Backpacking America and Canada

  • YHA Australia is part of Hostelling International (HI), the world’s largest hostel network, with over 4,000 hostels in 90 countries.

    There are almost 120 hostels in North America alone, with nearly 60 HI/YHA USA hostels and similarly, just about 60 HI/YHA Canada hostels.

    Purchase your YHA International membership from YHA Australia and get member discounts at all HI/YHA USA and HI/YHA Canada hostels.

    Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco - Where the 60s and 70s are still alive!

    Positively Haight - Haight-Ashbury District in San Francisco - where the 60s and 70s are still alive!

    YHA Travel can book your flights, accommodation, Amtrak or Greyhound transport passes, as well as tours with Intrepid USA, Contiki USA, Suntrek, Trek America or the Moose Bus, in Canada.

    Buy YHA Travel Insurance at the same time and get 25% off your insurance and 5% off your tour with any of these tour companies!

    As a YHA member, you’ll also be entitled to a range of discounts at food and beverage outlets, shops, tours and attractions, including:

    • Chicago Line Cruises of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan
    • Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and John Hancock Tower Skydecks, Chicago
    • Surfboard, Scuba and Kayaking rentals/tours in Hawaii
    • Bike rental in San Francisco
    • California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco – a Natural History Museum, Aquarium, Planetarium and Rainforest Dome all rolled into one
    • Madam Tussauds Wax Museum in Washington DC
    • Hard Rock Café in Boston
    • Boston Duck Tour

    Read on for more about the HI/YHA hostel network in North America or join YHA now!


    HI/YHA USA has hostels in all the major destinations throughout America.

    Stay at one of three HI/YHA Los Angeles hostels – Santa Monica for easy access to Hollywood, Venice Beach and Universal Studios, Fullerton, which is in Anaheim, only six miles away from Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, or South Bay, with a view over the Pacific Ocean.

    There are three HI/YHA San Francisco hostels.

    HI/YHA Downtown is only one block from the shopping mecca of Union Square and the starting point for San Francisco’s famous cable cars.

    HI/YHA City Center is close to loads of cheap cafés, as well as nightclubs and live music venues.

    Meanwhile, HI/YHA Fisherman’s Wharf, located in the Golden Gate National Park, has views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge and is only a short walk from the attractions of Pier 39.

    Yosemite National Park, Californa, America
    Yosemite National Park, Californa, America

    Still in California, you may also like to get off the beaten track amongst the waterfalls, giant Redwoods and Sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park, staying at HI/YHA Midpines, or visit San Diego and see the world-famous San Diego Zoo!

    The HI/YHA New York hostel, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, has over 600 beds and is only two blocks from Central Park and a 10 minute subway journey from Times Square.

    Fancy learning to surf in Hawaii? HI/YHA Waikiki and HI/YHA Honolulu are both located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

    HI/YHA Chicago is based downtown, close to the shores of Lake Michigan and amongst the city’s famous skyscrapers, including the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower.

    Stay at HI/YHA Boston and walk the infamous Freedom Trail, or catch a Boston Red Sox baseball match whilst staying at HI/YHA Boston – Fenway, near Fenway Park.

    HI/YHA Canada

    There are three HI/YHA Vancouver hostels – HI/YHA Vancouver Central for the party animals, HI/YHA Vancouver Downtown, with a neighbourhood feel, close to Stanley Park and the summer-only HI/YHA Vancouver Jericho Beach hostel.

    Native Canadian Totem Poles - Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada
    Native Canadian Totem Poles - Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada

    In the province of Alberta, an area of outstanding natural beauty, you’ll find HI/YHA hostels in Banff, Jasper, Edmonton, Calgary and Lake Louise, as well as several wilderness hostels.

    In Eastern Canada, stay at HI/YHA Toronto, for easy access to Niagara Falls (although there is also a hostel at Niagara Falls itself), HI/YHA Ottawa, to check out Canada’s capital city, or HI/YHA Montreal, HI/YHA Quebec or for a quieter way of life, HI/YHA Charlottetown, on Prince Edward Island.

    If you’re an Australian, looking to get a USA work visa for a working holiday, visit the US Department of State website or try one of several Work USA programs, which also provide a visa service including IEP or CCUSA.

    If you want to work in Canada, visit Canada’s Working Holiday Program website.