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Hostel advice please
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I have been traveling to Europe before with my family, but I am planning a backpacking trip with my friends in the summer of 2010 and have never stayed at a hostel before. I have researched quite a bit, but I am still unsure of a few details.

How early do people generally book a hostel in advance? I don’t want to book all the hostels before I leave for Europe for 35 days because then I will have no flexibility with my travel times, when I want to leave for my next destination, etc. I am going to buy a Eurail pass for just this reason, so I have freedom of when I can move along to the next spot. I was thinking of only booking the first hostel for our first couple nights in London, then going to Internet cafés and reserving a hostel for the next city/town only a couple days in advance.

Does anyone have any good experience with this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I am leaving from Vancouver, BC, Canada with $5000 for 43 days
Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Prague, Bratislava, Venice, Rome, Barcelona, Pamplona
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights

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