advance hotel booking

Old Apr 5th, 2011, 05:24 PM
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advance hotel booking

I have been hearing that it is better not to book hotels in advance due to a number of reasons (plans changing last minute, getting lost, online hotels more expensive, etc). Could anyone give me some insight on this?
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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I would think it depends on a lot of factors, like the time of year you are going, what cities you will be travelling to, and what your personal requirements are. We have taken driving trips where we stopped when we wanted to or when something caught our eyes, but there is something to be said for having reservations when all rooms are booked due to a convention or something. If you are going during high seasons, I'd advise you to book in advance. we tend to use apartments now, so we do book well in advance to get the best locations and amenities.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 06:21 PM
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Take time to do your homework now and it will pay dividends later.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 07:25 AM
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My rule of thumb is to book in advance, but make sure it can be canceled without penalty within a couple of days of arrival. I generally continue researching, and if something better comes along, or the price drops, then I cancel and rebook.

Also, if you have very specific areas you'd like to stay in or maybe need a specific type of room (like a quad, that are much harder to come by than doubles), then it's probably best to book in advance.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 09:09 AM
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If you really can;t find the hotels you've booked you shouldn;t be going to europe.

Advance prices are usually the same - and in fact, walk-up prices tend to be higher.

Depending on when you go = the hotels that are good deals will alredy be gone and you will be left with the places no one else wants to stay (either bad location, lacking amenities or veryhigh price).

The only legitimae reason not to book in advance is if you want to travel by the seat of your pants - changing your plans day by day. If you do this you need to either 1) have unlimited budget or 2) be very flexible about location, amenities (private bath, AC, elevator) and even be wiling to move on to another town.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 09:24 AM
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It all depends on where, and especially when. Probably the majority of my trips have been on military Space available flights, and as such I often do not know just where we are going until called for a flight - thus advance reservations are usually not possible. Flying outside of the high season I have rarely experienced difficulty finding a decent place to stay at a price I had in mind, and that tends towards the budget end. It may be a hotel, B&B or Zimmer. High season could be a different story but I have had good luck then as well more often than not. I even found a very nice, inexpensive and well located hotel in Paris when France was hosting the world cup and finding a last minute nice and reasonable place was said to be impossible. I found it through the tourist info place at the station.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 01:19 PM
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Totally agree with NYTraveler - If you are on a budget (like most of us) pre-booking guarantees you a spot in the nicest budget hotels. Of course that requires you to do your homework and identify those great budget hotels...

Another huge advantage of pre-booking is the time it saves you when you get to your destination. Personally I don't want to spend my precious vacation time figuring out where to stay when I get to a new town. I want to check in and start exploring.

However, if you're the type of person who likes to fly by the seat of your pants, you may find it pre-booking too restrictive. For me, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

To each his own! Good luck
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 01:49 PM
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I do agree that it depends upon where u r going and at what time of the year and your circumstances -- do u have kids? need a quad or some special accommodations?

I couldn't disagree more with the people insisting u book in advance. We do book in advance many & sometimes all of our nights, but there is nothing better than the serendipity of deciding at the last minute how long u want to stay or where u want to stay. Sometimes, we call or email ahead a night or 2 in advance when we know what we want to do.
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