Do YHA's offer value for money
I have just spent an hour or so looking back at the trips made to Cumbria this year, on weekends and a weeks walking and one thing really jumped out at me. A night’s bed and breakfast at some YHA’s are nearly as expensive as in a B&B.
The most expensive YHA was only £3.05 cheaper than 2 out of 4 B’B’s stayed at and the cheapest YHA £6.05. Add £2.50 and £5 for the other B&B’s. The costs got worse when at one hostel we were charged an extra £1.45 each for a cooked breakfast.
What extra do you get in a B&B for your £3 to £6?. No bunks, a ready made bed, two towels each, en-suite toilet and shower, kettle and brew kit, television, radio. On the minus side I have never stayed in a B&B with a decent drying room, washing machine or tumble dryer, on the other hand some of the YHA ones are not good and often don’t have the heating on.
Evening meals in YHA’s have improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years, but costs are at or about local pub prices. These continental breakfasts are a joke and must cost a packet to provide as no one seems to eat them.
Also the attitude we received at some YHA’s felt like the old British Railways adage “we’d run an efficient service here if it wasn’t for the customers”.
Not all were bad, and Dufton and Elterwater were great on all counts.
So, the question is staying at a YHA’s currently good value for money?.
It is even worse if you are a couple and have to sleep in seperate dorms, all for the sake of saving a fiver between you.
The benifits of hostels (and cheaper bunkhouses) are that you can cook your own evening meal which you can't do in a B&B and they usually have a drying room.
I dont think the English and Welsh ones do anymore.
(Scotland is different)
The complusary breakfasts ase not good value, especially if.........................
A. You dont want one
B. you dont want a six piece breakfast
C. you are a vegetarian
For this reason I take my buisness elsewhere.
Please can anyone explain why the deserve their charitabe status with all the associated tax breaks they still get compared to bunk houses and camping barns???????????
There are still a few decent Youth Hostels left in Scotland - Ratagan, Ullapool, Glen Affric, Loch Ossian, Glencoe, and they are offering 25% off for the next month or so, which means you can get a night for about £10, but it's hard to see how they will last as the independant hostels take over, sometimes in the same premises. The original aim of the Youth Hostel movement in the 1930s was:
"To help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them in their travels, and thus to promote their health, rest and education".
It was a good idea at the time!
And in the old days you had to help the warden to make the place neet and tidy before you left.Times have changed we want more facilities en-suite etc.I stayed at Edinburgh Central in July. the room was good just like a travelodge and not much cheaper.And the cost of membership for Scotland is to increase.
There are some good hostels about - and I'm amazed not more people use them.
Reasons I stay in hostels:
Saves carrying tent/cooking stuff
I can save money by cooking my own food
I can eat healthily by eating my own breakfast, not a B&B fried feast
If I'm not out in the evening, I don't have to sit in a bedroom, but can meet other people
If you're travelling on your own, they're much, much cheaper than a B&B
Single sex rooms; I don't have to share with snoring men and worry about how to get changed in my sleeping bag
Pretty clean and usually friendly staff
Some are in amazing locations
They're mainly closed between October and March, which is when I def. don't want to camp!
If you're travelling with someone, it won't save you much money
I never stay in hostels in cities, though... they're a different kettle of fish all together
I stayed in a bunkhouse at the weekend, and had to share a room with the most intimidating and horrible species of British men - no consideration for anyone else and snored like chainsaws after getting bladdered. Made me think hostels with their single sex rooms are great.
Like Mike I often give my business to the independents. They're not all great and some leave one thinking "ho hum" and not going back, but the overall standard is good and the prices and policies tend to be more sensible than YHA.
YHA seem to want to become a purveyor of cheap hotels, in which I'm not interested. At least the independent sector appears to be taking up the slack.
Jules aka Bat Girl wrote (see)
I think it depends where you stay - the more remote, the more old fashioned they are - and the cheaper!
...and no compulsary breakfast.
Sorry for all that crap at the top of my post (copied over from Word) I must learn to inspect the post once its up.
So far that looks fairly unanimous, YHA tends to offer poor value.
"the more remote, the more old fashioned they are the cheaper!" I agree, which is why I praised Dufton & Elterwater.
As I am usually with the matron (who flat refuses to try a YHA. I think its a no hair dryer thing) or with a mate or two we rarely get single supplements in B&B's as they can make a big difference to the cost of a room. We are planning another walk and one pub we looked at offered a twin room at £70 with 20% off for a single user, thats totally unjustified.
I will continue to use YHA's simply because its part of being 'out there' but I will use B&B's with much less reticence in future.
Will someone from from YHA add a post. I would like an explanation of the continental breakfasts and the £1.45 extra for a cooked one. Which really p.6&88!d me off.
What I dislike is the buffet breakfast! That and the new bed-making arrangements. I much preferred the sheet-sleeping bag/duvet combination to the new 2 pillow cases, bottom sheet and duvet cover marathon. If I'd want to change bedding I'd have joined the hotel trade!!
I'm a scout leader and we get free membership for our group but we can't afford to use hostels as it makes the cost of a weekend too expensive for our scouts. Bunkhouses tend to get booked up way ahead, usually for just the Saturday night too.
Time for a return to basics for the YHA I think.
I wondered what that was at the beginning of your post OAG!!
I've not found many B&B's that can beat a YHA hostel on cost (inc or exc breakfast) for a single walker...
I also find them a lot more flexible about getting some breakfast at early doors when I want to get out early andon the hills.
The other great advantage of membership (other than 10% off in some shops) is reciporcal rights in other countries youth hostels, so often stay in them when I'm abroad...
do something hard enough so you sleep where you fall... or a silk liner (luxury for no weight)
Not encountered facilities that are poor that hasn't been matched by rude B&B owners defending equally poor facilities...
Housekeeping duties, worst I ever have is making and stripping a bed...
I can sleep on a clothes line so have no problem there.
Yes I agree that B&B owners can be rude and places not up to scratch but that doesn't excuse the YHA in offering third class facilities. Over the past few years I've noticed that the standard at YHA has fallen and investment in the core facilities has been missing. Guy mentioned above about the internet being available but basics not functioning. I've seen the same sort of thing including poor housekeeping/cleaning as well.
There's no excuse for cold dirty hostels offering unecessary servcies e.g. internet access.
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