Last Updated: 12/4/2023 | December 4th, 2023
Backpacking Europe is a rite of passage. With a well-worn travel trail, a huge variety of amazing destinations, and tons of hostels, Europe is a fun, safe, and easy place to travel. It’s where I first started backpacking over 15 years ago, and I still make sure to visit the continent every year.
Since budget travel is a huge part of Europe’s culture (and since many countries in Europe are expensive), hostels are pretty much everywhere. They’re the go-to accommodation choice for younger travelers (though many older travelers use them too).
But even affordable hostels add up if you’re traveling for weeks or months at a time.
Fortunately, there’s a new way to save on hostels around Europe: HostelPass.
HostelPass is a membership program that provides discounts on select hostels and activities in Europe.
But is it worth it? Will you actually save money using it?
In this post, I’ll explain everything you need to know about HostelPass to help you decide if it’s right for your next trip to Europe.
What is HostelPass?
HostelPass is a digital discount card for travelers that offers up to 20% off hostels (as well as tours/experiences) throughout Europe. It’s a wonderful way to save money if you’re going to be staying in hostels while backpacking around Europe.
You can browse hostelpass.co to see a full list of hostels and experiences. Each hostel page highlights what kinds of features and amenities you can expect, benefits you’ll receive as a HostelPass member, and a super helpful “Atmosphere” meter, where they rate the hostel on a scale from “Relaxed” to “Party.”
There are hostels and experiences in most of the major cities around Europe and the list of places and included experiences grows every month. HostelPass membership costs 29.99 EUR for an annual pass. You can use code NOMADICMATT to get 25% off too!
How Does HostelPass Work?
To sign up for a HostelPass membership, simply visit hostelpass.co and purchase the annual membership. Your pass is valid for a year from the date of purchase, so be sure to time it with when you’ll actually start booking hostels (not months and months beforehand). You’ll want it to cover booking your hostels as well as when you’re actually on your trip.
Once you do that, you can then start booking accommodation and activities via the HostelPass website.
When you see an activity or hostel that you want to book, just select it and you’ll be presented with the booking link. Follow that link and place your booking. That’s it!
What is Included in HostelPass?
There are currently over 100 discounts available on HostelPass. Most of these are hostels, with discounts usually ranging from 10-20% off. Some of these hostels also include other perks, like free breakfast or a free welcome drink.
There are also discounts on experiences, activities, and museums too, such as 15% off a Harry Potter walking tour in Edinburgh, 10% off canal cruises in Amsterdam, and 12% off a food tour in Paris.
There are currently discounts available in 18 countries across over 40 cities in Europe, with more being added all the time. Currently, there are discounts available in:
Pros of HostelPass
- Super affordable
- Hostel prices usually lower than booking via Hostelworld
- Discounts available in most major European cities
- Discounts on both hostels and activities/tours
- More destinations and discounts added regularly
Cons of HostelPass
Is HostelPass ACTUALLY Worth It?
If you’re heading to Europe and have the flexibility to plan your trip around the hostels and activities available on HostelPass, then you can easily make your money back (and then some).
You will roughly need to stay at 5-7 discounted hostels to get your money back (depending on the price per night). Once you throw some discounted tours and activities in there though, it becomes much more attainable and the savings much greater.
If you don’t have your full travel itinerary planned but will be in Europe for a few months, the pass is likely worth getting as you can probably make your money back (while also enjoying some nice perks like free breakfast or free drinks).
If you’re only heading to Europe for a week or two, then chances are you won’t recoup the cost of a pass. But you’ll want to do the math to be sure.
HostelPass Frequently Asked Questions
Can I share the pass with a friend?
Multiple travelers can’t share a single HostelPass, however, at checkout you can add users to your purchase. For example, if you’re traveling with three friends you can put all four of you on a single pass. You’ll need to pay for four passes, but all four passes will be on a single account (instead of having four different accounts) so everyone will get the perks and discounts as you travel.
You can also gift a pass in case you know a traveler who would appreciate it or if a friend needs an extra incentive to join you on a trip. Their pass will become valid from the day they first use it, not the day you purchased it.
Do I need to book on HostelPass’ site?
Once you have your pass and are ready to book, you can get the booking links for each discount on HostelPass’ site. They’ll send you a specific link to use that will allow you to enjoy your discount.
If you don’t book via HostelPass, you won’t get the discount.
Is there an age limit to use HostelPass?
Travelers need to be at least 18 years of age to get a HostelPass membership.
How much does HostelPass cost?
An annual HostelPass membership is 29.99 EUR per person.
I’ve always thought a digital discount card for hostels was a great idea. While you may need to plan out your travels so they best align with HostelPass’ discounted destinations, I think the effort can easily make the savings worthwhile if you’re traveling around Europe for a few weeks or months.
Best of all, you can use code NOMADICMATT to get 25% off your HostelPass membership!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Want to Travel for Free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.
Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip?
Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace where you can find cool walking tours, fun excursions, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more.
Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.