Photo courtesy of Hostelling International

Stay Free at Hostels Around the US Through This Volunteer Program

by Molly O'Brien Sep 1, 2023

It’s time for the annual “Great Hostel Give Back” with Hostelling International. This international hospitality brand is offering travelers the chance to earn a free stay in certain U.S.-based city properties — and all they’ll have to do is support their community.

The annual program offers people the chance to enjoy a complimentary stay at one of its many hostels in exchange for volunteering at a local organization. Participants will earn one free overnight for every two hours of volunteer service in the local community, maxing out at four nights of complimentary stay for the group at the selected hostel. The program is open to groups of 6-30 people, which can be comprised of friends, family, professional colleagues, and educational or service groups. At least one group member must participate in a signature HI USA virtual program before their stay –– choosing from the Travel 101, Study Abroad 101 or Hostelling 101 classes.

This program is a great way to combine local volunteer service with an educational and social reward for groups that love to travel and explore. Participants will enjoy the chance to experience a hostel while connecting with people worldwide in exchange for their time and contributions to the community. Volunteers can find meaning through their work and meet new friends.

volunteer group at food bank

Photo courtesy Hostelling International

While enjoying their time at the hostels, guests will enjoy the opportunity to meet new people, use the community kitchen at no extra charge, and partake in all scheduled hostel activities — including the property’s free hosted events, tours and social happenings.

Most HI USA hostels offer complimentary Wi-Fi, have kitchens available for guests to store and prepare food, offer bike racks and storage, and have safety features like lockers for guests’ belongings.

HI USA is additionally proud to be committed to a sustainable travel experience. Each hostel employs environmental standards ranging from limited or no plastic on-site — to timed water usage in showers, reusing grey water, and composting, among other initiatives.

The 10 hostels across the U.S. that will be participating in the program include HI  Boston, HI Chicago, HI Los Angeles Santa Monica, HI New York City, HI Point Montara Lighthouse, HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse, HI Sacramento, HI San Francisco Downtown, HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf and HI San Diego Downtown. Those interested can apply now to participate for stays in January and February of 2024.

Groups applying can either select the charity of their choice or be matched with a local charity through Volunteer Match. Those interested in applying for Great Hostel Give Back can apply online.

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