travel advice & savings
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Better to Book Hostel in Adance or Just Show Up?
jessica123's profile picture
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I am planning a eurotrip next July for France, Italy, Greece, & the UK.

I know I have a year in advance to plan… However. I have heard both sides of the story… That it is best to book ahead…. and that it’s best to just show up because it is more fun that way.

Here are the problems that I am sure most traveler’s ecounter going to Europe.

Things are not as you expect them to be… therefore you might not end up where you thought you would. So I don’t want to book my hostels.. pay for them… and then end up staying in Paris longer than I thought I would want to, and miss my hostel res. in Rome.

So. This poses a problem. What is the best way to go about it? I also am aware that is will be summer.. and this is Europe… so there will be tons of young people.

What should I do? This is my 1st trip on my own with my boyfriend to EU and I need some help!
Thanks! Wink

I am leaving from DETROIT with $4000 for 31 days
Detroit, Dublin, Paris, Venice, Florence, Cortona, Rome, Corfu, Athens, Santorini, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights

:Live, Laugh, Love, TRAVEL:

sjohns's profile picture
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I booked mine in advance as I went, I did have a few hostels/ campgrounds that I booked before I left home but the majority of the hostels I booked the night or two before I went to the next destination. That allowed me to be open with my itinerary and stay longer/ shorter if I wanted to. Keep in mind you’re going to be traveling in the busy season so if you don’t book ahead, you run the risk of not being able to get a hostel! It happened to me in Paris and I ended up paying $80 a night instead of the $15 I had been paying along the way!

oldlady's profile picture
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It’s really a matter of travel style. If you arrive in each city by mid afternoon and are willing to spend two or three hours trekking around looking for a place, you can always find someplace to stay and almost always find someplace decent that’s relatively cheap.

Sjohns’ strategy of booking a few hostels before you leave home and others a few days in advance as you’re traveling is a good one. Most of us who hang around this site always book the first night in advance — you don’t want to arrive jet-lagged, sleep-deprived, culture-shocked AND homeless. I’d also recommend booking more than a couple of days in advance if you’re sure of the dates and want to stay in a specific hostel, if you’ll be arriving at night, if there’s some sort of festival, concert, football (we’ve unknowingly hit Eurocup on three different trips) involved, or in more remote places where there aren’t a lot of choices. I always book the last night a couple of weeks in advance to assure a place with relatively easy transportation to the airport. Many flights back to the US leave early in the morning and a slight glitch can make getting to the airport on-time a hassle.