Pack your suitcases: family holidays in the youth hostel

From Sigrid Schulze

Remember how you stayed in a youth hostel as a kid? The scent of tea in the morning that was in large pots on the tables? Evening games in large group rooms? And the “Töggelikasten”, which all children would like to play with at the same time? You may also have bad memories. On sagging mattresses in cotton sleeping bags, on cold rooms and long distances to the toilet. For a long time, youth hostels had an outdated reputation. But most of them have long since undergone a spring cure, are fresh, bright and invite you to a family vacation.

Family holidays in modern rooms

Youth hostels have become modern and therefore also interesting for family vacations. Most youth hostels offer four-bed and double-bed rooms in which you can sleep in duvets and, thanks to the bed lights, read before you go to sleep. As a rule, there is not only breakfast, but also dinner if you reserve in advance. In some youth hostels it is also possible to order lunch or packed lunches for when you are out and about. Games and sports make the stay entertaining. It goes without saying that parents and children can make many new contacts at the youth hostel during their family holidays!

The hostel becomes a children's room. Photo: IPG GutenbergUKLtd, iStock, Thinkstock

Family vacations in the city and in the country

Holidays in a romantic castle, in a stately villa or in a cozy country hostel: there are 53 youth hostels in Switzerland to choose from for those who want to spend their vacation in a youth hostel. No one is like the other, each has its own flair. While some are suitable as starting points for sightseeing, others are great holiday homes in nature, by the lake or in the mountains.

Family holidays in the youth hostel: two examples

Rustic:
The mountain house with the bright red shutters is located 1 ‘000 meters above sea level in Engelberg in the canton of Obwalden in central Switzerland. Children can let off steam in the large play area and in the playground with a slide and rope playground. If the weather is bad, you can go to the games room with a football box and pool table. Six-bed, four-bed and double rooms are available for families.
Further information: family hostel.ch

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Urban:
Originally the house in Solothurn was once a department and customs house. Then it became a warehouse, later a theater, before serving as a schoolhouse. But it underwent its greatest change a few years ago when it was transformed into a modern steel-and-glass construction, in which holidaymakers cavort today. The three-bed and five-bed rooms of the youth hostel are suitable for families who want to get to know the city. The breakfast buffet offers something for every taste.
Further information: youthhostel.ch

Active family vacation

Family vacations in youth hostels are active vacations. From here you can visit cultural sites, enjoy sports and experience nature. You can not only design experiences yourself, but also book them directly through the Swiss Youth Hostels association. During the Adventure Days in the Jura, for example, seven seven courses with a total of 80 obstacles of varying degrees of difficulty and a scooter-bike tour offer a challenge. For all those whose happiness lies on the back of a horse, there are riding days in the Franches-Montagnes. A real summer feeling is created during a bathing holiday on Lake Lugano.
More information: here

History of the youth hostels

“Zurich Cooperative for the Establishment of Youth Hostels” - that was the name of the association founded in 1924 by around 70 representatives from various youth associations. Indeed, many hostels sprang up from the ground. In 1938 there were already 208 youth hostels. Today the “Swiss Youth Hostels” association only operates 53 youth hostels in Switzerland, but with a lot more comfort. The association attaches particular importance to sustainability. Further information: youthhostel.ch

This is what family holidays in the youth hostel cost

In 1925 an overnight stay cost 50 cents and the membership card cost one franc. Today, an overnight stay including breakfast costs between 28 francs (multi-bed room) and 123 francs (double room for single occupancy), depending on the room category. Children up to their second birthday stay for free in a cot. Children between the ages of two and five pay CHF 15, and children between the ages of six and twelve pay CHF 25.

The day membership costs from the 1st. April 2017 seven francs per person per night or 14 francs per night for families.

Related Links:
Official website of the Swiss Youth Hostels: youthhostel.ch / de

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