Finding Accomodations without Making Reservations
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Oct 20, 2012 6:41 AM Last Post By: Ansileran
Oct 18, 2012 10:40 AM
Finding Accomodations without Making ReservationsHello. My wife and I will be travelling to Europe for the first time, specifically the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia, starting in mid-April, 2013, for one month. We have booked hotel rooms for the beginning and end of our trip, but for the rest of it would prefer to "find" a room upon our arrival in a new town or city without booking ahead (we will utilize guidebooks to help us find accomodations). That way we can at least see the room before paying for it and spend more time exploring and less time on a phone or the internet. We are used to travelling this way in SE Asia, but are wondering if it is a feasible approach in Eastern Europe at that time of year. Thanks for your comments or suggestions!
Oct 18, 2012 11:26 AM
1You shouldn't have a problem finding rooms in April-May but hostels in this part of the world don't tend to be clustered as much as they seem to be in Asian cities so you could spend time getting to a place and then discover that it isn't what you want and you need to spend time getting to another place.
What lots of people do is book the next place just before departing the last place so they can be flexible in their travels and change plans as needed.
Oct 18, 2012 12:16 PM
2Like Ruth, I like to book a day or so in advance. Before departing a city, I'll get online and book my hotel or hostel for the next city. I find this saves time -- you know exactly where you need to go, so you just head there and check in.
With that said, I have just shown up on many occasions, and had no problem. In Budapest, for example, I just arrived at the train station, visited a tourist info office in the station, and they helped me find a place to stay. And in Croatia, especially on the coast and islands, it's quite easy to just arrive and book a room from one of the many little old ladies congregating around bus and ferry terminals. And if you can't find any little old ladies, most coastal towns have accommodation agencies that will help you find private rooms.
You should be fine either way.
Oct 18, 2012 12:27 PM
3I've finally started using the online booking agencies, usually booking just a day or two ahead to retain flexibility, and it has spoiled me. No more trudging around a city with luggage in tow looking for a decent place. No more worrying about what kind of place the old lady at the bus station is going to take me to. Though you obviously book on just one site at a time, if you first read the reviews on all the sites you can get a pretty good sense of a place: I found reviews, taken as a whole, almost always accurate.
Online booking is also an extremely efficient way of comparing room rates, and used properly can really hold your costs down.
The only problem -- and it's a big problem -- is that directions in too many cases are poor if not downright confusing, so it's often easy to waste a good deal of time trying to find the place you've booked unless you prepare yourself well with maps in advance.
It's also true that you can easily spend an hour surfing around trying to find the best place, so online booking can be surprisingly time consuming.
Oct 20, 2012 6:41 AM
4I like booking before hand, because I know I won't have to worry about accommodation that way. That said, I don't think you'll have any problem just showing up: the youth hostel I stayed at in Budapest was cheap, clean, comfortable and... almost empty. That was in August...
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