Your questions

Question

My husband and I travelled around England, Scotland and Wales in 2001, staying at youth hostels most of the time. We enjoyed the experience of meeting other travellers at these hostels, most of them much younger than us, some our age and some from Australia. It was a cheaper type of accommodation and we would like to repeat the experience in March/April. Have things changed much in eight years? We also want to know about youth hostels in New Zealand as that is our second choice.

- N Clarke, Tamworth.

Answer

If you enjoy meeting other travellers, this would be a great option for a trip around Britain. Hostels are becoming increasingly accessible to older travellers, couples and families, with most now offering private rooms and family rooms in addition to dormitory accommodation.

This gives you the best of both worlds, with the ability to mix with others (and keep costs down), while having time and space to yourselves.

The Youth Hostels Association in Britain has some amazing properties in its portfolio: historic houses and mansions in enviable locations. Bedding is usually provided - it's a far cry from the sleeping bag in a noisy dorm many people used to experience.

New Zealand also has a good selection of YHA accommodation with private rooms. There are more than 50 hostels dotted around the two islands, so you can easily move from one to another. The downside of hostels attracting a wider following is that they can get very busy, so it's a good idea to book ahead. See hihostels.com.

- Jane E. Fraser

If you have any travel questions, we'd love to hear from you. Write to travelshd@fairfaxmedia .com.au. Personal correspondence cannot be entered into. Only questions appearing in print will be answered. If your question is published, you will win a Lonely Planet guidebook.

The Sun Herald

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