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wnappier Jan 12th, 2010 07:45 AM

Do I need reservations in Germany and Austria in May?
We are going to Germany in mid to late May. We will be starting in Frankfurt, going to Bamberg, then down the romantic road to Fussen. In Austria we will be staying in Zell am See. Then over to Colmar and Strasbourg before going back to Frankfurt to fly back. We are renting a car.

Do you think we need reservations at this time of the year? Also, in your experience, do you get better prices just looking around or is it better, price wise, to reserve in advance? We like the idea of being able to go where the spirit moves us.

Russ Jan 12th, 2010 07:55 AM

Although you may hit the occasional trade show week when everything is booked or very pricey, you'll generallyfind somewhere to stay. However, you'll get better prices if you book in advance, as you can select from almost all options rather than those that you happpen to fall upon. Travelers tend to book the good-value places in advance. More importantly, booking in advance means you don't waste vacation time hunting down a place to stay - you can sightsee all day with the confidence that you'll have a bed that night, at a price you already have agreed to, no matter what hour you turn up.

quokka Jan 12th, 2010 08:56 AM

May 13 (Ascension) and May 24 (Whitmonday) are public holidays and many people make use of the long weekends to travel; besides, there are school holidays in some Federal States. That period is not as off-season as it may seem and popular places tend to be busy. I'd prebook at least for May 13-16 and for the Whitsunday weekend.

bdjtbenson Jan 12th, 2010 09:04 AM

As Russ said, except for trade shows, plenty should be available - especially hotels that cater to tourist rather than business travel.

If you're not picky, you can get great prices. If you absolutely need to stay in a particular hotel, you might as well book ahead.

I get really good prices booking on the day of arrival. If the place doesn't rent the room to me, it will be empty for the night.

I call ahead in the morning rather than show up. I guess the trick is to ensure the hotel understands you are inquiring about the availability/price of a room rather than calling to book. Your should first ask what they have that meets your needs. Your second question, if the first is answered to your satisfaction, is the price. If the price is good, book it.

If not, tell them it's more than you wanted to pay. They may offer something else or you may have to call somewhere else.

I make a list of acceptable lodging before I leave home and call from that list. I often call more than one place but I've never been left homeless.

cmeyer54 Jan 12th, 2010 09:31 AM

I'm a planner from the get go; I'd get on Venere, look at properties, read the recommendations and look at the maps/photos then book the room(s). That's just me - If you're not familiar with the town and don't know if you'll be arriving during the day or evening, I wouldn't chance it.

treplow Jan 12th, 2010 05:04 PM

Invest in a Red Guide Michelin for Deutschland at Boders or Barnes & Noble, or check it out at your library. It need niot be the latest edition; thgey don't change much from year to year. Anyhow, Prices are relative to other properties. The Guide gives you hotels with (reliable) ratings for many places, down to small resorts and spas. More impotantly, it give you the adress and contact phone/FAX number of the tourist office in each location. Generally, if you visitr the tourist office before around 16:00 hrs (4PM; the Germans go by military time) they can find soemthing for you that will fit your needs.

seafox Jan 12th, 2010 05:47 PM

I would book Strassbourg ahead - their may be a large convention and when that happens all rooms are booked.

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