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May /June do we need to book accommodation in France and Italy?

May /June do we need to book accommodation in France and Italy?

Feb 5th, 2014, 12:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 353
May /June do we need to book accommodation in France and Italy?

Hi everyone,
There are four of us (adult friends) travelling in a lease car for 2 weeks from Lyon to Barcelona via Le Puy, Millau, Carcassone and Foix or similar. After leaving Barcelona we head through Provence to Cinque Terra.
We have booked accommodation in Lyon, Barcelona and near Monaco and in Monterosso CT but don't have a definite plan as we hope to stop and enjoy places as we feel the urge and be guided by the recommendations of fellow travellers.
I would love some guidance as to the availability of accommodation in May and June and possible amazing places to visit.
Should we have a definite itinerary?
Thanks for your thoughts
RosieinOz is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 02:43 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
What is your budget per room? Or are you going to try two find rooms for 4?

If you have generous busgets you may be able to travel without reservations (although I would never do it) but I would at least hae info on places you would like to stay so you don;t spend hours each day finding a place to stay.

If you have a strict budget and require specific amenities I would reserve in advance.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 04:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,962
At most places it's easy to book just a few hrs in advance, either via a booking engine like booking.com or by phone (if you speak French).
neckervd is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 04:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
The only times we have travelled without reservations we have had to spend too much time looking for hotels once we decided to stop in a town. We love nice hotels and don't enjoy the stress of taking chances. We normally travel in May or Sept./Oct. I would have a list of hotels and phone numbers for towns you might stay in so that you can reserve early in the day before you stop.
mamcalice is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 06:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,812
You don't necessarily need a definite itinerary. I would recommend looking up hotel availabilities picture now and before your trip at potential locations to avoid surprises. If there are big conventions, sports events, etc, hotel availability plummets and the price skyrockets.
greg is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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I agree with neckervd, in is generally easy enough to find hotels at that time of year.
You could decide the evening or two before where you want to spend the next night and search on line then for a place, if you prefer some security.
hetismij2 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 06:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,511
I've never had problems in Italy or France in May or June outside the main tourist centres. Often on bicycles, it has seldom required me to knock on more than one door to find a place. Tourist Info is hard to put my trust in as 1) you have to find the d**n place and 2) they have to be open/not having coffee/a slanging match with each other

On a bike you do not know where you are going to end up so I often give myself some ideas of places I might end up, I sometimes book the morning before at breakfast using the web aroiund weekends when top spots just fill up.
bilboburgler is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 268
Agree with Bilboburgler. We have been several times through Europe in August and September ( no car, just on bikes) and just use bookings.com the night before we want to stay somewhere.bookings.com is great because you don't actually pay until after the stay so you have some leeway if you want a different room, higher room, larger etc once you get to hotel. Always ask to see the room first!
snowgirls is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,086
Here's the thing. Pre-booking locks you in to a large degree while winging it leaves you free to do as you please each and every day. I wouldn't even pre-book the things you have booked.

Take Monerossa in the CQ for example. You could well arrive and discover you don't want to stay there. The CQ is not what it was 25-30 year ago. Now it's just another tourist trap.

So suppose you get there, say, 'hmmm, this is not quite what we expected it to be. Let's move on'. Then you make the more intelligent decision to stay in Portovenere just down the coast. A pain with pre-booked accommodation, a simple decision without.

I rarely pre-book anything. The only two times are if I will arrive late in a strange place, I may pre-book a room for that first night. The other reason is if I am returing to a known place and have a favourite place to stay. For 90% of my travels however, nothing is pre-booked expect that first flight from A to B.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 10:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 353
RosieinOz is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
It very much depends on what you expect in accommodation and how muchyou are wiling to spend.

If you are flexible about where you stay and specific amenities it may not be difficult unless you run into s special event.

If there are things you MUST have - like AC, Elevator, private bath etc - at a low budget - then you have probably lost options to those who reserved weeks ahead.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,600
I do not think that you'll have problems in Le Puy, Carcassonne or Foix. But if you want a very nice overnight experience located between Lyon and le Puy, try http://auberge-pre-bossu.com/anglais/accueil.php in Moudeyres. Reservations would be necessary. The village also has a farmhouse that is now a museum.
Michael is online now  
Feb 5th, 2014, 01:59 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,227
I agree with dulciusexasperis. We only ever book our first location after flying in to a country, or if there is a particular hotel we really want to stay in. Otherwise decide on a place to stay at by mid-afternoon if possible, and call in to the tourist information office for assistance or simply find something en route. We rarely have any problem doing it this way, and we love the flexibility that it gives us. As has been said, there have been times when a town we thought we would stay at has not appealed when we got there - it's good to be free to move on when that happens!
twoflower is offline  
Feb 5th, 2014, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 85
We've traveled throughout Europe in June and July with few or no reservations and done just fine. We don't require high end (though A/C is always high on my list) but neither do we go real low budget. In high season we may not always get our first choice, we do always get something perfectly acceptable. The trade-off is the freedom to do what we want whenever we want. We usually only book our first night on the continent and our last night near the airport from which we are flying out.
Lady1 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2014, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,086
"Tourists don't know where they've been, travellers don't know where they're going."

Paul Theroux.

Some people have trouble understanding what Theroux meant by that.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 03:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 353
Thanks guys great comment!
We have booked some of the busiest tourist centres but with a cancellation option 48 hours before on most .
Good to know May June would be ok probably concerned by the fact there are 4 of us so 2 rooms or a 2 bedroom apartment needed. We are not wanting to sleep on sofa beds!
We haven't booked the 12 days Lyon to Barccelona and Provence so we'll see how that goes.
Thanks again for the help
Ps wise words from Theroux!
RosieinOz is offline  

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