A question from a dummy....

Feb 4th, 2000, 08:28 PM
  #1  
Mateo
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A question from a dummy....

Ok, don't laugh at this one as I am highly ashamed for asking it. Here it is:

I am planning a trip to Europe and searching out information on hotels. I am using a travel guide from Fodors, Lonely Planet, and Frommers. In the books, there is information about hotels in different cities and such. The rooms are listed as "single", "double", "triple", and "quad". Alright, my question is, what do these mean? Is a single room only big enough for one person? Or is it a rule that only one person in a single, and two in a double, and three in a triple? The reason I ask is because I will be traveling with my girlfriend and we are poor, starving college students and can't afford much. If we are allowed, we'd like to rent single rooms throughout Europe as we sleep close together anyway.

So, does single mean "ONLY ONE PERSON!", or does it mean "THIS IS A DAMNED SMALL ROOM AND WE DON'T CARE WHO'S IN IT!"?

Thanks in advance for your gratuitous replies.
 
Feb 4th, 2000, 09:23 PM
  #2  
Victor
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Mateo, I don't have an answer for you about the rooms, but I wanted to tell you that I am still laughing at your question! (Sorry, I know you said dont't laugh) It's only funny because I too, have asked a rather shameful question (scroll down to DO I REALLY NEED HOTEL RESERVATIONS...yes, that was me). But in just one day I got some really helpful advice from three people, so I'm sure others can answer yours. My guess, however, (from what I've read in my Fodors guide to Italy) is that a hotel will not look too happily upon someone paying a single rate, yet holding double occupancy. Yet what they do not know probably can't hurt them, yes? Not the best business practice, and it will really suck if you get caught, but I too am a poor college kid, and this will be my first trip abroad. I would sleep UNDER the bed if I thought that I could save a buck, and get away with it.
Anyway, I hope that you have a great time, and that you and your girlfriend have fun "sharing" a single
By the way, where exactly are you going?
 
Feb 5th, 2000, 12:00 AM
  #3  
D.B.
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Some hotels book per person, some book per room. You can get a single with a twin bed and two people can sleep in it. Or, you could get a double with two twin beds or one queen bed, etc. And, generally speaking, you can cut about 1/3 off the size of the bed vs. American comfy factor. Are you short? Does your girlfriend like to be on top? There are many things to consider when trying to save a buck.

Since she is only your girlfriend, and not your wife, I advise you not to try to book a room at the Vatican.
 
Feb 5th, 2000, 03:10 AM
  #4  
Ed
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In many or most parts of Europe rooms are sold by the person ... unlike the US where most rooms have a single price. Most European singles _are_ small, but regardless of size they'll most often expect you to have only one person in a "single".
 
Feb 5th, 2000, 05:15 PM
  #5  
Lori
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You two may be the only tourists who actually don't care about the size of the bed from what I've read on this Forum!! Seriously, most hotels in Europe, particularly the less expensive ones have very very small rooms and the beds are equally small .. a double bed is really quite narrow we found and after finding ourselves nearly on the floor more than once learned to ask for a room with twin beds. A "single" can be a room with a twin bed (one) & usually an odd sized room slightly larger than a closet or it can be a room with a double bed (also a small room, again most hotel rooms are smaller than you will find here). If the hotel rents to one person that is what they expect to occupy the room, don't try and double cross them, you may find your stuff stacked in the lobby when you come back from sightseeing and you'll be looking for new lodings.
 
Feb 6th, 2000, 06:26 AM
  #6  
howard
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No one's really answered Mateo's question directly. A single means one person, a double means two people and so on. Since you're going for a low price, you'd probably end up at a smaller place, where it would be difficut to "sneak" one of you in without paying.
In response to Ed's comment, a lot of places in the U.S. do have a single/double price differential.
 
Feb 6th, 2000, 08:37 AM
  #7  
lindi
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You could ask them before checking in whether they'd allow the two of you in a single room! My guess is they either tell you outright no, or they'll smile and understand that you don't want to pay more. If you're really nice and well-mannered, asking should be no problem. I personally don't recommend "smuggling" your girlfriend in. (you probably would stay at smaller places, and wouldn't go unnoticed) You can find cheap(er) places in most cities if you're willing to be farther away from the tourist places. Good luck!
 
Feb 6th, 2000, 12:01 PM
  #8  
Emily
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Mateo--in hostels, on the other hand, it would be more expensive for single occupancy (meaning you want your own room vs. dorm-type room). Not sure if you've considered hostels but its a cheap, definitely not boring, way to go.
 
Feb 7th, 2000, 06:42 AM
  #9  
Carol
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Hi Mateo,

I'd suggest that you assume "single" means one person, and look for hotels/hostels you can afford. The cheapest hotel rooms are those without private bathroom and/or showers and can often be found in very clean and hygienic hotels. I think that's the way you should go.
 
Feb 7th, 2000, 09:12 AM
  #10  
Paulo
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A single does mean one person. If you've reserved one, they'll give you what they have (what they consider best from their point of view at the moment of check in). This may be a small room with a twin bed (no room for an extra bed), a room with 2 twin beds or a double bed, or even a very big room that would fit 4 easily (I got one once). Also, in most hotels breakfast is included and more likely than not, a check is made when they ask you for the room number when you show up for breakfast.
Once I booked a single but we showed up in two. As there was no double available and we didn't want to go search elsewhere, we insisted that it would be our problem to fit ourselves in the small reserved room (no 2nd. bed). All they charged us extra was for a 2nd breakfast! A similar situation arose when we were going as a family of 4 to San Francisco. We were in the LA area and decided to go to SFco at the spur of the moment. I must have called at least 20 hotels with no luck. I finally found one that had a double available for one of the 3 nights we were supposed to spend there. They told me there was no way to fit 2 extra beds in the room, but if I were able to manage the situation with a single extra bed this would be ok with them. I ended up paying for a triple, plus an extra breakfast.
In both situation, I really had no other choice ... so take Carol's advice. I, for one, think a double in a 1-star hotel is much better than 2 people sharing a very small room in a 3-star hotel ...
Paulo

 
Feb 7th, 2000, 09:54 AM
  #11  
elvira
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Paulo is on the money with this one: single room for one person, double room for 2 people (but one person can occupy it but will pay the full room cost maybe with a small discount for the breakfast as he mentioned), triple for three, etc. Be upfront about the # of people; my sister and I once shared a single room (my microwave oven is bigger than this room) by the management putting a single foam bed on the floor to supplement the single bed in the room. They did charge us a few dollars more, but not as much as a double room would have cost (they screwed up our reservations for one night so that we had to share the single until the double was ready the next night).
If you are traveling when universities are on vacation, check into renting a dorm room. Cheap, more private than a hostel, and there's usually no lockout.
 
Feb 7th, 2000, 06:37 PM
  #12  
Susan
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Check out the hostels - the American Hostel group with an office in NYC can probably help you out....They are cheap, usuallyclean, and a great place to meet other students who are traveling.
 
Feb 7th, 2000, 07:46 PM
  #13  
Mateo
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Thanks for your suggestions. But I should have said more clearly, that I was looking at HOTELS and not HOSTELS. I like privacy. I like my own locks. My own shower. I like breakfast waiting for me in the morning. And I like not having a curfew.

Again though, thanks. It looks like we'll be booking doubles our entire way through Europe! Cheers, mates!

 
Feb 7th, 2000, 09:52 PM
  #14  
D.B.
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Sure Mateo, but you don't have to get hostel about it.

Despite what a few boneheads said with such certainty, look for places that rent by the room instead of by the occupancy. It varies, although more hotels are beginning to go by occupancy (which I believe was because of those Norte Americanos locos).

You can always make selections in advance and CALL (or e-mail) to see what THAT hotel means by it, and hey, don't forget about the nebulous "run of house" (but buoycott that).
 
Feb 8th, 2000, 03:11 AM
  #15  
frank
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"single,double,triple,quad" etc refers
to the number of washcloths supplied.
 
Feb 8th, 2000, 12:32 PM
  #16  
Phil
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Mateo,

If you are travelling in Germany, Switzerland, or Austria, instead of staying in a hotel, look for a sign stating "Zimmer Frei". This usually means that a private home has room(s) to rent. They are usually much cheaper than a hotel and you get to really experience the local culture.
 
Feb 9th, 2000, 05:37 PM
  #17  
Kim
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Hey - Check into staying at hostels - not hotels.....they're for young people, students, back packers, etc....Also, sometimes Universities rent rooms during non class times (summer) - I don't think they're gonna go for the two in a single idea - Also, check out B & B's......hotels are the most expensive way to go - Kim
 
Feb 10th, 2000, 07:02 AM
  #18  
David
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Mateo,

Also try using some other web sites for
hotels, like Preview, Travelosity, Gateway, ect some of these will list Hostels some won't. Also see if the city /ies you are visiting have tourist bureaus that might list all one star hotels and hostels. Also check Lonely
Planet's web site.
Young, not much, money, and a woman willing to travel with you. I envy your
youth. Happy trails
 

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