Hostelling International: Hostels Worldwide

This website is operated by the International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF) operating as Hostelling International (“HI”).  Hostelling International is registered under the Charity Act in England & Wales: Registered Charity No. 1117014 and as a company: Registered No. 02250706.VAT Registration No: GB: 196 6417 24. Registered address: 7 Bell Yard, WC2A 2JR, London, UK. 

We have nominated a Data Protection Officer and this person can be contacted by emailing dpo[at] or sending a letter addressed to our postal address marked for the attention of  ‘Data Protection Officer’.


DATA WE COLLECT AND HOW WE USE IT                    

As you use websites and services we operate, we collect data. When you visit the site, we collect standard technical data such as your IP address, Computer Operating System, Website Browser and Screen Resolution. We use this information to analyse general trends in site usage and to ensure our technical developments are compatible with the commonly used technology. We may also set your language and currency defaults based on this information. 

If you create an account with us, we will store your name, password (securely) and place of residence. You also have the option to store your date of birth and address. We primarily use this information to help you use the site more easily but may also use it for analysing trends. We may send you emails to help you complete bookings where you have incomplete bookings in your basket.   

If you login using a social media profile then we will store your social media profile ID number to help with future login attempts. We may also capture your profile photo from your social media account and display this if you log into your account.  

If you make a group enquiry through us then we will ask for your contact details which may include name, email address, country of residence and phone number. We request this information so we can pass it to the hostel (or the Association that runs the hostel) when you make your booking. This is to ensure the hostel can correctly reserve a room, enter into an agreement with you and to ensure that the hostel, Association that runs the hostel and HI can contact you as part of providing the service. 

If you buy a membership through us then we will ask for your contact details which may include name, email address, place of residence, date of birth and phone number. We request this information so we can pass your contact details to the Association your membership exists with so they can fulfil their obligations of the membership and contact you appropriately. We provide a validation service for Hostels and Associations to verify the authenticity of your membership and we store this information in order to aggregate it to better understand customer travel patterns. 

If you opt in to Marketing communications from HI or a Member association then we will store and use your email address and name. You will only ever be contacted by HI or the Member association. You can opt out of Marketing Communications at any time. 

We do not make any automated decisions based on the data you submit to us that would in any way affect you or your legal rights. 

If you create an account or opt into marketing communications we will retain your personal information until you tell us otherwise. If you buy a membership without an account, we will retain your information until you have consumed the product or service you purchased and then a short time more in order that we can perform any retrospective customer service that may be required.  

Our lawful basis for collecting and processing the personal information is either to meet a contractual obligation in sending that information to the Hostel or Association you have purchased services from or you provided your consent in creating an Account or opting in to Marketing Communications from HI. 


When we collect information, we will make it available to the relevant hostel(s) or Associations who provide the products or services you purchased. 

We use an expert and secure 3rd party payment processor and your information is collected and stored by that entity to facilitate payment.  

As part of ongoing business, we from time-to-time anonymise and aggregate data for reporting purposes.  

We disclose personal data to law enforcement insofar as it is required by law or is strictly necessary for the prevention, detection or prosecution of criminal acts and fraud. We may need to further disclose personal data to competent authorities to protect and defend our rights or properties, or the rights and properties of our business partners. 

Aside from the occasions mentioned above, we will never share your information with anyone else without your permission. 

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We use an expert & secure 3rd party payment processor in order to collect payment from transactions made via our sites.    

That payment processor also offers an option to save a card on their secure systems.  HI never store or have full visibility of your payment details but can (on your request or in line with contractual rights) ask the payment processor to use the stored details to pay for a service.  

That provider is contractually obliged to respect the rules of data privacy.  


You have the right to request visibility of personal data we store about you. To request this data, please contact us explaining why you want to know and allowing for up to one month to receive the data.  

You have the right to request amendments to your data if you believe the data we hold is inaccurate. Please contact us explaining what data you need corrected and allowing for up to one month for the rectification to be made. We will send you a confirmation when the rectification is made and if it is critical to you receiving the services you have requested (bookings, memberships), we will notify the hostel or Association you purchased your service with.  

You have the right to request we erase all personal data we hold on you. Please contact us requesting that we remove your personal data and allow up to one month for us to respond or erase data. If erasing the data would cause a situation where either we or our Hostels / Associations cannot meet our obligations to you because of the data erasure then we will ask for your permission to retain the information until our obligations are fulfilled and for you to request the erasure again once you have consumed the product or service. If you refuse this offer then you may need to cancel the services you purchased and you will suffer any cancellation fees set out in the terms of your purchase. 
For all these inquiries please contact us by emailing personaldata[at] 

If you have complaints regarding how your personal data security / privacy have been handled they should be made to our ‘Lead Supervisory Authority’ whose details can be found below: 

Information Commissioner’s Office:
Wycliffe House 
Water Lane 
Cheshire SK9 5AF 
United Kingdom
Tel: 00 44 303 123 1113 (local rate) or 00 44 1625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number. 

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This website is not intended for use by children under the age of 16. If you are under 16, please stop using this service now and request the assistance of your responsible adult. 

Should we receive personal information from someone who we know to be under 16 then we will respond asking for parental consent and erase the data if that consent is not received within a reasonable period of time.  


Hostelling International work hard to ensure your personal information is held securely. 

Data you input into our websites is protected via SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption, indicated by the padlock symbol in the top of our browser.  

HI uses a carefully selected, best in class, 3rd party partner to host your data. The services upon which our booking platform is built are all EU-US Privacy Shield certified. 

We only ever transmit your data when it is essential to in order to fulfil the product or service you have bought from a Hostel or Association and we will always use the most secure route available to us to make that transfer. 


We may transfer your personal information to, and store it at, destinations outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”) for the purposes outlined in this privacy policy. By submitting your personal information, you agree to this transfer. It will only ever be transferred under contract with appropriate data security provisions in place. 

Where you buy products and services we will transmit the necessary data to the party who is responsible for providing those products and services. 

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