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Old 12-20-2005, 11:47 AM   #1
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I'm going to be backpacking all over Europe (France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Belgium) for about a month in May and June. I have never travelled this extensively and was wondering if I should reserve rooms on the internet ahead of time or not. What do you guys think?
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:56 AM   #2
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I would book at least my first night ahead of time for major/popular cities, especially in the summer. Usually, once you're in, you're in, and if your plans change, at least you're only losing the deposit for one night, not a week, etc.!
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:00 PM   #3
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First of all : welcome to travelpunk.com!

Hmmm... in your case, I'll to go against my sacred principle to keep the itinerary flexible, so not to book in advance except for the first place, and say "yes". You seem to have a quite busy itinerary, 8 countries in 4 weeks ! Personally, I find it overloaded, but if this is what you want, then you'll have no choice but to all book in advance. They are all pretty popular destinations, and June especially is the begin of the high season. Even in May, the main cities of your selected countries will probably be packed.

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Old 12-20-2005, 12:42 PM   #4
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I went in high season to Europe (east 'n west) and was so glad I had everything booked in advanced. There were alot of people travelling w/o a place to stay and every night I heard hostels turning people away.

If you do decide not to book, hunt for a hostel in the MORNING! The evening seems to be when those late trains and people arrive looking for a place. Even the most packed place usually has an opening by morning. I know it's not always feasible, but if you get into a new place in the morn, get that hostel!

I also found booking in advance helped to know what I'd be close to help me manage my time alittle better. I tried not rush through cities like a crazy person, so knowing what to expect helped too.

I am a planning freak however. :D

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Old 12-20-2005, 02:39 PM   #5
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I gotta agree, that your gettin overloaded 8 countries in a months......thats hardcore, Im gonna guess that your going for a city hop, I think in your case I would book ahead even though I hate dong that myself, but just becuase your only gonna be in a place for a couple of days max, nothing would ruin it more then not having a place to stay.
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:52 PM   #6
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I will never go without booking a room, even if i waste the $4 if i want to change last minute. I spent a cold november night outside in amsterdam FUBAR with only a windbreaker. Never again! You should totaly book at least the first night or two just to get your footing.

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Old 12-20-2005, 04:58 PM   #7
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Yeah, Amsterdam and Paris are two cities where I'd DEFINITELY book in advance, no matter what. They're popular but relatively low on hostels!
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:19 PM   #8
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can you reserve without a deposit? say if your already on the road. can you just ring them and say can i have a bed on .....?
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:45 PM   #9
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I'd have to agree with everyone as it's high season, so booking ahead is smart, especially in big cities. Also, I found that weekends were often hardest to find a place. Just remember that just because you have something booked, doesn't mean you're stuck with it. Considering basically all hostels are online, it's fairly easy to cancel. Have fun!
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:30 PM   #10
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We were in Krakow, Poland in August. We arrived on a Saturday with no resy as it was last minute. Got a hostel with private room no problem. We were playing it by ear as we weren't sure how long we'd stay. Went down Sunday, got another day. Went down Monday, got another day. Went down Tuesday - COMPLETELY BOOKED and we had like 1/2 hour to get out. We wrote down the names of some hostels, and started searching. We found one pretty quickly but it got our hearts beating. We should have just told them we wanted it for five days. Oh well.

The idea of getting there in the morning is right on. We went to Barcelona with no reservation and went to a hostel and got on a waiting list (with like 50 other people) and got a room.
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Old 12-21-2005, 04:34 AM   #11
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I'd advise booking online a day or two in advance as you go. That's what I did and it worked out pretty well except for a couple of cities where I had to spend a few hours searching for a place.
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:22 AM   #12
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I leave in may and I have all my hostels booked I just figure I have 2 months and alot I want to see so I don't want to have to worry about where I'm going to be sleeping plus since I booked them all now I know exactly how much money I need put aside for hostels
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:33 AM   #13
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Yeah, I totally agree with what's being said.

If you do have a reservation, they're really easy to cancel. I did it at a paris hostel after I didn't like it and found a way better place. The chick seemed alittle annoyed I was leaving, but I didn't care 'cause I didn't like her either!

Cash back 'n moved on. The whole thing is pretty simple.

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Old 12-21-2005, 10:24 AM   #14
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Thanks, I guess I'll reserve then and maybe extend my trip a few weeks.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:38 PM   #15
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I know this thread is about a year old, however I am taking off to Europe (Benelux and Germany) in winter, and wondering if I should book my hostels in advance. I am leaning toward dropping in except the first day of the trip in Berlin (12/31 - 1/3). I read most thread on here regarding whether it's hard to find a hostel w/o booking, but I would like to know if it's hard to find THE CHEAPEST BED in a hostel w/o booking. I do not want to see myself able to find a hostel but have to pay the very last bed available there for $30 instead of cheaperst $15 bed I could've got if I did book in advance.
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Old 12-04-2006, 08:27 PM   #16
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hostels in winter time aren't that full. I figure you will be fine either way. Booking in advance, only takes the worries away. Other than that, its a personal choice. Happy Traveling
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