Here is the situation: I am going to backpack my way through Europe and I leave on Thursday. I already made booking in four cities. They wanted to know the arrival time, and since I had no clue, I guessed.
Here is my question: if I don't get there right on time, what will happen? If i'm early do I have to wait? If I'm late, will they give the room to someone else? I would rather wait than be stuck in a different room or with no room at all.
Thank you in advance to anyone who sees this and knows what to do and will help me.
tre, I definitely agree with PONR that sending an E-mail to explain your circumstances might be a good idea. You might consider wording it something like this:
To xxxxxx Hostel,
I would like to confirm my reservations at your xxxx Hostel for xx nights, arriving xx date and departing xx date.
Please note that the arrival times I provided earlier are approximate only, and due to travel circumstances I may be arriving later than the normal check-in time. Please hold my room.
I assume you won't be travelling with a Cell phone? I normally call the Hotel or Hostel if I'm going to be late, just to make sure they won't assign my room to someone else. If you don't have a Cell phone, you could always buy a Phone Card when you arrive in Europe and just call each Hostel from a pay phone. However, make sure you take a list of the phone numbers of ALL the Hostels you'll be using (I always have the addresses and phone numbers listed on my Itinerary, and take photo copied Maps that show the directions from the train stations to the Hostels or Hotels). One other point to be aware of - if you don't show up at all, most lodgings will charge your credit card for the first night.
As PONR mentioned some Hostels require some time for cleaning the rooms in the afternoons, so they won't let guests occupy the rooms until a specific time. If that's the case, they usually provide a storage area to leave your Backpack. If you want to go out and have a bit of a "walkabout" and do some touring, just take your Daypack with you (don't leave valuables in your main Pack when it's stored, unless the storage area is well supervised).
Some Hostels also have a "lockout" in the afternoon, again for cleaning - guests won't be allowed in the building during the lockout (I always try to find Hostels that don't have this rule, as I often like to go back to the room in the afternoon).
Hope this answers your questions. Good luck on your trip, and don't forget to send us some trip reports!
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