Hostel Memberships... is this a SCAM?? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 02-19-2004, 04:31 PM   #1
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So in pricing hostels I found a hidden factor that could have caught me off gaurd: memberships (HI and otherwise) This after looking at ISIC and other organizations was enough to get me to post.

This other hostel search organization wanted me to buy an annual membership for like 28$US and promised many cost saving benefits no too different than ISIC. Zero commission currency exchange, free and discount travelers insurance, email, and many hostels to stay at...

I pose the question to the veterans: Where is there value here and where is it just smoke and mirrors? More importantly, am i at risk of going to a hostel late at night and either being sacked for a large membership fee or at worst being refused a place to stay? It seems far fetched, but I'd like to be prepared for whatever so i don't get screwed.

Thanks all
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Old 02-19-2004, 05:03 PM   #2
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A few years back before the evolution of the internet, I sent away for an HI card, they took the $$$ off my visa card but I never got my card, I called and could find no one to help me with this problem. I was upset and vowd not to use HI. I did not get what I payed for.

I have heard of people gettng good savings with the ISIC, which is internationaly regagnized <-bad spelling) and accepted. As for other discount cards, I would stick with the ISIC if you are able to get one.

My personal opinion on HI hostels and the membership, I do not think you need one, there are many services like the one offered by Travelpunk.com to research, view, reserve hostels at good prices. HI was something that was need before such vast information on hostels was avalable to trav'las.

Thats my 2 cents on it anyway.

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Old 02-19-2004, 05:56 PM   #3
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I'm wondering the same thing, MP!

It sounds like a great deal: a string of reliable hostels where you'll know what to expect in every place right? Sheets, laundry, clean facilities. But.. I'm cynical. I'd like to hear from people who've used them and have experience.

HI seems to have one of the very few hostels in Reykjavik.. and it sounds nice, but if I stay there, I'll need a membership.

I'll let you know if I find something out.
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Old 02-20-2004, 12:57 AM   #4
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Just on discount cards... Does anyone actually believe that a IYTC is equally as good is the ISIC card like some people lead me to believe. Just not sure if its worth getting a student card before i go. Even though im not a student, it seems like its very easy to get one through STA (with a few signatures that is )

Thoughts?

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Old 02-20-2004, 04:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Just on discount cards... Does anyone actually believe that a IYTC is equally as good is the ISIC card like some people lead me to believe. Just not sure if its worth getting a student card before i go. Even though im not a student, it seems like its very easy to get one through STA
Leeroy it is real simple to get one, its really just an under 26 card. The literature I have read it seems that it is nowhere near as widely recognised as ISIC. But at only $16AUD if you get just a couple of discounts it should pay for itself. Ill just be flashin' it round and see what discounts I can score. Disclaimer - yes I am a real scrooge and scammer.
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:36 PM   #6
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hmm... I am at a stage now where i will resist any opportunity to spend money unless it's mandatory (like a plane ticket) or some experienced travelers vouch for it. It's amazing how many ways to spend hard earned $$ pop up when you decide you want to travel.


-If anyone had a good experience with HI this would be a great time to mention it. BTW, i did end up finding another hostel in Milano. 2 acutally. If that's any indication, more research time = less money wasted.

Thanks y'all
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:39 AM   #7
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I bought a HI crad for my trip. When I started planning I found a lot of the smaller towns in would only have on hostel and it was an HI. I havn't gone yet so I can't tell you about my experience using it. But they have a new program where you can earn points every time you stay. Then you can use thoes points towards other nights. Kind of like a frequent flyer for hostels.
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Old 02-23-2004, 02:28 AM   #8
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Well, I have got myself a VIP card, which cost me about 21.50 GBP for 2 years. I don't think they cover the US, however they do cover Europe, Africa, Oz, and NZ. I've actually already saved some money when booking a bed in a hostel when I get to Perth. And, it's not just for hostels, I can use it for food, buses bars, internet, job finding, etc....
I haven't a clue what it'll be like when I use it for the other things, but I've saved a bit already where hostels are concerned.

I reckon they are quite a good idea personally. I mean, $28US isn't tons to pay really. And, after using it a couple of times, you'd make your cash back.
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