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Old 03-25-2004, 12:46 PM   #1
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I am traveling solo through Europe during the months of May and June. I am leaving in a little over 4 weeks!!!! During my travels I will be hitting some major cities and smallers towns. Is it absolutely crucial to book all my rooms in advance? It is possible to find rooms during this peak season without reservations? I was told by a couple not to worry about reservations but all other sources seem to say otherwise. Im leaving soon and freaking out. Should I start making reservations NOW? Please help. Sincerely Allison Bright.
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Old 03-25-2004, 01:15 PM   #2
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Well first off may and june still aren't considered the highest peak time. i would assume that july and august would be the highest. I wouldn't book the hostels for your whole trip. That doesn't give you much freedom to change your mind. What I would do instead is book the first few days, then it will allow you room to change your mind. I travelled in may and june as well a few years ago and I only had problems once. Make sure you read your guidebook and are aware of certain festivals and events that might limit hostel beds in a certain town. And also be aware that usually on weekends they fill up faster. I would prob just book the hostels are few days in advance if I were you. you can always book over the net, phone or if your staying at a HI hostel they can book you in other HI hostels thru their system. cheers
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Old 03-25-2004, 04:52 PM   #3
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Allison, close your eyes, take a deep breath and have FAITH that your trip and finding accodations wherever and whenever you go will work out PERFECT. Like Dio already said May is definitely not high season so look at it on the bright side, you're arriving before the "rush". And this summer there might NOT be such a rush since the Euro$ exchange rate is so high against the U$.

We traveled through Europe from May to June 19, 2000 and never found it difficult to find accomodations.

On a lighter note, here's a travel tip an old friend of mine used when he traveled Europe and he NEVER paid room rent ( and I thought I was a hardcore budget traveler until I heard this one ) . If you're unable to find an available room or stayed too long at the local pub etc. maybe you'll get invited to sleep on someone's sofa. Option Two; he would walk confidentally into 3 to 5 star hotels, go to the top floor, and walk up the last flight of stairs toward the rooftop and use the carpeted landing to spread out his sleeping bag and sleep there. The door to the roof is always locked but this small area is almost always overlooked by the hotel's security and management.

But seriously, you'll look back on your present anxiety with a sense of humor. Cheers and be sure to share your adventure with us back here on the board in the "Trip Report" section.
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Old 03-26-2004, 03:13 PM   #4
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I think Big hotels are a great way to get some quality free looking after...

When we were in queensland, a friend and i walked into this big hotel, tried to look like we belong.

We used their bathrooms, their very large swimming pool/spa and drank from the bar whilst laying in the sun.

...all im trying to say is, just cuz they are expensive, doesnt mean that they cant be a good source of cheap fun...

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Old 03-27-2004, 06:30 AM   #5
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to the family abright!!!!

I have been turned away from hostels before, so i do know "NO VACANCY" does happen...My recommendation is not to book all you nights you will be traveling, but to book the first night for each city you will be in ( if you know the dates). Even if its a couple days before you make you way to that city, at least you know the day you arrive you will have a bed to sleep in...Also reserve the first couple nights you arrive in Europe and the last night before you leave reserve a private room at a hostel so you gt a goods nights rest before the big departure...

( Insert shameless plug here -> Hostel Reservation System )

Ultimatly everyones technique is different, But in the end, you hould be just fine...whcih ever advise you use
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Old 03-27-2004, 10:16 AM   #6
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hmmm i agree with you CD, but my personal philosophy is too simply stay out all night partying before the big departure...

Just as long as you have a locker somewhere to stash your stuff and you can make it to the plane on time..... ;-)
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Old 03-28-2004, 11:26 AM   #7
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I would definitely pre-book the major tourist hubs like London - without a doubt. Maybe a few other big touristy cities during peak seasons. But other than that - I would just do walk-ins - cuz you are constricting your schedule flexibility the more you pre-book.

~ So, the goal is to pre-book as little as possible, but just enough to ensure that you do get a place to stay. ~
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Old 03-28-2004, 04:59 PM   #8
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I was like you Allison on my first trip to Euro... I booked many of my hostels in advance because I was scared I wouldn't have somewhere to sleep... and found this to be my worst mistake of my whole trip... I went in May/June as well and foudn I was always trying to cancell my reservations and that the hostels had PLENTY of room.. a couple times I couldn't cancell and was stuck somewhere I found boring when I wanted to be somewhere else... But I do recommend booking your first couple days of your trip and the last couple... just so you can get adjusted after the flight

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