We love travelling – exploring new places, trying new food, learning the locals’ stories and staying at hostels that give back to the community is everything we live for. We also know that travelling is a privilege and that we should be conscious of it every time we go somewhere new. Respecting people’s cultures and ways of living, understanding their struggles and making good choices that will help to improve communities is a part of who we are as travellers.
The hostels on this list not only provide a place where people from different nationalities can meet and change their opinion about other countries, making the world a tiny bit better, but are also changing lives in their communities. When choosing these hostels for your stay, you’re contributing to fighting hunger in Brazil, stopping the rhino poaching in South Africa and making the lives of young homeless people in the UK better. We’ve made a list of hostels all over the world that are doing incredible things to bring some light to your day.
Get your tissue, pack your bag and come with us for a wholesome trip around the globe.
At Outpost Hostel you get the best of El Nido – a hostel by the Bacuit Bay, island hopping tours, communal dinners, nightly events and a great social vibe. But as conscious backpackers, we’re not just focusing on the fun side of travelling – we always look for a way to leave a positive impact from our trip as well. Staying in hostels that give back to the community is the perfect chance to do this. At Outpost Hostel you can join a monthly beach clean-up and help the staff to remove plastic and educate people at the beach to dispose of their trash correctly.
When it comes to the environment, Outpost do their best to minimise the business’s impact. They have a water refilling station at the hostel, which contributes to reducing plastic usage. They raise money for community and government sectors and have already donated to the Protected Area Management Board, The Municipal Engineering Department and the local Coast Guard Division, planning to donate to local schools in the near future. The aim is to give books, notebooks, pens, computers and whatever else is needed!
They also take the Clean Water Up Act in El Nido very seriously and have invested in their own sewage treatment plant. For now, they’re the only hostel in the Palawan to have a water discharge permit.
Staying in an old British police headquarters is pretty cool, but staying in a hostel with a social conscience is even better! This hostel comes straight out of a Wes Anderson film and has a super chilled vibe where you can read a book over a free tea or coffee. What’s special about this hostel is that they provide 9 beds for young people at risk of homelessness every night, as well as one-to-one support. They are owned by YMCA Bristol as a social enterprise, so all the profits are reinvested into supporting young people who are homeless in the city. The lack of affordable housing in Bristol is making the homelessness crisis increase year by year and now only 1 in 8 young people of the city are provided with secure accommodation when they seek help, which makes the amazing work of The Bristol Wing extremely important.
If you want to become part of the community, take part in one of their free weekly feasts where you can volunteer to cook and get to know the locals.
This hostel is in the city centre of Tomar, a beautiful and calm city in Portugal. Apart from offering the perfect place for you to meet people from all over the world, this hostel takes pride in involving (and helping) the community.
A big issue when it comes to travel is that often backpackers form their own little towns, with businesses created especially for them with prices locals simply can’t afford. This creates a wall between travellers and locals, making residents resent travellers for taking the authenticity of their cities away. Hostel 2300 Thomar combat this by creating events where the two can mingle and enjoy the culture of the city, a great way to bring people together and to make tourists be more mindful about issues the locals face. It’s even better if on the same event they can raise funds to help local projects!
Hostel 2300 Thomar organises dinners with the local community to fundraise money for associations of the city. People are invited to cook and the guests pay a fee that’s used to fund projects for the community. They also support sports and cultural events, donating money or offering stays at the hostel for artists or participants of the events. For their anniversary they also involve the locals, organising a great annual street party that’s totally free for anyone who wants to join.
This dreamy hostel is going to be your own mini safari in Kruger Park – you can see zebras and giraffes at your doorstep! We know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, all the animals walk around freely. 😉
At this nature lover’s paradise, you can volunteer to work with wildlife or to pick up litter to help keep the park clean. The hostel also funds trips to the Kruger Park for locals that don’t have the means to go there, so they can experience their own natural heritage. They support the local economy buying veggies and nuts locally for the hostel, and collect second-hand clothes for people in need.
Of course, they also help the animals and have joined the fight to stop rhino poaching. They fund camera traps to prevent poaching and also support the fight against rhino dehorning, funding radio collars to protect the big boys.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most amazing cities in the world and the energy on the streets makes you feel alive and ready for anything life can throw at you. But Brazil is a country where inequality is a fact of life and hunger is still common in many families. So, how can we bring the benefits of tourism to locals and improve their lives? El Misti hostel came up with an initiative to donate food for every reservation made in their hostel. They’ve partnered with a well-known Brazilian charity called “ONG Banco de Alimentos” (Food Bank) to donate a part of their profit to help people at risk, putting them on our list of hostels that give back to the community.
With the money from companies, supermarkets and other institutions, this charity can help 20 thousand socially vulnerable people in the city. The hostel also supports another project called “Educamais” (More Education) that provides young, vulnerable people with training opportunities in the South of Rio.
El Misti also values sustainable travel and offers 2 free nights in the hostel for people coming to Rio on a bike!
Let’s go back 50 years to the 1970s, when Amsterdam was one of the main gathering places for hippies and the parks and camps were constantly full. At that time, there were very few youth hostels in Amsterdam and seeing the need for a safe place for travellers, a non-profit organisation decided to open Shelter Jordan.
Nowadays, this Amsterdam hostel is a perfect place to stay for meeting new people while helping an important cause. This non-profit helps those without a home to get back on their feet. Just by staying here, you are helping others have a chance at a more positive future – good vibes all round.
And if you’re looking for a good hostel tale where people cross paths and incredible things happen, you’re not going to be disappointed! Some of the volunteers who work in the hostel now have a very special connection with this place. Their parents volunteered more than 20 years ago, and they’ve come back to keep up the good work.
This hostel is housed in a 19th century brewery in one of Berlin’s coolest districts, Pfefferbet. They have a 24-hour on site bar where you can get to know other travellers and their incredible staff.
In fact, Berlin Pfefferbet is another hostel that gives back to the community, being a social enterprise and part of a non-profit organisation called “VIA Unternehmensverbund”. They hire people with disabilities to join their team, giving them the opportunity to be financially independent. In the words of the hostel manager: “We do not consider individual disabilities as a difficulty or limitation, but as an enrichment.“
Dos Aguas Lodge is a sustainable lodge located in a beautiful beach of Rincón del Mar, a fishing village in Colombia that’s surrounded by the sea and mangroves. The hostel was built with sustainability in mind and tries to educate backpackers about the importance of this protected area. Around the hostel you’ll find a lagoon of mangroves, a critical ecosystem for the oceans which serve as a nesting area for hundreds of species.
This hostel really believes the whole world should know about environmental protection, so we can all act on it together on a global level. All the guests get a 15-minute introduction where they hear about the local resources and the community, so they can make better decisions that will reduce their own environmental impact and increase their positive impact.
They also support local entrepreneurs to make sure the culture and identity of the village is not lost to tourism. The hostel itself doesn’t offer any tours or activities, but they connect backpackers with local guides and don’t charge them any commission so they can provide for their families, benefiting the local economy. The guides are also provided with information on how to improve their activities and make them as sustainable as possible.
They shop local and support local producers to develop products that the hostel needs. If you want to visit this sustainable paradise, grab your place soon. They allow a limited number of guests based on how much water people will consume and how much waste they’re going to generate.
This 250-year-old merchant house in the middle of a 2000-year-old city was partially destroyed by the war, but is now a hub for travellers from all over the world visiting Nablus. Apart from offering affordable accommodation, this hostel takes pride in hiring only local people – something extremely important in this impoverished area after several years of military occupation. They teach them skills that give them a chance of a better future.
The hostel space is used to host activities for the empowerment of local communities, grassroots initiatives and charitable work. To bring together backpackers and locals, they offer free cultural activities too. Locals can tell their stories and travellers can understand more about life in Nablus.
To help the economy even more, they shop local for everything the hostel needs.
This hostel is located in Recoleta, close to the main attractions of Buenos Aires and known to be a very safe area for travellers. It’s the perfect place to stay to explore the museums and plazas on foot and to get involved with the community!
Every Thursday they grab unwanted food from markets and make a community dinner for free for anyone that wants to join, bringing people together and raising awareness about food waste. On Fridays, they open the hostel courtyard for local musicians to share their talent with backpackers. They also support local schools to gain an environmental certification, offering workshops about gardening, composting, renewable energy and recycling. It doesn’t get more wholesome than this!
We hope you enjoyed our list of hostels that make the world a better place! Have you stayed in a hostel that gives back to the community? Tell us in the comments!