1. Youth hostels are facilities belonging to the regional associations of the German Youth Hostel Association (German: DJH) or other organizations affiliated with the DJH.
2. A prerequisite for accommodation in a hostel is membership in the German Youth Hostel Association or another affiliate of the International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF). Membership can also be acquired on-site at the individual youth hostels. Additional stipulations are provided in Section II.
3. Youth hostels are primarily on offer for young people and families. Children’s and youth groups must be accompanied by at least one person who is responsible for their supervision.
II. Regulations concerning Accommodation and Catering Services
1. Booking Requests and Booking
1.1. Each booking request is a non-binding enquiry to the youth hostel. A direct booking does not take place. Following the booking request, the youth hostel makes direct contact with the person submitting the enquiry. With online booking, direct contact is replaced by the online booking confirmation.
1.2. A booking request should contain the following information: name, address, arrival and departure dates, number and gender of persons, date of birth, membership number (if present), the age of children in family groups, and individual requests regarding catering.
1.3. A booking request is made binding for both parties through written or oral acceptance, and/or through signing a written occupancy contract. The same applies to an online booking via the DJH Online Portal, where the online booking confirmation serves as a written occupancy contract.
1.4. A written occupancy contract is always completed for groups and for those with longer stays.
1.5. In each case, contact by letter, fax, or email shall suffice as a valid means of written communication.
1.7. Reservations are kept until 6pm, after which the youth hostel is entitled, although not required, to reassign the reservation to others. A later arrival time must be expressly agreed upon with hostel management.
1.8. Guests without reservations may only stay overnight when occupancy conditions permit.
1.9. If a booking has been made by a third party, the third party shall be jointly and severally liable to the Regional Youth Hostel Association, together with the guest, for all obligations arising from the occupancy contract.
2. Payment Dates, Advance Payments and Delays in Payment; Place of Fulfillment
2.1. Full payment for booked services is due no later than at the time of departure. Upon concluding the contract, the Regional Youth Hostel Association is, moreover, entitled to request of the guest an advance payment up to the full amount of the booked services or a security deposit in the same amount. Further details and provisions are contained in the previously concluded occupancy contract and/or the respective confirmation. When booking a special offer, advance payment of the full price is required.
2.2. Should a delay in the guest’s payment occur after payment has become due, the Regional Youth Hostel Association is entitled, in accordance with legal provisions, to demand the interest on defaulted payment allowed by law. The Regional Youth Hostel Association reserves the right to present proof of greater damages or to assert additional claims for damage caused by further delay. For each payment reminder sent after the payment due date, the guest must compensate the Regional Youth Hostel Association for collection expenses, in the amount of 5 Euros. All additional costs incurred in the course of this debt collection are to be borne by the guest.
2.3. The place of fulfillment and payment is the location of the respective youth hostel in which the guest’s stay transpires.
3. Cancellations and Withdrawal from Contract
3.2 Cancellation of a written occupancy contract/ written confirmation:
3.2.1 Guests with a written occupancy contract / written confirmation must cancel in writing. The written cancellation must be received by the youth hostel at least eight weeks before the planned date of arrival, provided that nothing different has been stipulated in the occupancy contract /written confirmation.
3.2.2 A change in the number of guests must also be submitted in writing at least eight weeks before the planned date of arrival.
3.2.3 For cancellations and/or reductions in the number of guests for bookings made within eight weeks of the planned date of arrival, the regulations listed in the next section, “Cancellation Payments,” are universally applicable.
3.2.4 To count as a valid means of written communication, the cancellation must be communicated by letter, fax, or email.
3.3 Online bookings: for booking which lie within 10 days or less of the date of arrival, cancellation may occur without charge via the online booking system up to 6:00 pm of the day before the planned date of arrival. For bookings made further in advance, the regulations found under sections 3.2.1 through 3.2.3. also apply for online booking.
3.4 When booking a special offer, a no-cost cancellation is no longer possible.
3.5 The youth hostels are entitled, due to unavailability of prearranged, agreed-upon services, to rescind a confirmation / written occupancy contract from guests who were registered with the Regional Youth Hostel Association, up to eight weeks before the planned date of arrival. Guests thus affected shall receive help in their search for substitute accommodation.
3.6 The youth hostels are authorized to withdraw from the contract on behalf of the Regional Youth Hostel Association without notice when there is reasonable cause. This includes, in particular: • if a required advance payment, in accordance with section 2.1., is not provided after the specified term has elapsed; • if outstanding payments from previous bookings have not been settled in spite of reminders; • if force majeure or other circumstances beyond the control of the Regional Youth Hostel Association make fulfilling the contract impossible; • when there are reasonable grounds to assume that the safety of guests or the public reputation of the DJH might be compromised by providing accommodation; • if rooms are booked with misleading or incorrect statements of essential facts, e.g., purpose of the stay.
3.7 In the situations outlined in sections II.3.5. and 3.6., the youth hostels are obliged to promptly inform the registered guests of the withdrawal from the contract and also to promptly reimburse all payments already rendered. In any such justified cancellation, the guest shall have no right to claim damages
4. Cancellation Payments
If the cancellation deadline has not been observed or beds/rooms have not been claimed, section §537 of the BGB (German Civil Code) shall apply. The Regional Youth Hostel Association thus retains claim to the agreed-upon price for the booked services but must, however, account for spared expenses and services that were otherwise still rendered. The spared expenses are to be set at a flat rate of 50% of the value of booked services, unless the guest can establish that spared expenses should be assessed higher. If beds/rooms previously booked on special offer are not utilized, §537 of the BGB applies in full.
A prerequisite for accommodation in a youth hostel is membership in the German Youth Hostel Association or another affiliate of the International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF), which guests are required to demonstrate upon admission to the hostel.
5.1 Membership of Individuals
5.1.1 Membership in the DJH can be obtained by all individuals with a permanent residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, at all DJH offices which issue membership cards (including youth hostels and administrative offices of the regional youth hostel associations).
5.1.2 Individual guests younger than 27 years old receive the Junior Card. For individual guests who are older than 26 and for families, there is the Family/27 Plus (FAM/27+) membership card. Unmarried couples are treated as families if they share a joint place of residence. Adult children who are under the age of 27 may retain their parents’ family membership as long as they are single and do not require their own family membership. A separate membership card can be issued to each family member. Adult children require their own membership card.
5.1.3 Foreign guests who are not members of an affiliated IYHF organization can acquire an “International Guest Card” on-site at the youth hostel, or else obtain a “welcome stamp” for each night.
5.2 Membership of Organizations
5.2.1 Schools, youth groups, clubs, associations, foundations, firms, corporations and other organizations can obtain corporate membership and thereby obtain group membership cards. The statutory regulations of the German Youth Hostel Association, Association for Youth Travel and Youth Hostels, and the regional youth hostel associations govern admission.
5.2.2 The group membership card enables the leader of a group to stay overnight in a youth hostel with the group. Group membership does not replace individual membership. It is not transferrable to other institutions or individuals.
5.2.3 A group consists of at least four participants, including leaders. Each group leader must be at least 16 years of age.
5.2.4 Group membership cards will not be issued to travel agencies or other companies which organize travel on a commercial basis. The group which is traveling is required to have its own separate membership even when the booking is made through a third party agent.
Prices are based on the current price list of the Regional Youth Hostel Association and/or the youth hostel at the time that the booking inquiry is made, provided that no other prices are stipulated in the occupancy agreement. Price lists are available through the Regional Youth Hostel Association as well as at youth hostels.
7.1 Guests (including group guardians and organizers) who, through fault of their own, cause damage to other people, buildings, or possessions, will be held liable for damages in accordance with contractual and legal regulations.
7.2 Sections §§701f. of the BGB govern the Regional Youth Hostel Association’s liability for loss, theft, or damage of valuables.
7.3 The Regional Youth Hostel Association is not liable for damages to vehicles (including their contents) and bicycles parked on youth hostel grounds, so long as the damage was not caused deliberately or as the result of gross negligence on the part of the Regional Youth Hostel Association, its representatives or agents.
III. Regulations concerning travel packages (as per §§651a-m in the BGB)
1. Advance Payments and Payment Due Dates for Travel Packages
Upon receiving the booking documents, and not later than upon receipt of the travel security certificate, an advance payment of 20% of the travel package is due, with the rest due no later than upon checkout from the youth hostel, provided that nothing different has been stipulated in the occupancy contract /written confirmation.
2. Cancellation and Compensation
Travel participants may withdraw from the trip prior to the start of travel. Notice of withdrawal must be in writing. To count as a valid means of written communication, the cancellation must be communicated by letter, fax, or email. In lieu of the cancellation payments outlined in section II.4., the following shall apply: in the event of a withdrawal, the youth hostel may claim reasonable compensation from the traveler, but while deducting any spared expenses. The level of compensation is scaled in proportion to the length of time between the time of withdrawal and the planned start of the travel package, and calculated as a percentage of the price of the travel package, but shall amount to a minimum of €26 per person. Cancellation charges per person (min. €26):
- up to 40 days before the start of the travel package: 20% of the package price
- between 39 and 30 days before the start of the travel package: 30% of the package price
- between 29 and 22 days before the start of the travel package: 40% of the package price
- between 21 and 15 days before the start of the travel package: 50% of the package price
- between 14 and 7 days before the start of the travel package: 70% of the package price
- between 6 and 3 days before the start of the travel package: 80% of the package price
- 2 days or less before the start of the travel package: 90% of the package price.
In the event of a withdrawal, advance payments will first be offset against the cancellation charges. Any excess advance payments will be refunded. Any remaining cancellation fees become payable immediately. We recommend purchasing travel cancellation insurance.
3. Minimum Number of Participants
In addition to sections II.3.5, 3.6. and 3.7., the following also applies: the Regional Youth Hostel Association and the youth hostels may withdraw from the contract up to four weeks prior to the date of the arrival if the minimum number of participants stated in the itinerary is not met.
4. Risk Coverage Certificate
Together with written confirmation of the trip, the risk coverage certificate required by law will also be provided.
5. Limitation of Liability
The parties agree on the Regional Youth Hostel Association’s limitation of liability, corresponding to §651h of the BGB, and that the Regional Youth hostel Association’s liability, for damages which do not involve bodily injury, is limited to no more than three times the price of the travel package. This presupposes that the traveler’s damages were neither caused intentionally nor due to gross negligence and that the Regional Youth Hostel Association is solely responsible for damage caused by a service provider defaulting.
6. Supplementary Provisions
I. Introduction: points 1. through 4.
II. Regulations concerning Accommodation and Catering Services
1. Booking Requests and Booking: Points 1.1 and 1.2, as well as 1.4. and 1.7. Point 1.3 applies with the following modification: The booking request only becomes directly binding on both sides upon signing a written occupancy contract. 2. Payment Dates, Advance Payments, and Delays in Payment: points 2.2. and 2.3.
3. Cancellations and Withdrawal from Contract: points 3.5, 3.6. and 3.7.
IV. Final Provisions
Amendments or additions to the occupancy contract, reservation confirmation or these terms and conditions, as well as all other services to be provided to the guest in this context by the Regional Youth Hostel Association shall be made in writing. Unilateral amendments or additions made by the guest are invalid.
The invalidity of individual provisions of these General Terms and Conditions does not affect the validity of the entire occupancy contract. If individual provisions from these General Terms and Conditions lead the occupancy contract to be or become null or void, the validity of the remaining conditions shall not be affected.