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How far ahead of time do you book your hotels?

How far ahead of time do you book your hotels?

Old Jun 27th, 2007, 09:52 AM
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How far ahead of time do you book your hotels?

Especially Paris for next May. Also, Normandy, Brittany, Loire?

When I checked D'Aubusson last November for this past May (just being curious) they were already booked up.

I'm thinking of staying there even though it's about double my budget.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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If I know for sure the dates, if I know that there are available flights every day, if there is nothing to be paid in advance or if the cancelation terms allow to modify the dates or or even to cancel, I book early. For example, for our this May in Paris I booked in October (and then i did not make any change).

I am not sure that this is the best method, but I like to have all things prepared in advance.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 10:00 AM
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It's sometimes difficult to book more than 6 months out as many hotels don't open their reservations that far in advance. So they aren't already full up, they just aren't taking reservations yet. I book air and hotels 4-5 months in advance because I can't do 'late notice' overseas vacations at my job.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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Did you check the May availability again after the first of the year? I've found that "no vacancy" so far in advance often means they haven't started booking rooms that far out.

I would call, fax, or email the hotel and ask when they will start booking for next May. As for the countryside, it depends on the particular establishment. But I'd be surprised if you need to start before January for them.

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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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For this past May, I booked in January but felt I was a little too late. Not that I didn't get my choices but if I had it to do over again, I'd probably book no later than November.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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After I buy my airline tickets, which I do as far out as possible to ensure a lst class upgrade with frequent flyer miles, I begin my hotel bookings.

For my trip in September/October I was fully booked in January. Managed to get in some bookings before they went on holiday.

With all the help on this site, I knew where I wanted to stay in Honfleur, Bayeux, Dinan, St. Remy de Provence, Beaune, Paris, Brugge and Amsterdam.

Why wait?

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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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Usually, a couple months ahead of time. I finished booking my Swiss and Parisian hotels about mid-June for a trip the end of July/beg August. I book my Paris hotels about two months ahead of time, ideally, and have never had a hotel not have an available room that I've tried to book for the months of June-August doing that. I don't try to to stay in some of the most popular hotels, or ones mentioned in guidebooks a lot, though, so I'm sure that's why I don't have to book so far ahead.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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Thanks. I hadn't thought of the fact they just might not have been taking reservations yet.

Except for L'Chaine d'Or, I don't worry about the Normandy/Brittany hotels filling up too early.

When we booked for Provence 3 years ago, a lot of the places closed during the winter and wouldn't accept April bookings until January.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Hi H,

I just made reservations for my Paris hotel for May, 2008.

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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 10:45 AM
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When we get off the train.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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I made hotel reservations for our France and Denmark trip next month last August.

I have experienced at least two instances in which the hotel website would not accept a booking "this far out."

In both cases I called the hotel directly to confirm this and in both cases they agreed to make the reservation on the spot for the dates I wanted.

So, if there is a place you absolutely must stay in it can be helpful to speak directly to them.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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I booked last fall for this June and felt I got food deals - in Paris we stayed at Hotel Monge and it was perfect! and I am picky!
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 02:04 PM
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So Ira, are you staying at the Bonaparte?
I do remember walking past it. I just want to be closer to the river and I like the little jazz bar at night.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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I've always found great deals on hotels last minute...really, really last minute...if you can stomach the not-knowing! I booked a hotel in Rome last year on hotels.com from the AIRPORT in the US before boarding my flight That said...you have to check all the sites becasue they all have different deals...and it doesn't work with airlines and it doesn't work with vacation rentals...as I was saying on another thread about my vacation home...people always surprise me...asking about our availability for NEXT August already! I tried to book an apartment once in Venice about three weeks in advance (which is REALLY planning ahead for me!) and they laughed at me for even asking! (I ended up at a lovely 5* hotel for under $200/night instead that I found on octopustravel about a week or two before my trip - so all worked out well in the end!)
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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...it's about double my budget...

Why why why are you doing that? You have almost a year to find a good deal at a good hotel. Or do you have loads of euro just dripping out of your moneybelts? Lucky you!
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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I don't think there is any one general rule or guideline to follow.

If you want a particular hotel, then book it as early as you can firm up your travel dates.

If you go to a place where there is pressure on accommodation (e.g. Paris or Rome in the summer season), then book at least two months in advance.

If, like me, all you want is reasonable accommodation (2 or 3 star level), then booking at the last minute works well enough.

To relate my general points to hopingtotravel's question, and bearing in mind that May is not high season: I would book ahead for Paris; for Normandy, Brittany, or the Loire Valley, the most I do is phone ahead on the day I travel, and very often I simply turn up and hope for a room. It rarely fails, and there is always another place in convenient range if my preferred accommodation is full. I have yet to sleep in the car.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 06:42 PM
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Fidel, it's only for 3 nights. Last trip to Paris my husband was a bit underwhelmed with the room we had. All the rest of the rooms on the trip should run about 1/3 as much. No, not dripping with euros.

Padraig, I sort of had that feeling about the coastal areas so will wait on them.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 07:28 PM
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I book hotel rooms as far ahead as possible, which often means when the hotels will take reservations. For Paris in June and October, extremely high season, a year isn't too soon.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 09:20 PM
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I booked our Amsterdam hotel in October 2006 for our August 2007 stay. At that time, I got a very good, cancellable rate of 79 Euros per night. Now the cheapest cancellable rate works out to an average 109 Euros per night for the same time period and the same hotel.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 12:04 AM
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I've always figured out out top two or three and booked them as soon as we are sure we are going.
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