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Would you go to Europe without hotel reservations?

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May 17th, 2006, 08:30 AM
  #1
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Would you go to Europe without hotel reservations?

me, NEVER !!!!
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May 17th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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First it was wearing a Canadian flag and now no hotel reservations....tell me where I can get decent food just off the motorways in Britain or should I post a message saying, "Would you eat any food just off the motorways in GB"???
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May 17th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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When I was growing up, my family took the typical car trips around the country and we never had reservations, so that is how I thought one should travel. On my first trip to Europe, we had reservations at one special place, but had no reservations for Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels or London. We certainly found places to stay (except in Amsterdam where we left because we couldn't find a hotel), but there was something wrong with each of them and the place in London was so bad we moved after one night. I wouldn't repeat it.
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May 17th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Yes and No. For trips to Ireland, Austria, France and Switzerland, I booked a hotel for the city where I landed (Dublin, Paris, Vienna). Once I toured that city, rented car and off I went. For Ireland, when arrived at day's end town, went to tourist bureau and had them find us a B&B, and occasionally for the next town. For France, Austria and Switzerland, wherever ended the day, looked for place. Never slept in the car. All of these trips were summer/fall. I had guidebooks, so that helped. My philosophy is to have a place when I land, after that I'm OK.
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May 17th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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The first night is a must. After that, is a choice.
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May 17th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Intrepid1
Do you have an issue?
These are legit questions. On another thread someone was talking about going without reservations. I wondered if anyone has and what happened? I am sorry if you dont like my question.
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May 17th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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Sorry, Jando..no offense meant.
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May 17th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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No!!
Two years ago when we were at Lake Como (Heaven on earth) we sat next to a couple at dinner who didn't make reservations and the only rooms that were available didn't have lake views. Looking out over the lake from our room was a big part of why we loved Lake Como so much. I have a photo of the view hanging above my desk at work and it immediately transports me back to that glorious spot.
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May 17th, 2006, 08:55 AM
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No; why spend precious time looking around for a place to stay?
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May 17th, 2006, 08:56 AM
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accepted...
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May 17th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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In my 20s/30s, yes I did, and had no qualms or problems. All hotels I stayed in were adequate for my budget at the time, generally nothing special although the odd one stands out in memory...

First trip was Belgium, mostly travelling in the Ardennes region to the east of Antwerp, and Amsterdam. For about a week, at a different place in a different town each night, 2 nights in A'dam.

A few years later Paris in April - actually over Easter weekend. We had one room in Montmartre for a night, then moved (because we only had it for one night, but that was actually quite a relief!) to the 5th for the next 2 nights - much better.

I've also travelled in the UK and found somewhere to stay wherever I ended up at the end of the day, just as Michel says.

But this was before I had a computer, internet access, or even knew how to use a computer!!

The last few years - especially since discovering Fodors! - I find I like to research ahead and book, but it wouldn't bother me particularly now if I hadn't. There's almost always somewhere (unless, for example, Paris tonight because of the massive European Champions League Final, when the city will be chock full of Arsenal and Barcelona fans (football/soccer), or some other major sporting event.)

I would definitely prefer to have something booked if I was arriving in a city in the evening. I would not want to be trailing luggage around looking for a hotel much after 6pm.
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May 17th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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I wouldn't since part of the fun for me is the planning. Wandering around looking for restaurants is also part of the fun and we rarely make reservations for those.
When I was 19 and doing the backpack thing with friends, we did that. My daughter is doing something similar right now, but with the internet, she's booking hostels in advance of her travels. I suspect I would have done the same if that had been available back then.
All depends on your sense of adventure - different things work for different people. I like knowing where I'm sleeping.
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May 17th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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We have reservations only for the first night, so we can tell the airline where to send our lost luggage when they find it. After that we are fancy free and have never had a problem finding a room.

How often have we arrived at a "must see" to look around and think this is not where we want to be, and headed out for another village, if we have reserved everything ahead we would not
have that flexibility.

Since even with reservations, you may end up in a lousy room, I don't think being stuck to a schedule would make any difference on that score.
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May 17th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Sure, I would. I've done it many times. My first trip to Europe, 6 weeks, no reservations for any place. Depended on a guide book, advice from other travellers and local tourist offices, and a tout in Rome, with no difficulties.

More recently, I've arrived 3 times in London without reservations, also Carlisle twice, Newcastle, York, Cardiff, Cheriton and Bath. The only one that was scary was Bath, when we saw the length of the queue at the accommodations desk at the TIC. But we got a very nice place, at a price only slightly higher than we would have liked to pay.
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May 17th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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We've done it lots of times, and it's been fine. However, these were not prime travel areas and were not in peak season and we were usually only planning a one night stay. On the other hand, it does take time to look for a place. I do like the possibility of being able to stay or leave depending on how the spirit moves me. We, however, are not terribly picky about lodging as some others here are.

On the other hand, most of our recent trips have been pre-booked because we have started to use more of the base within an area system using it is a hub to operate out of. Also, if there is some truly special place I really want to stay, I'll pre-book.
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May 17th, 2006, 09:04 AM
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I agree with Underhill. Besides, I am a little bit compulsive so I personally don't feel right unless I have places already arranged. But whatever works for each individual is the correct way, I think.
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May 17th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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I wouldn't even consider it. As someone else said, I like the fun of planning, including the places I'll be staying. It's not that I like fancy places, but I do like finding that perfect place within my price range.

I also wouldn't like the stress of not knowing where I'm staying the next night. Nor would I enjoy wasting precious travelling time lining up for or otherwise searching out accomodations.
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May 17th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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I did once, years ago staying in paris two days and down to Provence through Burgundy.
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May 17th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Janda et al:
Time for a bit of rusty nostalgia...back in the old days (50's, 60's and earlier 70's..traveling in Europe or anywhere else without reservations was de rigeur for many of us..no problem..most Americans weren't rushing to Europe in those days...several times, we made a reservation for the first stop and the last stops, but nothing in between. More often than not, we would be the only guest in a smaller ba nd b in UK or Ireland, for example...especially traveling in spring, winter of fall (which we mainly did). Looking back, it was rather exciting, never kowing whre you'd end up for the night. We stayed in some super-lovely places..and at that time, the rates were so reasonable, rarely having to spend more than $50 for lodgings that today would fetch over $200+. In the 80's, getting older and slightly less adventurous, we began to make reservations for most of the trip and also learned to like the secure feeling of it all. Starting in the 90's, we went to the reservation bit from the beginning to the end of every trip...no more stopping at the Big "I" (Tourist Information). We learned to like the feeling more and more. We now make reseravtions months in advance to get the comfortable lodgings we desire ...still managing to stay in the under $200 categories, averaging closer to $130, I believe...our Top Ten List (everchanging)we share with dozens of friends and relatives...

Stu T.
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May 17th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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DH and I went to Italy for 2 weeks and the only reservation we had was for the first night in Rome. WE had no problems finding rooms for the rest of the 2 weeks.
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