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Old 04-03-2006, 12:48 PM   #1
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So I've heard a lot of good ideas for getting out of the most touristy places (like Jamie's "pick a city from the map and go") but how easy is it to find a place to stay? Do most smaller/less tourist towns in Western Europe have maybe one hostel or (very) cheap hotel? I would much rather go to more local places but obviously need a place to sleep!
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:33 AM   #2
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Guess I'm too anal and too much of a planner to do the "pick-a-city," anymore. You could try to get ahold of a Hosteling International map or booklet (available to their members) and it'll show the whole spread. A good Lonely Planet type guide will list places to stay for most towns, too. That'd give you some ideas, I imagine...

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Old 04-04-2006, 07:01 AM   #3
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Can't speak for much of western Europe, but I can vouch for the little bit of Germany where I live - every town and many small villages, like ours, have some sort of hostelry - usually an inn or guest house - which offers rooms to rent. We live in an area that is extremely popular with hikers (you know Germans are extraordinarily keen "wanderers"), so possibly that is not the case in every part of the country.

The inns, hotels and such that I have seen here usually are more expensive than hostels, in the range of 20-40 Euro/night, but usually that includes a hearty breakfast, sometimes half- or full-board, and they are more comfortable and private than hostels. The other thing Germany has in great abundance are the DJH jugendherberges (google Deutches Jugendherbergswerk or DJH), which are not just for young people. These tend to be more in the somewhat larger communities, but offer a comfortable, cheap place to sleep, and some recreational facilities to boot. You have to be a member of HI or DJH to stay there, but you can join at check in.

You may have to walk a few kms if you happen to pick an incredibly minute place to find a place to stay, but I'd imagine that in an area like ours (in the Rheinland) you'll probably find a room in nearly any town along the rail line. HOWEVER!! It does depend on when you're travelling, and I'd recommend calling in advance because a 100-bed hotel like the one in our village (which has only 160 residents) is sold out all summer long. But I'd imagine too, based on my experiences here, that if you showed up someplace that had no room, they'd be able to direct you someplace that did.





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Old 04-04-2006, 09:47 AM   #4
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Thanks guys! That sounds like a great idea, Mike.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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I can't say much for europe since I've never been but my experience in south america was that the pick a city route worked fine. Normally I would bust out my handy-dandy guidebook and check it out on the way there and then by the time i got there I had a pretty good idea where my head would be laid that night.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:56 AM   #6
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We never had a problem finding a hotel/hostel or campground. We were on a busride from Dublin to Dundalk, Ireland and were admiring the small towns we were passing through. We passed through a cute one and saw a hostel facing the road and it looked cute, so we hopped off on the way back. If you have a little bit of time to plan, pick the place, then google it with the word "hostel."
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:20 PM   #7
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If you venture even deeper out the beaten path, in villages say, go to the convenient store or main restaurant (there is always one) and simply ask where to spend the night. You'll probably find a bed in an "improvised guest house" and you'll have one of the best time of your trip !
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:19 PM   #8
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My brother and I did pick a city. It was Hof, Germany. It was near the Alps so we figured it would be a fun small town. It was just one huge industrial plant city. We passed so many cool tiny towns in the hills that were soo cool with red brick roofs and a Chapel in the cneter of town. We were getting all excited then hills despared and smoking exhuast pipes stuck out of industrial plants ad far as you could see...it lead to one of the most random events of our trip.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tadpole@Apr 4 2006, 09:19 PM
..it lead to one of the most random events of our trip.
[snapback]110622[/snapback]
*ahem*which WAS? *ahem* you can't just end off with "the most random event of your trip" and not explain what it was...

I was really tempted to just get off the train in a small town I passed by, but I didn't. I think the next time I go it'll be more for those types of experiences w/ a side of sights as opposed to the reverse.
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Old 04-06-2006, 03:36 PM   #10
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I fully intend to do this in my trip over the summer, no idea which country or where, but at some point during my 7 week trip i want to stay in a random small town or village in a random country in eastern europe, trying to find a local to stay with when I arrive.
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:55 AM   #11
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Thanks guys, all great ideas!

Atchoum this is how you got your title, eh?

I'm definitely going to try to get off the beaten tourist path, especially in Spain/Portugal and southern France.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:30 AM   #12
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In Ireland and the UK there's B&Bs everywhere you'll basically be staying in a spare room in someones house and they'll give you breakfast in the morning. In Spain and Portugal there are hostels but they don't have the same meaning there. You get a room with toliet but it's not a youth hostel.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:34 PM   #13
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Hey a room with a toilet is good enough for me. :D
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