In a post on the YHA Forum, Karl has clarified YHA’s current rules on children staying at hostels, and whether they need to be with an adult. This won’t directly impact on most groups, but it isn’t widely publicised (I can’t find it on the YHA web site, for example) and may be of use to group members who are parents, or who are children! Here’s a summary:
- Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (somebody 18+). If they’re under 5, they have to stay in a family room. If they’re 5-15 they may sleep in a dormitory, provided they’re accompanied by an adult of the same sex, otherwise they’ll need to use a family room too.
- Young people who are 16 or 17 years old may stay at a hostel without an adult to accompany them. However, if they do so, they must either be allocated a private room or share with individuals of the same sex and age group.
- Once you’re 18, of course, you can stay wherever you can get in.
I’m sure many people reading this will (like me) have been hostelling without their parents whilst under 16. It’s sad that today’s youngsters won’t have quite the same freedom we had – but it’s a change forced upon the YHA by the law, rather than a deliberate policy choice on their part.
On a related note, Affiliated groups who have young members may wish to review the Guidance for groups with under 18 year old members.