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New Zealand Travel Tips & Questions

What hostel chains are there?

While New Zealand has endless variety when it comes to hostels there are included within this five big players which are part of a chain, network or membership scheme.

If you are going to be staying in lots of hostels it can make sense to use these chain varieties because they offer membership schemes and discounts. The saving money aspect includes not just discounts on nights in the hostel but all kinds of other benefits which might be free phone calls, reduced-rate tours and activities or discounts at shops and restaurants.

Each of the big five has something going for it which the others don't and all of the schemes have a membership joining fee except Base.

Here is a super quick run-down of each of the big five's main elements:

YHA- With almost 50 hostels, YHA has a membership which is valid worldwide and part of Hostelling International, offering a 10% per night discount. It also has an impressive other benefits menu which includes discounts of 10-25% for outdoor clothing, DoC hut passes, shuttle buses and much more.

Base – With discounts offered by buying nights in blocks of 10, this chain has just 10 hostels in New Zealand. Hostels tend to be located at the most tourist-centric spots and typically attract the young party crowd.

BBH – Made up of independently-owned and often more intimately-vibed hostels, BBH is the most extensive of the New Zealand chain options by quite some margin with 275 hostels. Membership savings work out at around NZ$4 per night and the scheme offers tons of benefits such as a free SIM and a huge variety of discounts, deals and money-off offers such as a 25% reduction on the Auckland hop-on hop-off bus.

Nomads – Nomads have 11 hostels in New Zealand which tend to be of the large and multi-facilities kind; inclusions such as sun decks, swimming pools or rooftop terraces are not unusual. Members receive a 5% discount per night while also having access to discounts on various tours and packages.

VIP Backpackers – VIP only offer a 1% discount on bed prices but they have a huge menu of money-saving discounts for everything from transport to tours. What's more, as the largest independent backpacker accommodation network on the planet spread over more than 80 countries, their membership could be a good choice if New Zealand is just one stop on a world tour.