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Youth Hostelling in Europe


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Being in my 60's, camping lost any appeal about 30 years ago, and I wondered if any of you folks had ever thought of youth hostelling. Firstly, you can go at any age, secondly, you don't have to kip in a dorm full of foreign folk with smelly feet (although you can if you want), thirdly, it can be very cheap and lastly, you can go in a vehicle. I've stayed in a few hostels in the UK both singly and with SWMBO. The one thing they all had in common was that the mattresses are sponsored by the Osteopaths Association - they are very hard. All had cooking facilities and dining rooms and some had small rooms as well as dorms, great for couples or a family and often with en suite bathrooms. Some provided good meals at reasonable cost.

We both love Switzerland and have been every year for the last 10 years, usually skiing, and hotels are not cheap, especially in recent times with the poor exchange rate. Trying to plan a summer tour there this coming summer,I checked out the International Hostelling site and they have some very nice looking hostels, many with twin or four bedded rooms or conventional dorms and most do half board. For example, a twin room with half board (breakfast and dinner) in some hostels is about £36 a night each. That price can't be had in a Swiss hotel in our experience. If you just want a bed in a dorm and do self catering, it can be REALLY cheap - around £15 - £20, a bit more with a buffet breakfast, which is probably less than a pitch on a Swiss campsite.. Considering the difference in comfort compared to camping, especially in bad weather and that you only need to take clothes, not a Landy full of expensive camping gear, I reckon it's a winner.. There are hostels in all the European countries and some are in amazing positions and buildings and some are incredibly cheap, from about £11. Just join the Youth Hostel Association in the UK for starters. In the UK, take a mattress topper, earplugs (for snorer prevention in dorms) and keep your food locked in your room or Landy. I reckon it's a great way to do a long tour but you may have to book in advance in high season, which you can do online. Check out the website..


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if im really honest i prefer to just rough it in the landy,well i say rough it ive created a little makeshift sleeping arrangement that works nicely its very comfy for 2 adults and a kid.

adda cheap lightweight tent and a few cookin facilities and bam!!

i always liked youth hostels as a youngster they are shaggin fests :P :P but i use campsites nowa days.

although i know exactly where your at.

any travels just great.

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  • 2 weeks later...


The standard of many camp sites in western europe especially is very good. I have used several in Holland and Germany and you get nice clean shower blocks and toilets often with a shop on site for food stuffs and a few camping spares like gas cylinders.

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Yes, it's okay 'roughing it' in a tent if the sun is shining and it's warm (IMHO). I was in the Camping Club for many years when young. On a tour of Italy in April 1976 (FOUR of us in an 850cc Minivan!!) we pitched the tent on a site in the French Alps at 2am, we were delayed trying to find a mountain pass that was open, and found skiers on a piste behind the tent in the morning! Why take all that gear and have to put the tent up and take it down (great when it's wet!) and so on, when you can stay in what amounts to a hotel with a kitchen to make your meals, for the same price as some campsites? And you can meet some very nice people. I do think it's age related, though.. If there are any 'senior citizens' out there who fancy a tour of Switzerland in the autumn using hostels, let me know.. We have a 90 and can manage any dates.. SWMBO does not like like camping, it has to be said..

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