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Old 04-10-2006, 11:18 AM   #1
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hello everyone,

Happy to be a new member here. I hoped I would get some help with the one thing that still concerns me.... I'm 28 (which obviously isn't under 26).

So I'm heading to Europe next month for 3 weeks and I'm concerned that I'll have problems with hostels since I'm not really a youth anymore. I'm planning on trying to make some reservations over the next couple weeks. Here's the two things that I worry about though: first, even if I make a reservation at one, any chance they'll give me the boot if they need the space for people under 26? Secondly, I think it kinda blows that I have to set up all these places I'll be, what happened to going someplace on a whim?

Anyone out there that's over 26 and has done the hostel thing in the month of May, I'd greatly appreciate anything you have to say. I'll be flying into Berlin, then taking the train to Prague for a few days, then Vienna, Venice, Rome, Munich, and back to Berlin.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:30 AM   #2
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I was 29 and had no problems with any of the hostels I stayed at in Europe.
I didn't book or stay in any that were age specific though.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:48 AM   #3
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Yeah, you shouldn't have a problem at all. Any hostels that I've seen which ARE age specific seem to have the cut-off around 35 or so...not sure about the HI hostels, but either way, you're still relatively young so you shouldnt have a problem.
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Old 04-10-2006, 02:00 PM   #4
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Age-specific hostels are pretty rare these days. Hostelling has become more of a budget-travel experience as opposed to an age-related one. You won't have any problems getting a bed due to your age. If that had been the case I would never have been able to take any of my previous trips!

You can still be as spontaneous as you want! Just be prepared to do a LOT of walking if you're arriving in a busy, popular town in high season with no reservations.

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Old 04-10-2006, 06:33 PM   #5
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Yeah, we had a couple staying in one of our hostels that had children our ages. No worries.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:00 AM   #6
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Hello and welcome. My husband and I are both in the "over 35" category, and we stay at "youth" hostels frequently - with our kids, who are well below 26! Back when I was under 26, there were mostly young people in the hostels, but now it's a much broader range, it seems.

Especially in places like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where generations go on enormous hikes and such together, there really doesn't seem to be any distinction made with regard to age. Some of the real "party" hostels may cater more to the youth crowd, while quieter ones might attract more of a family/older clientele, but I've never encountered any with strict age restrictions. And I can't imagine they can boot out a paid/reserved guest for a younger one. If they accepted your reservation, you should be fine.

There are plenty of over 26 travelers here on the boards, backpacking/budget travel is definitely not age limited!

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Old 04-11-2006, 09:55 AM   #7
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I'm 34 and I've never had a problem anywhere. As space virgin said, I think age-specific hostels are becoming quite rare. I've met people in hostels in their 60s and 70s.
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:21 PM   #8
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I've stayed at some of the "party" hostels and still have some old (40+) guys stay there a couple times.

You dont have to make reservations but because of the interent, making reservations is alot easier and the hostels fill up fast.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by tumblezweedz@Apr 11 2006, 07:00 AM
backpacking/budget travel is definitely not age limited!
[snapback]111687[/snapback]
Thank god for that, or I'd be screwed!!

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Old 04-12-2006, 11:46 AM   #10
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I agree with the masses, age is not an issue. I've seen lots of people in theri 30's, 40's, 50's and up. Budget traveling is becoming more and more popular with older people.

Actually - I think there is a real good business opportunity for someone to really start marketing more budget travel to the older crowd, set up hostels geared towards older people, maybe link in some tours, etc. I imagine the market could be huge but that a lot of people are probably scared off by the stigma that backpacking and budget travel is for 'utes and all hostels will be full out Frat party level debauchery (which some are of course, ). Not all older people have a ton of cash or want to blow 6 grand on a two week trip to Europe.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:49 PM   #11
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Hi. My name is Omid. And I'm a geriatric backpacker.

Being over 30 now, I thought perhaps some of the youngin's around the hostels would think I'm some creepy old dude out to find some young, fresh meat. Because when I was younger, that's what I assumed about old folks in the dorms and such.

It turns out that being in the common situatiion of traveling on a tight budget and living semi-communally throws a lot of pre-conceived notions out the window. If anything, I found in this last trip that some of the really young kids saw us older folks as "elder statesmen" of backpacking, and used us as info sources instead of shunning us as the backpacking grandpas.

I think it's just so common now, anyway. Especially in atypical destinations like New Zealand, Latin America, and Eastern Europe... I've noticed a lot more older backpackers in places that aren't the typical first trip abroad (Amsterdam, London, Australia, etc...).
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