What would you do if .......
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Jul 12, 2013 6:03 AM Last Post By: Ozziegiraffe
Jun 30, 2013 4:40 AM
What would you do if .......You arrive at a train station late and all of the hotels in the town are fully booked, even the expensive room and, except for those in the outlying areas which cost a small fortune to get to? Would you (like me) prefer to sit it out in the waiting room or pay the outrageous price to get to a hotel which has a vacancy?
Would be interested in your opinion or hear about your experience.
Jun 30, 2013 10:50 AM
1I would think that much depends on the individual train station security, at that time of night. My personal experiences (thievery, being attacked ..... you don't want to know the rest) are my experiences - and together with the stories I have read of passengers arriving late at night in train stations have been very poor. Overall, train stations are far too dangerous a place to hang about at night, waiting room or not. As a result I always book ahead.
Edited by: liamh
Jun 30, 2013 1:43 PM
Jun 30, 2013 10:25 PM
3For me it is also a matter of which country and which town etc. I have fond memories of sleeping on a wooden table in a tiny railway station somewhere in Malaysia. There were a fair number of other potential passengers also camped there. I have also overnighted in Mumbai railway station waiting room with stacks of Indian passengers.
More normally if I have had a long journey or arriving in an unfamiliar place late at night I would have booked a hotel - at least for that first night.
Jul 1, 2013 12:02 AM
4Some 45 years ago (hey, this is the older travellers thread!!), a friend and I arrived very late at the Paris train station without a hotel reservation. Without going into details, it is a wonder that the two of us are still above ground, rather than below. It was enough of a lesson that I will do anything in my power to arrive before 2:00 pm, and if this is not possible, to have a hotel reservation.
I had a bad experience several years ago in Bangkok at a very shady hotel (which I thought had been recommended by a friend - to this day I am not quite sure how all that happened), and I have expanded my criteria to include doing a bit of research of the hotel itself. Much easier nowadays with the web.
Jul 1, 2013 1:06 AM
Strange question, why you ask? My opinion most folk should do their utmost to avoid overnights on Rail stations. I however ignore my own advice and have frequently done it. I never had a problem with danger even though it has been present. I feel that my body language maybe pays dividends but I have had to step in occasionally on someone else's behalf to sort out potential blood baths. Fall asleep and you never know, even fellow travellers have been known to help themselves. Generally unless in a group I would suggest that folk pay up and get a taxi to that expensive out of the way place. Now keep me a place on that bench in the waiting area please.
Jul 1, 2013 1:12 AM
6Thank you for sharing your experience. I should explain that we did book our accommodation but unfortunately, the train that was suppose to take us to Montelimar was cancelled which meant missing our bus to Nyons. So, we decided to proceed to Avignon instead, as it is a bigger town and I know that there is an Ibis hotel close to the station. However, to our dismay, all of the hotels close by were fully booked and so the only option was to spend a night in the waiting room or take a taxi to the outlying part of town to a budget hotel which we did.
If, I was on my own, I would have tried to find accommodation in Lyon as it was still relatively early in the day and I would have stood a better chance to find a budget accommodation nearby.
Jul 1, 2013 10:26 AM
Jul 1, 2013 11:25 AM
8I could share an experience that didn't happen at a train station but at a bus station. This was in the autumn of 2006. I had walked the Camino de Santiago(Camino Frances), then took buses south and visited Fatima and Lisbon. From Lisbon took an afternoon bus to Madrid that would be arriving just after midnight. My plan was to stay the night at the bus station, buy a bus ticket to France to leave the next morning, hopefully put my backpack in a locker and waitout the few hours until daylight.
Arrived in Madrid; all good. At 1am they started to clear the bus station, saying that we had to wait outside.
Oh no. About 40-50 of us standing outside the main doors which would open at 6am. I noticed an English man from my bus(heard him speak) who was in his 40's. I'm then 51. Introduced myself and said that we could watch each others bags while we waited out the hours. He agreed.
Then looked around. There were a number of young men hanging around, no bags, no luggage, some without even a jacket. Why are they here? We went across the street to wait thought it was safer.
Morning came and it all worked out. At one point in the night 3 men came across the street to talk to us, ask us what we were doing, did we have cigarettes, ect....To this day i believe being alone would not of been good. I took a chance and picked a buddy. He had the same concerns as me.
I'm more wired-in today. At the very least I'd check Hostelworld. Get some addresses, check availability even if I didn't book. Check googlemap to have some idea of the lay of the land.
Jul 1, 2013 1:19 PM
9Over the past few years I've spent a few nights at airports, train stations, bus stations - plus one on a sand dune next to a Berber camp (which should have been scary, but for some reason I wasn't at all afraid when this great yellow dog came bounding up to me out of the night.)
It's quite possible that being totally naive saves me from disaster, although in the Middle East it seems men are hard-wired to protect women who are old enough to be their mothers. I've either been left in peace or some man has taken it into his head to protect me.
Jul 3, 2013 9:41 AM
10I remember arriving in Ahmedabad (India) late one night by train unaware there was a big political convention happening in the city, and everything was booked solid from the $4 flop houses to the 5 star joints. Two young boys who had borrowed their uncles tuk tuk for the night to earn some pocket money drove me around for over an hour looking for a place to stay and we must have checked out 20 different places.
In the end they actually invited me to stay at their place! but I opted for a return to the Railway Station where I shared the 2nd Class waiting Room with around 30 other travellers (strength in numbers). I've subsequently slept at a few Indian Railway Stations and have felt safer there than I have in some hotels.
But to answer your question, NO. I wouldn't pay an outragious hotel rate if there was a perfectly good Railway Station available, but then again 'outragious' is itself subjective. In India I consider $50 a night OUTRAGIOUS!!!
Jul 4, 2013 12:26 AM
Jul 6, 2013 1:40 AM
12I would not dare to sleep/rest in most, if not all of the train stations in Asia and other countries except perhaps for one or two such as Singapore and Avignon, France.
In Avignon, there were a couple of train police staff patrolling the station. It is well lit and there was an Ibis hotel close by. Should it become necessary, I would have suggested to tc to approach the Ibis front desk staff as to whether it would be ok for us to sit quietly in the lobby until sunrise.
In Asia, I would have always book ahead to make sure that I will have somewhere to stop over, even if it is for one night. In Asia, I would pay the $50 a night even if it is outrageous as it would be affordable but $50 a night would not even have got you a room in the youth hostel in Europe. :)
Jul 7, 2013 9:57 AM
13Not a train station, but an airport (Nadi International). Tried bunking down on the floor of the cafeteria, which soon brought a concerned cop over to check things out. He ended up getting me a cheap room in a place that had said they were fully booked. Not sure I'd try this in a train station, though, and, more importantly for me, it would depend on the country.
Jul 12, 2013 6:03 AM
1430 plus years ago, I was caught on an island in the Firth of Clyde by a snowstorm on the night before New Year's Eve. It had not snowed there for 25 years, and the people I was staying with were concerned that I would never get back to England if I got snowed in, so on New Year's Eve morning, they took me to the station by ferry and I got a train back into Glasgow.
Unfortunately, I missed the last connetion back across the border, as the trains were running very slowly. The only option was the Station Hotel, as the whole station was closed down for two nights, and no trains running on New Years Day. No ATMs or credit cards in those days, and I was fairly low on cash, but Glasgow was 6 feet deep in snow and there was nowhere else possible.
The station would not have been an option. I did not eat much fot the two days I was stuck there, though.
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