goodwill gesture if there were no official restrictions in place at the time of booking, but there are at the time of travel and you cancel your booking; then you may be entitled to a credit of your hostel booking deposit.   
If you are offered a credit, it must be used on a booking made through within 12 months of the issue date. However, the hostel stay can be at any later point in time and it can be used on any bookable hostel of your choice.   
Unfortunately, if there are no official travel restrictions in place and it is your choice not to travel, then your hostel booking deposit would still be non-refundable, and we would not offer you a credit.  
If there are official travel restrictions already in place at the time you make the booking and you later chose to cancel your booking; your hostel booking deposit would still be non-refundable, and we would not offer you a credit. 

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When you book, you agree to a contract which protects the hostel from being left with empty beds which they may not have time to re-sell. If you cancel too close to the agreed check-in date (“late cancellation”) or fail to arrive for your booking (“no show”), the hostel may ask us to act on their behalf to collect the late cancellation charge or the no show charge. In such a case, we will collect the relevant charge and remit that amount to the hostel (or Association that runs the hostel).
The cancellation must be made at least 24 hours prior to the arrival time. The arrival time at your destination hostel is considered as 18:00 (6pm) local time to the hostel. For cancellations within 24 hours of arrival time, the 'Late cancellation and No show' charges apply.

The following 'Late cancellation and No Show' charges apply to all bookings made on
- If a cancellation is not received and you do not arrive for a booking of 1 night you will be charged 1 night, plus applicable taxes.
- If a cancellation is not received and you do not arrive for a booking of 2 or more nights you will be charged 2 nights, plus applicable taxes.

In the event of a cancellation, the booking deposit is always non-refundable, unless stated otherwise in the booking conditions. 

Some hostels have a stricter cancellation policy and will request the cancelaltion be made 2-3 days in advance, please check the specific hostel T&Cs before booking. 

We would always recommend you purchase travel insurance and in the event that you are unable to travel, claim against that policy.

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Should you need to cancel, whatever the reason, rest assured we have you covered. For bookings made between 14 May 2021 (00.01 BST) and 31 August 2021 (23.59 BST), you will have the option to:

1. Donate your booking deposit to support HI.

2. Get a credit to use on at a later date.

3. Get a refund.

The cancellation must be made at least 24 hours prior to the arrival time. This can be done either online through your account or by direct email to the hostel. For cancellations within 24 hours of arrival time, the usual cancellation terms apply and the deposit remains non-refundable. The arrival time at your destination hostel is considered as 18:00 (6pm) local time to the hostel.

The ‘HI Flexi-booking' promotion will be reviewed regularly and is subject to change or removal without prior notice.

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Credits are issued in £GBP and are valid for 12 months, unless stated otherwise. 
Credits must be used on a booking made by the expiry date, but the hostel stay can be at any later date.  
The GBP value and its daily exchange rate will be used as a reference, not the payment currency. 
The credit is only valid for use on, and on any bookable hostel of your choice.  
Credits cannot be exchanged for cash. 
Bookings made with a credit cannot be refunded for cash. If a booking made with a credit must be refunded, we will issue a new credit to the lead booker.   
Credits can be used by a person other than the credit holder, however, approval from the original credit holder will be required by email. In this instance the original credit holder will forfeit any future claim on that credit. 

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If you have stayed and want to request a refund then please address this request to the hostel or Association that runs the hostel.  If you have been charged a late cancellation or no show and believe it has been unfairly applied, please address this with the hostel. 

The deposits we collect on behalf of the hostels are non-refundable therefore no refunds are available. 

If you believe that we have failed to display the correct prices, failed to show terms & conditions, or failed to confirm your booking to the hostel, please approach us directly. 

If you have not been delivered the services as described in your contract with the hostel then you will need to address that with the hostel (or Association that runs the hostel).  

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You can become a member of an Association by purchasing membership through HI.  You will typically join the Association which operates in your country of residence.   If there is no Association in your country of residence you can choose to purchase a membership which is supplied by HI. 

HI's role is to show you correct prices and make your information available to the Association you choose to join.   Before you decide to become a member, we display terms and conditions set by the Association.  HI will charge you for the membership and then remit those funds (less a commission) to the National Association you join.   We send digital membership cards rather than physical cards but the digital version entitles you to the same benefits whilst being more modern and better for the environment.

For Associations where membership is compulsory, you will need a membership to stay.  For Associations where membership is optional, you will receive a 10% discount (or equivalent) on the rate charged to non-members. 

Once a membership has been activated, no refund is available.

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For groups of 10+ people, we offer a service to transmit your enquiry to a hostel and for you to receive a response and if appropriate, a quote for your required stay and any additional services.

The role of HI in this process is to accurately pass your enquiry and any communications between you and the hostel (or Association who runs the hostel).   If the hostel or Association can meet your needs they will send you an official quote via our systems and a request for payment to secure your booking.   From this point onwards, you can work directly with the hostel (or Association who runs the hostel) to refine any of the details related to your stay.

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You can choose whether to use our services as a guest or to setup a user account.  Setting up an account helps you to make transactions quicker in future as it minimizes the information you are required to provide in order to make the transaction.  

You can optionally store a payment card securely in order to make payment quicker too. 

If you choose to set up an account, it is important to note our Privacy Policy

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You will be given the option to receive promotional marketing communication from HI.   If you opt to receive communications from HI, it will only ever be from HI as we do not pass your details to 3rd parties for marketing purposes.   

You can opt out of marketing communication at any time.   To do so, either login to your account and alter the settings within the ‘profile’ section or alternatively click ‘unsubscribe’ in the footer of one of our marketing emails.

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You may be given the option to review your booking experience on and also your experience of your hostel stay. 

For reviews of hostel stays, we aggregate your feedback into a collective score for the hostel and make your comments available to the hostel and on our website.   For reviews of your booking experience we use a 3rd party which operates under their own terms and conditions.

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These Terms & Conditions for Transactions should be referred to in the context of this Website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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