Hostelling International is an organisation comprising of more than 80 national organisations all over the world, which means you’ll be welcome with open arms everywhere. There are more than 4000 hostels for you to choose from, offering you a place to stay, relax and meet new people. Hostelling International, however, is more than just a network of hostels.
Its mission started more than 80 years ago and still goes on today. The essence of its mission is the promotion of education of young people, especially those with fewer opportunities, respect for diversity, and environmental protection. Hostels have therefore become places where travellers of different nationalities, gender and religions, as well as with different interests and political opinions, can meet and learn from each other. The origins of Hostelling International can be traced back to the early 20th century when even classrooms served as one of the earliest accommodations. Today, hostels are mainly located in purpose-built, well-kept buildings, though they can also be found in ships, mansions or even in a Boeing 747 that served its turn.
It is important that hostels are accessible to all and that everyone feels safe and welcome. The organisation promotes sustainable tourism and mobility of young people. Hostelling International’s concern for sustainable development encompasses ten areas, ranging from reducing carbon footprint and water consumption to caring for the staff and the local community in each hostel’s area. Top ranking hostels in these areas are awarded the special HI-Q&S certificate and are declared environmentally friendly hostels. The organisation also demonstrates its commitment to sustainable tourism with the Hostelling International Sustainability Fund, offering travellers a chance to make a donation. The funds are then allocated each year to hostels with the best sustainability projects, ranging from the use of renewable energy sources to helping the local community.
Hostelling International doesn’t reach out to travellers solely through hostels, though. It’s an organisation with almost 4 million members and all of them can enjoy thousands of discounts around the globe, which brings Hostelling International even closer to fulfilling one of its objectives – to make travelling available to as many travellers as possible. Especially noteworthy in this regard is the 10% cheaper accommodation at HI hostels when booked directly.
All travellers and those who wish to become one are welcome to join volunteer programmes of national organisations where you’ll be a part of exciting projects. One of the projects that has been initiated in recent years is the Sleep for Peace campaign supporting peace through hostels. These organise various wonderful events on World Peace Day each year, promoting, above all, peace and cultural diversity. The HI Connect programme, an exchange of volunteers between HI hostels, is perfect for all the passionate travellers and those who love volunteering. The programme offers the opportunity to explore foreign countries, gain work experience and learn new languages, just like that.
As already mentioned above, Hostelling International is a federation of more than 80 national organisations and each of them is doing its best to fulfil their common mission. In addition to Hostelling International Slovenia, which offers young members more than 70,000 discounts across Europe, other organisations also offer a myriad of discounts; YHA Australia offers more than 700. Across the Pacific Ocean, there are YHA Canada and YHA USA, both offering accommodation where guests can sleep in the heart of a metropolis or on the ourskirts of one of the numerous national parks. And let’s not forget about all the wonderful hostelling organisations encouraging sustainable tourism in Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.
By spending time in HI hostels, you are working towards our common vision and helping spread our message of peace, understanding and respect for the environment. As you work along with us, you are striving to make hostels more environmentally friendly and able to better help the local community.