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Can we wing it? Impromptu accomodations in Sept

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Jan 26th, 2005, 08:03 PM
  #1
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Can we wing it? Impromptu accomodations in Sept

My husband and I are going to Italy the last two weeks of September this year. We will be taking our two small children, ages 5 and 8 with us.

We would like to leave a large portion of our itinerary open to explore Tuscany by car. Will it be possible to find sleeping accomodations as we go or is this a bad idea?

Any suggestions on family accomodations would also be helpful. Thanks!
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Jan 26th, 2005, 08:20 PM
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Ten years ago we found accomodations everywhere, but not always the ideal ones and it was not always easy. I would suggest using a couple of bases obtained through reservations and then driving from those bases to whatever towns you wish to explore.
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Jan 26th, 2005, 08:22 PM
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I forgot to add that this was in late October. I do not imagine that September would be any easier.
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Jan 26th, 2005, 08:38 PM
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With the two kids you are complicating the accomodation issue even more. Why not do a little research and get a good idea of where you want to go? As mentioned pick one or two bases (maybe one north and one south) and prebook, rather than spend time running around checking on places to stay. There are much better uses of your time. Tuscany is not really all that big. You can go from place to place, but do you really want to keep packing up and moving to another place every day or two?
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Jan 26th, 2005, 09:05 PM
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rex
 
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All the people who provide and receive advice on this forum will thank you for NOT making reservations in advance - - you won't be competing with "us" for the accommodations with the best locations, the best features and the best rates that "we" snarf up by making reservations in advance. We appreciate your settling for the places in the less ideal locations, with the crummier features, at the higher rates.

Cynical of me to say it this way - - but I think you get what I'm trying to say....

Best wishes,

Rex
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Jan 26th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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Thanks Rex for saying what I'm always thinking about saying, but never do.

But I suspect by the wording "night" uses -- "possible to find sleeping accomodations", he really isn't looking for anything special at all, which means it will be possible to find that.
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Jan 26th, 2005, 09:24 PM
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Rex, yours is exactly the response I was afraid of... or looking for. I do usually plan my trips well in advance. However, when I was planning my trip to France last year, I came across several posts in this forum saying that accommodations in rural France were easy to come by after the summer rush. I will take from your post that the same cannot be said of the Italian countryside. Thank you for your honesty.
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Jan 26th, 2005, 09:58 PM
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I'm not saying that you won't have success at finding "the accommodations with the best locations, the best features and the best rates" at the last minute - - but simple economic common sense makes it unlikely. If they really are the best, they go first - - unless an area is just not all that tourism-flush, there are always other "providers" willing to sell an "inferior product", in an inferior location at a higher price, simply because deamnd allows it.

September in Italy (especuially Tuscany) is hardly free from being "tourism-flush".
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Jan 26th, 2005, 11:31 PM
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If you were traveling alone or just a couple then you could probably manage just fine.

But quad rooms are hard enough to find even when you do plan far ahead and schlepping tired kids around trying to finds a place to stay could be a problem.

Not that it couldn't work out OK - but with little ones in tow I'd personally want to have most of my rooms booked ahead of time.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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With a car and young children, I'd book a self-catering apartment/cottage for the two weeks and just make daytrips. Or one week each in different parts of Tuscany to cut down on driving. You will appreciate having a base and and a fridge and a kettle, even if you choose to dine out most days.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 05:06 AM
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Imagine it's getting dark and you've had a great day, but everywhere you stop they say "full". Now what?
You may find yourself spending way too much time looking for something (as opposed to enjoying your days)or find only places that no one else wants.
Rex put it well. After all, I expect to be in Tuscany in Sept. as well. I surely don't want you to take my room.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 05:21 AM
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ira
 
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Hi night,

Good advice above.

Keep in mind that many of the places you will be staying are small and will fill up quickly.

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Jan 27th, 2005, 05:21 AM
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PS,

Sept is still high season in Italy.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 05:38 AM
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If it was the two of you and you were adventuresome, fine. But, I can't imagine winging it with two small children in tow!
And, as Ira pointed out, September is still high season.....and perhaps the best month of the year to visit Tuscany, weatherwise. Yes, they'll be competition for accommodations.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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... just a shot here but when is the vine harvest in Tuscany? Won't that cause a rush of "tourists"?

I'd get an apartment or an agritourismo and venture out from there. Particularly with children in tow. I remember being about 8 and stuck in a car...I gave new meaning to the phrase "are we there yet"...
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Jan 27th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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I have to respectfully disagree with Patrick and Rex. We have travelled to Italy for the past 15 years..only for a few years did we have children in tow..and that does make it a little more difficult. We have never had a problem, but you have to be open to different kinds of accomodation. Some nights we stay in cheap B and B's or motels and other nights we often find the best room in an excellent hotel at great rates. We like the freedom of going where we please ..when we please. Just depends on your comfort level. We also make some bookings ahead of time..first night.. last night..and maybe one or two in the middle.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 07:21 AM
  #17
rex
 
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<<you have to be open to different kinds of accomodation>>

as I said...

"We appreciate your settling for the places in the less ideal locations, with the crummier features, at the higher rates."

I am not sure over what we are disagreeing.

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Jan 27th, 2005, 07:42 AM
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Hi Rex. Often premier locations..not crummy..and not high rates because we often arrive late afternoon and have received wonderful rates on top rooms because they would otherwise go empty. that is not to say that on occasion we have stayed at motels outside town..but that has been rare..but you do have to be willing or happy for that to happen.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 07:54 AM
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rex
 
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<<Often premier locations..not crummy..and not high rates because we often arrive late afternoon and have received wonderful rates on top rooms because they would otherwise go empty.>>

I'm not disputing that this CAN happen.

But I just don't see how it can be denied... searching before a trip - - "letting your fingers do the walking", as the old expression used to go... for most people, in most situations, will yield better locations in nicer places at better rates... than a briefer, impromptu, on-the-ground search at the end of the day. And pre-booking eats up NO trip time.

Re-read my cynical response. I truly am happy that there are people not competing for the rooms I am seeking to book, weeks in advance. And equally happy for them that they get some rooms at clearance prices, or in locations that look far more picture-perfect (than a place they might otherwise have booked)... because they stumble upon them in that brilliant golden sunset.

No doubt that good (and bad) bookings happen in all kinds of situations.
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Jan 27th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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When we were in Siena in May of 2001 in a reasonable, "popular" hotel, they were already filling up for Oct. of that year, for whatever it's worth.
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