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Jill Oct 19th, 2000 03:34 PM

Should I start booking hotels for March 2001 trip now?
Okay - the flight is booked and I'm happy with my itinerary... Should I start booking my hotels now? Any danger of booking so early that they loose my reservation. I intend to book mainly with hotels/inns where I can get an E-mail confirmation. With all the reviews in this forum, my travel guides, and related net sites, I feel up to the task. Any words of caution from those of you who have booked your own lodgings in the past? I will be booking hotels in Normandy, Loire, Burgundy and Paris - if that makes any difference. Thanks!

KT Oct 19th, 2000 03:41 PM

One word of cuation: You should specify the number of nights as well as the actual dates. That way, there's no confusion over whether arriving March 1 and departing March 5 means four nights (which it actually does) or five nights.

Nano Oct 19th, 2000 05:21 PM

Jill, <BR>I did it in reverse. I booked my "villa" in Dordogne and my hotel (Champ de Mars) in Paris for June/July 2001, but not my flight yet. I was afraid to book a flight too early, thinking that the price might go way down in the intervening months.

nickie Oct 19th, 2000 08:03 PM

Remember how the Europeans write their dates, first day, then month, then year (so today would be 19-10-00). Obviously not a problem today, but it sure could be - a friend of mine arrived thinking they had a September reservation, when the lodging had written them down for a May!

Donna Oct 20th, 2000 04:10 AM

I just made all my reservations for June/July 2001. I am using frequent flier miles so I had to book my air early. <BR> <BR>I did all my reservations by fax or e-mail. To be sure that there was no mixup in dates I wrote out the dates such as: arriving June 30th, staying for 4 nights departing July 4th. <BR> <BR>I have my confirmations, and will reconfirm them with the hotels sometime in the spring. <BR> <BR>One hotel, La Calcina in Venice already had a number of rooms booked for July next year, so I guess it's never too early. <BR> <BR>Enjoy. <BR> <BR>Donna

Patrick Oct 20th, 2000 04:47 AM

I've posted a similar response before, but for this summer's 5 month European trip I booked most of the 52 hotels last November. It is a good idea to email or fax them again closer to time you go just to reconfirm however. We arrived once at a hotel in Amboise with faxed confirmation in hand. They didn't have our reservation and when they looked at my confirmation said, "Oh that was made almost a year ago, we don't keep our records that long!" Can you believe it? I have also found that sometimes you get a better rate this far ahead -- a few rooms at special prices, or prices quoted in 2000 rates that they will honor even after the rates go up in 2001. Also many European hotels book your actual room at the time of reservation so you are more likely to get a special request when you book early -- room with balcony, larger bathroom, room facing the lake or mountain, etc.

Paige Oct 20th, 2000 04:52 AM

I often book hotels 6 months in advance. Obviously, getting a fax or e-mail confirmation is a good thing. I usually call a few months before our arrival and make sure everything's still ok, then to be even more compulsive, I call a day or 2 before as well. So far I haven't had any problems. It definitely helps in getting your 1st choice!

Annie Oct 20th, 2000 05:56 AM

Hi Jill: <BR>I never think it is too early! I booked the hotel for Amsterdam in May, 2001 last month. (maybe a bit too organized???) I am still checking every so often to see if the price goes down. I got an Email confirmation immediately. I also asked for a mailed confirmation which I received within a week of the booking. I will also be calling one month and then again one week before I arrive. Too much? Maybe, I don't want to be surprised when I get there. <BR>One word of advice. Remember that you will be on a overnight flight so you flight date and check in date will be different. Easy mistake. <BR>Listen to the other posters here. They will give you excellent first hand experiences. Have a great trip!

Patrick Oct 20th, 2000 06:18 AM

One more thought. We did catch a potential problem on a last minute reconfirmation in Greece this summer. Seems they had posted by June date as a January date -- not sure what the Greek words are for those months. So it is good to use both names of months and the numerical months.

Lori Oct 20th, 2000 06:29 AM

It's never to early to start booking hotels. Especially if there is a specific hotel you want to stay in. PS I just returned from Burgundy and will be more than happy to help if you have any questions. Post here.

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