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Old 08-25-2003, 07:26 PM   #1
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im going to be travelling to europe (spain france austria netherlands etc, probably not eastern europe) for a couple of months around sept-october next year. (i still have lots of time i want to decide exactly what cities to go to and how long i want to stay in each city as im travelling, not before i leave.

i wanted to ask all the veteran backpackers out there, if i would have problems finding a place to stay in hostels etc if i dont make reservations before hand? and, will i have to pay more $$ if i dont have reservations?

also, if you have any experiences staying at places other than hostels please post em here too !!

thanks a lot!
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Old 08-26-2003, 04:09 AM   #2
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I'd also be interested in the replies to this question.

I'm travelling through mainly Eastern Europe from this October. I haven't book any hostels yet. I'll obviously book a couple of nights before hand at my starting point, Vienna, Austria just for peace of mind. But that's it. I'll take it as it comes.
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Old 08-26-2003, 06:43 AM   #3
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I have booked hostels for my first 2 nights in Amsterdam, and My last 2 nights in Belfast, but none in between...I am not overly worried....

Booking before you go is just as good as not booking pre-booking at all, just provides you with a sense on security knowing that you have a bed for the night.
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:12 AM   #4
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I personally never made any reservations at all. You should not be to worried, because you are going to be travelling at a low season of backpackers.

As for how long you should stay.

Spain is huge, I recommend Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Ibiza. A minimum of 2-3 days in each.

Netherlands, you can be there about 2-3 days.

Paris, I did not like to much, but will need about 2-3 days.
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Old 08-27-2003, 07:20 AM   #5
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June, July, and August are the overall busiest travel months as most people are on summer vacation. I´d book something then, depending on what cities you´re going to.
September on, you should be fine without reservations, unless you´re going to a country/city where they´ll be celebrating something huge like Octoberfest, running of the bulls, Christmas, etc...
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Old 09-13-2003, 08:53 AM   #6
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After walking to the other side of Glasgow to a hostel and finding out that it was full, i wish I had of pre-booked...but on the other hand, i did not know i was going to be in Glasgow until that morning. So i was really screwed either way.

If I had a set plan with dates and locations of where i would be, I would pre-book, but if your just being a trav'la without a plan (me), then you really can't do much about pre-booking. B)
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Old 10-24-2003, 03:30 PM   #7
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Yeah, I'd have to say that it largely depends on when you're traveling. At the height of backpacker season -- summer months, you may occaisonally find yourself without a bed to sleep in because all hostels in a particular city may be booked. This happened to me on 3 separate occasions in Brussels, Belgium of all places. Don't know what it is about Brussels (there are several hostels there), but I refused to learn my lesson the first couple of times I passed through there on my 3 month backpacking journey through Europe (summer of 2002), and I wound up taking night trains to Antwerp where I knew of some "safe" places (parks/park benches) to sleep. All in all I didn't have any problems booking on the fly, as I didn't plan ANY of my trip -- I just went with the flow. Kept it free and open, so as I met people along the way I could travel with them. And now I have stories to tell because I've slept on the streets of Antwerp, Paris, Milan, and Nice. I would; however, book a bed if you are going to a particular city/town where a festival or other big event is taking place as demand for shelter will be high. Best of luck to you! And have fun!
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