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Phileas Fogg and Passepartout approach the Swiss Alps

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Hostels are a form of accommodation where nearly all facilities are shared with other guests. Other areas such as bathrooms and lounges are also shared.  Although many rooms are dormitory style, including some that are furnished with bunk beds, an increasing number of hostels now offer private rooms, although the bath is likely to still be down the hall.  Besides keeping the cost down, hostels usually create a warm and friendly atmosphere between guests. Hostels have been traditionally for young people, especially students and backpackers.  However anyone regardless of age can stay at almost all hostels.  Hostels are found all over the world, including in the United States. In Australia and New Zealand they are commonly referred to as Backpacker hostels.

If you are interested in staying at a hostel that used to be a prison or jail, see our Prison Hotels/Hostels page.
  • Hostels.com FAQ.  All your questions answered about staying at a hostel.
  • About.com Budget Travel - From Hotels to Hostels. A good list and links to comprehensive hostel websites.
  • Backpackers-Planet.  An excellent, comprehensive website for backpackers with worldwide coverage of hostels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts and lodges.
  • Wikipedia - Hostels. A short article with pictures about what hostels are all about.
  • Wikitravel - Hostels. Very general information on hostels. It was just an outline the last time we checked but will undoubtedly expand to a complete, comprehensive page like other Wikitravel topics.
  • Elderhostel.  This organization has organized learning tours for older people worldwide.  They offer in-depth and behind-the-scenes learning experiences for almost every interest and ability.  They usually do not stay at hostels on trips but offer comfortable accommodations in hotels, inns, retreat centers and select campuses (nearly all with private baths); They offer single rooms on almost 90 percent of U.S. and Canada programs.
Hostels.com. This is one of the most complete directory of hostels worldwide with easy-to-use navigation we have found on the web.

International Youth Hostels Association. The IHYA site is multi-lingual and includes details of membership, reservations, news, and hostels.  Their online booking system has links to worldwide locations and other hostelling organizations covering over 400 hotels.
International Student Travel Confederation  The homepage of an international organization for students who like to travel.  Membership includes an ISTC student card, plus travel discounts, tips, insurance, and a free student traveler's help line.  Here is there Accommodation section that includes information on hostels.
Worldwide Hostel Guide
An excellent, comprehensive guide to hostels and budget hotels around the world.
Hostelling International 
From modern built hostels to 15th century Italian villas and country cottages, there are over 4,300 Hostelling International locations worldwide. Hostelling International is the brand name of the International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF) and its member associations, a not for profit organization. Hostelling International represents international youth hostel associations in 60 countries offering travelers quality budget accommodation.

Hostelling International - USA (HI-USA) This is the website of the U.S. affiliate of Hostelling International with information on hostels in the United States.

Hostelling International - Canada (HI-Canada) This is the website of the Canadian affiliate of Hostelling International with information on hostels in Canada.

HostelWorld.com They cover independent hostels, youth hostels and budget accommodations worldwide.

EuroTrip - European Hostels They cover hostels in Europe including reader comments and reviews about hostels they have stayed at.
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