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Old 04-16-2004, 12:09 AM   #1
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Hey everyone. I've been reading these message boards for a while now, but this is my first post. I'm a newbie traveller (I've never even been on a plane before), and I'm currently planning a 3 week backpacking trip through europe.

Here's my route (# of nights in parentheses):

London (4)
Paris (4)
Nice (2)
Cinque Terre (2)
Venice (2)
Florence (4)
Rome (4)

The biggest problem I'm having right now is deciding how much of my accomodation to book in advance. I'm going to be in Europe from May 18th to June 9th, so I understand it will be pretty busy. I'm definitely going to book my first night in London, but I'm not sure after that.

My intuition tells me to research and book all my hostels beforehand so I don't waste any sightseeing time and I don't have to worry if I'll have a bed the next night. However, another part of me wants to be a bit flexible. I'm pretty confident that I'm going to stick to the itinerary above, but you never know. Also, say I book a bed in the Generator in London for all 4 nights and after the 1st night I realize that the atmosphere is not quite what I expected, or I meet some people staying a Picadilly Hotel or and would rather stay there -- it'd be nice to be able to adjust to the situation.

I'm just not quite sure what to do. I'm leaning towards booking everything in advance because it's my first time travelling and it'll give me a sense of security, but I don't want to detract from the overall experience.

Any advice is very much appreciated.

Thanks a lot!

Rob
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Old 04-16-2004, 07:11 AM   #2
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My personal strategy is this. Book the larger cities Paris/London/Rome in advance, but if you are planning on 4 nights book 3 instead. If you decide to stay most places can accomodate you an additional night, and if you decide that you want to check out a smaller town then you have that option too.

I have never booked anything in my life before, but I'm planning on booking a few places for this summer (just to not have to deal with "problems").
But for a first timer.....you can't be weighed down by a strict itinerary, cause those little "problems" will be some of your best memories!!! GOOD LUCK!!!
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Old 04-16-2004, 08:39 AM   #3
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I definetly agree with Linzergasse. I'm also going to Europe in May, I'm booked at the Generator on May 20th, so maybe I'll see ya there! I havent booked any more hostels yet, but I'm going to try and book at least the first few nights sometime soon, just so it's one less thing to worry about!
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Old 04-16-2004, 09:18 AM   #4
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The only hostels I booked in advanced are my first 2 stop offs, this way I can worry more about getting rid of jet lag then where I'll be sleeping.

I wouldn't get too worried about booking ahead. If you're checking out hostels for a certian city on the net and it says everything is booked its usually not true. I'm sure hostels always have no shows and there's probably tons more places around that just aren't online!

Don't let booked hostels make you think twice about going somewhere!
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. A couple quick questions: when you guys wing it, how do you go about booking your next hostel? Do you call or book online the day before from an Internet Cafe? Find the address in your guidebook and just show up? I'm not sure how to go about this without wasting too much time and spending too much $.

The only two places I'm truly worried about are Cinque Terre, because I was old there's just one hostel there, and Rome because it'll be June and it's such a popular destination.

Thanks again.

Rob
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