So I'm headed for Europe from March 8 to June 8, and I'm going to be staying in hostels almost all the way from Edinburgh to Athens.
My tentative route right now is: Edinburgh->Glasgow->Cambridge->London->Bath->London->Paris->Nice->Rome->Naples->Rome->Athens.
I'll be arriving in Edinburgh March 9 at about 4pm.
As far as I know I am not travelling during any major festivals, and during the shoulder season and I want my schedule to be flexible. I'm alright with having things booked for the first couple weeks, but later on in the trip I want things to be a lot more flexible.
My question is, how much should I book in advance, and how much will I just be able to show up at a hostel and be able to find a bed?
P.S. - Picked up a copy of Europe Through the Back Door, which has been really helpful and informative. Thanks Eagle!
Post by WillTravel on Jan 31, 2010 14:38:23 GMT -5
It would probably be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the hostels in each city, so you have an idea of your preferred 2 or 3.
Although I really like to plan ahead, I think in your case where you don't have strong preferences, you would probably be fine if you just keep an eye on things and book ahead from the previous city. I get the impression that Rome and Paris might be places where you'd want to consider more prebooking.
I am not too keen on the idea of just landing in the city and looking for a hostel while loaded down with stuff and not sure of the city layout, when so much information is available in advance nowadays, but that's a personal preference too.
I tend to agree with WT on the subject of just showing up and looking for a place. Lots of people believe in the spontaneous approach, but it's not my preferred travel style. I tried it once at a Hotel in the U.K. and was nicked with a huge charge since the room wasn't pre-booked (I made sure I got my money's worth at breakfast the next morning!). I also don't like showing up in an unfamiliar city with a 50 lb. Backpack wondering where I'm going to sleep that night.
One method you might consider would be to prepare a list of all the HI Hostels in the cities you'll be visiting. If you take out a HI membership (very inexpensive), that will provide "preferred booking" over someone that doesn't have a Membership. Of course, if the Hostel is full, you'll be out of luck!
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