Free hostel stays for travelers who volunteer to do good on their vacation

Pt. Reyes Hostel
The Point Reyes Hostel in Northern California is located in a natural setting near hiking trails and the coast.
(Hostelling International USA)

Hostelling International USA wants you to do some good on your next vacation. Travelers with at least five friends or family members who volunteer their time in the communities they visit will receive free nights at participating hostels in January and February.

What: The Great Hostel Give Back, now in its ninth year, rewards those who engage in community service while on the road. Hostels offer basic accommodations that often come with free breakfast.

The Chicago hostel is located in the city's South Loop.
(Hostelling International Chicago)

Fill out an application for a group of at least six people (but not more than 30) and receive a free night’s stay for volunteering at least two hours a day at a planned service activity. Free stays are limited to five nights.


Among the choices in California are downtown Monterey, the wilds of Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California or at Point Loma in San Diego. Other free hostel sites include San Francisco; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; New York City; and Washington, D.C.

A hostel room in downtown San Francisco.
(Hostelling International USA)

When: Free lodging is good for stays in January and February, based on availability, at more than 30 sites. Applications must be filed by Feb. 15.

Details: There are lots of good options at California sites, where winter temperatures will be mild compared with Chicago or New York City. Look for volunteer opportunities in whatever location you choose at


Info: Hostelling International USA’s Great Hostel Give Back, email


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