Author Topic: YHA yet again penalises self caterers and solo walkers on a budget  (Read 1954 times)

madame cholet

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First I'm apologising for being absent my father had cancer for 6 months and died in January.


Just had an email from YHA about their new amazing discount yes you get 10% off everything now as a member including pre booking meals but you loose your 3 per night off so unless you staying expensive hostels at weekends or buy their food you loose out. Wish I hadn't just finished paying my lifetime membership.
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Stube

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Sorry to heard about your father.

Being based in the south YHA is almost a myth these days with only one hostel per county (if that) and rarely on walking routes, so I only darken their doors about every three years!

Last time I stayed at one (Streatley), I was forced to pay for a double room because all the all the dorms were full (despite being out of season and midweek!) - not impressed. I was willing to share but the warden would have none of it - the whole room or no bed at all.

Ralph

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I was a member of YHA until a few years ago, not being able to book a single private room for less than 40 per night in advance made me stop my membership. I have noticed that a lot of hostels are taken over by school parties, I have no problem with this as I would encourage young people to get out there. The YHA should realise that they have some members that expext the the original concept of being a place of sanctuary when in need. Just reserve a few places for emergencies.

fit old bird

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I have always sung the praises of the YHA, had some super cheap nights in their hostels. But lately I haven't been able to find one in the right place and at the right time, that has beds available.


I thought the 3 off for members was a good deal, not sure if the 10% off would be good for me. I have a breakfast but self cater for the evening meal.


I am in a better position financially now, due to my frugal living habits, so I can afford hotels. I have let my YHA membership roll on, direct debit, because they are a charity, but I might cancel it and donate elsewhere.


ilona

Annejacko

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Sorry to hear about  your father madame cholet

In the summer my 17 yr old daughter and I had a weekend away at Borth YHA which made me question the previous discount structure.

We have family membership so got the per night discount but the stupid thing was our dorm beds were the same price, but as my daughter was only 17 she only got 1.50 per night off whereas I got 3 per night off making the price for a 17 year old unwaged A level student more expensive than that for me a working adult. How is that a way to encourage young people into travel and the outdoors?

I spoke to the owner/manager (Borth is one of the YHAs that was sold off and is now an affiliate-it's a great place by the way...) and he said it was under review so I've been waiting to see what they come up with.

So I've just done a comparison of old and new structures. The beds were 18 per person per night and we stayed for two nights giving a total of 72 (it was August bank holiday weekend so a pricey time of year!)

The old discount of 3 per night for me and 1.50 per night for U18 gave us 9 off so final price of 63

Under the new structure we would have had a 15% discount as the party included someone under 26 so discount on 72 would be 10.80 making the cost 61.20 so marginally cheaper but not much in it.

If I was travelling alone instead of 3 per night off I'd have got 1.80 per night off so I'd have paid more.

Given the YHA is a charity that is supposed to support young people, then youths getting more discount is surely the way to go.

I was disappointed in 2018 that they didn't run the activity holidays that my younger daughter has attended for the previous two years in the summer hols though. She really enjoyed them.

Quote
I have always sung the praises of the YHA, had some super cheap nights in their hostels. But lately I haven't been able to find one in the right place and at the right time, that has beds available

I do agree with you here Ilona, especially in the colder months when I want to hostel rather than camp so many are exclusive hire at the weekend, it's very frustrating.


Enjoy every sandwich

Ridge

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I have always sung the praises of the YHA, had some super cheap nights in their hostels. But lately I haven't been able to find one in the right place and at the right time, that has beds available.


I do agree with you here Ilona, especially in the colder months when I want to hostel rather than camp so many are exclusive hire at the weekend, it's very frustrating.
Those 2 quotes sum up my current feelings on YHA
Over hill, over dale. Thorough brush, thorough brier....
I do wander every where

fit old bird

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In the past I have often chosen places to walk based around a hostel, and a reasonable distance from home if I am having a two or three night stay. I have walked most of the routes in Derbyshire and Yorkshire.


If I am doing a longer walk, or a drive and walk holiday, I do check to see if there is a hostel I can use. Mostly there isn't. I can sleep in the car, or camp if it's warm, but I like the comfort of a proper bed with access to shower and toilet, so its a B & B or a hotel for me.


On another note, I enquired about combining some volunteer gardening duties, while staying at a hostel. An hour or two of pruning, weeding, etc, after a days walking. I registered to get notifications of such opportunities. They send me details of locations where gardening would be appreciated, but they choose the dates of when they want you there, and the hostels are miles away, too far to travel for a few days. I would only drive the distances if I was away for a week or more, and at the time of my choosing. I have given up on that idea.


ilona

Islandplodder

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I was wondering why I hadn't been notified about this.  I have just checked and as far as I can see the Scottish YHA have not gone down this road yet.  Does anyone have more up to date info on this as my membership is up for renewal and I was debating what to do.  I benefit from the 3 quid off a night, but only just.  10% off would leave me running at quite a loss as I tend to self cater.


Pitboot

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I walk past/near plenty of YHA premises on my jaunts around the Lakes. Judging by the amount of very nice cars and 4x4s usually parked up it seems to me that those with less funds are being pushed out in favour of those who can well afford to stay elsewhere.
I was made to jump off the road to allow two BMW 4x4s to pass on their way up to Helvellyn YHA only a few weeks ago.
As a youth of 16 on my first walking trip to the Lakes in the 70s I do not remember seeing any cars at the hostels, and I stayed in a lot of them. (Ok, the warden's van maybe.)
That's how it should be still, but profits come first these days.


Annejacko

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Should also note that annual membership fee has gone down from 25 to 15 for a household membership.
Enjoy every sandwich

Innominate Man

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As a youth of 16 on my first walking trip to the Lakes in the 70s I do not remember seeing any cars at the hostels, and I stayed in a lot of them.
My experience too.
I was reading these posts with interest and wondered whether the 'tasks' we had to do at the hostels has been abandoned.
At my stays in the 70s (for instance) I remember chopping/sawing logs for the fire @ Thorney Howe and cleaning a bathroom @ Ambleside. It was normal to repay the low price of the nights accommodation by helping out the wardens by performing household chores. Everyone was assigned some small task and I enjoyed that feeling of 'mucking in' for the greater good.
Presumably this has gone by the wayside ?
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richardh1905

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That's how it should be still, but profits come first these days.
Presumably this has gone by the wayside ?

I cannot help but feel that the YHA have lost their way - I wouldn't consider staying nowadays.

Pity that they are not more like a bothy with a warden.

richardh1905

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First I'm apologising for being absent my father had cancer for 6 months and died in January.



Welcome back; sorry to hear about your father - must have been a very difficult time.

fit old bird

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My experience too.
I was reading these posts with interest and wondered whether the 'tasks' we had to do at the hostels has been abandoned.
At my stays in the 70s (for instance) I remember chopping/sawing logs for the fire @ Thorney Howe and cleaning a bathroom @ Ambleside. It was normal to repay the low price of the nights accommodation by helping out the wardens by performing household chores. Everyone was assigned some small task and I enjoyed that feeling of 'mucking in' for the greater good.
Presumably this has gone by the wayside ?


I remember stripping my bed and packing my rucksack, then reporting to the warden for a task to do before I left. It was always something simple which only took about 20 minutes, usually washing pots in the kitchen, or sweeping the floors. I was happy to do that. Maybe they ought to bring that back to teach the youngsters some kind of responsibility.


Nowadays people expect to be waited on, hostels are treated more like hotels. A shame really, because they get full up by people who could afford a B & B or a hotel, thus leaving spaces for those who are of limited income.


ilona

Islandplodder

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I think the morning jobs went some time ago.  An acquaintance of mine was sent to paint the gate once, which ate into his day a bit.
It is vaguely in my memory that you weren't supposed to turn up in a car, you were meant to walk or cycle or generally get there under your own steam.  So people would leave the car half a mile down the road, and arrive looking suitably worn out and carrying a rucksack.
I think the main problem is that 'Youth' can't stay in them any more, unless accompanied by a responsible adult.  The whole point of them was that first taste of independence when you were 15 or 16. That changed them fundamentally, now they have to cater to the whims of oldies like me.