Coronavirus (Covid-19)


The impact of Covid-19 is familiar to us all and we recognise the disruption it’s caused not only to the world but to you as individuals too. 

We are here for you if you need us, but due to the volume of queries it will take longer than usual. You should receive a response in 3-5 days, so please don’t worry if there’s a delay, we are working through every single message. 

This page will be updated regularly, as we receive new information, so do keep it bookmarked if you have upcoming travel plans.  

You all make up an incredible community and we’re pretty sure you don’t need reminding, but please treat others with kindness. Let’s show each other the same respect as we would at any other time and understand that we have a responsibility to the world.   

Keeping hostels safe: 

We are constantly seeking advice and reviewing our processes as Covid-19 evolves. We recognise how important it is to contain the virus, so we are asking the hostels on our site to follow their government’s guidelines. This means extra cleaning, hand sanitisation, social distancing (in both rooms and social areas) rules are all being followed. If we discover a hostel is not following the required guidelines we will investigate and may remove them from Hostelworld. 

Where can I get accurate Covid-19 travel information? 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) – General travel advice and Coronavirus updates 

For specific destinations we recommend checking your government’s advice: 












New Zealand 


South Korea 



United Kingdom 

United States 

Are you concerned that you have Coronavirus? 

First off, check whether you have the widely reported symptoms. If you do, we shouldn’t need to tell you that it’s a good idea not to travel. You should minimise any risk to others, and self-isolate.  

Whether you are showing symptoms or not, the advice across impacted countries is to self-isolate, so please be conscious of this and do all you can to contain the virus.  

Hostels need to keep backpackers safe, so please understand they may ask you to make alternative plans.   

What if the hostel cancels my booking? 

The hostel won’t have made this decision without good reason. Keeping everyone healthy, happy and safe is the priority. If your booking was cancelled by the hostel, contact us here and our team can support. 

Have your booking details handy and check your cancellation policy. You can see this in your Hostelworld account, or on the email confirmation. Once you have this info, follow the steps below for your booking type. 

Free cancellation bookings

We’re very sorry but due to the huge impact this virus has had on travel and our business, we’re not able to refund your deposit as quickly as we’d like. As our CEO promised, we will give refunds as soon as we can, and no later than 30th April 2021. You can read more here 

 You can still go ahead and cancel in your Hostelworld Account. It’s easy to do online and we’ll offer you three options:

Option 1: ‘Voucher Bonus’ – Choose non-refundable vouchers and we’ll add this to your Hostelworld account with your full deposit, plus an extra 30% of your deposit value. You will have two years to use your vouchers.   

Option 2: ‘Vouchers Only’ – Choose refundable Hostelworld Vouchers. We will add it to your Hostelworld account with your full deposit. If you don’t use any of your vouchers by 14th April 2021, we’ll automatically refund your original deposit by 30th April 2021.  

 Option 3: ‘Refund Later’ – Choose to hold for a refund and we will do so as soon as we can when normal travel patterns start to improve. If this doesn’t happen, at the very latest you’ll receive a refund on your deposit by 30th April 2021.   

If you are due to check-in within 24 hours, please contact the hostel directly and let them know.  

All other booking types – bookings made prior to 14th March, for arrival up to 30th November 2020

If you didn’t book with free cancellation, and booked prior to 14th March, but can no longer travel, please don’t worry. We have extended the time period to November 30th, 2020, to make sure you’re compensated for the deposit you paid us. 

The quickest way to cancel if you chose a standardnon-refundable, or non-flexible rate is to contact us here. 

  • It will take us 3-5 days to respond, due to the volumes of requests, but we will get to you. 
  • We will add it back as a voucher to your Hostelworld account with your full deposit and you’ll have 6 months to book a new trip. 


For all bookings after 30th November 2020, our standard cancellation policies apply. We will constantly review these policies, so keep checking back if you have future travels planned. But for now, we are prioritising customers who planned to travel within the next few months. 


Are you stranded in another country? 

We’re lucky to work with an incredibly kind community of hostels around the world who are offering free beds stranded travellers. If you’re struggling for cash or looking for a safe place to stay away from home, check out our Beds for Backpackers page. 




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