Do I need to make hotel reservations

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Jun 4th, 2004, 04:40 PM
  #1
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Do I need to make hotel reservations

I have never been to the east coast before (well, only NYC) but am driving from Boston to Quebec city and back from June 27 till July 9. We want to head towards Stowe, come back via New Hampshire and Maine. Do I need to make hotel reservations or can I try my luck when I find a town I like?
ozchick is offline  
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Jun 4th, 2004, 04:49 PM
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bonniebroad
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That time of year, I'd make reservations! Never hurts.........
 
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Jun 4th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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Here's a vote for no reservations. I think the spontaniety of the travel is well-worth the risk....
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Jun 4th, 2004, 05:27 PM
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GoTravel
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I'm all about spontaniety but not about sleeping in my car the busiest travel months in the US.
 
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Jun 4th, 2004, 05:31 PM
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to paraphrase my response in the original version of this thread, make multiple reservations along the route, just make sure you don't pay up front and you have the opportunity to cancel and do so as soon as you're certain where you'll end up
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Jun 4th, 2004, 06:41 PM
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Oh yeah, spontaniety is great--I love spending an hour driving from hotel to hotel trying to find a nice place for less than a fortune.

Every time we do it, we vow never to waste time on vacation that way.
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Jun 4th, 2004, 06:49 PM
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go to epic ski.com and see what people think. I do think that time should be wide open and there is something to be said for spontaniety with car travel vacations.
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Jun 4th, 2004, 06:52 PM
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Gee, bradk, how nice of you to make multiple reservations at the busiest time of the year and then cancel them at the last moment because you're not sure where you'll end up... So much for the hotel's business, as well as the people out there who are actually legitimately looking for a hotel room, and can't get one because you're holding all the bogus reservations.
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Jun 4th, 2004, 09:49 PM
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We live in New Hampshire and tour all over.

You will definitely need reservations July 4th weekend - even if you happen to be in Canada, as many Americans head there over that weekend. Note also that nearly all places will require a minimum three night stay, even if you are a walk-in (or you'll be charged an exhorbitant rate for one or two nights).

You could take your chances with your June dates, but I would not recommend it.

And, your July dates following July 4th are chancy as a plethora of folks go on vacation the first/second week of July.

If you really want to try your luck, it would help to have AAA Tour Guides for all those states/provinces (or similar guides) and a cell phone.

While you may or may not see "No Vacancy" signs all about, you may spend hours and hours finding a place to stay for the night that is suitable and favorably priced.

I would highly recommend getting MS Streets/Trips, or similar software, and mapping out your itinerary. I cannot imagine taking a road trip without it.

The best bet would be to figure out approximately where you will spend your overnights, then make reservations you can cancel by 6PM day of arrival in case your plans change (though this will not likely work for the July 4th weekend). And, this will limit you to larger cities/towns with chain hotel/motels. Independent establishments will have far less generous cancellation policies. Even so, you'd have a place to sleep within a reasonable vicinity if you are unable to try your luck when you find a town you like.

Note that, depending upon where you are in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, towns could be many miles apart, with few lodging opportunities. Except for the larger cities/towns, the front desk is not necessarily open late at night.

All the New England state visitors offices are anticipating a record summer season due to inquiries, high air fares, and dismal exchange rates (along with delightful Farmers Almanac weather predictions). I doubt skiers have any idea of occupancy/fill rates during summertime.

On a two-week road trip, checking in, unpacking, repacking, vacating your room by 11AM gets tiresome (especially the day you really would rather sleep late) early on.

With mapping software, you can select 5 or so well-located places for a 2-3 night stay each and explore each of those areas.

To us, three nights is optimal. On a two night stay - you drive there, check in, have dinner, go to bed. Then, you have one full day to explore, stay overnight, take off the next day for the following destination.

Without reservations, you may find a town you like, only to be unable to find a room. Whereupon you would have to continue on, perhaps for hours.

The coast of Maine will be mobbed July 4th weekend and after.

You may want to consider heading from Boston to Ogunquit/Kennebunkport or somewhere along the most southern coast of Maine, for a few nights, then the White Mountains of NH (Jackson to the east or Franconia to the west), then to Quebec City, then to Stowe, then to southeastern VT/southwestern NH (or Lake Winnipesaukee, NH, or even Williamstown, Lenox, Stockbridge, MA), then back to Boston.

The trick is to find good "base points" that are 4-6 hours apart to maximize the time you have to explore each area.

Here's a huge recommendation for "Best Loved Driving Tours", or something like that, for New England. With this, you can figure out ahead of time which destinations you will likely find most appealing.
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Jun 18th, 2004, 01:41 AM
  #10
 
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Your trip includes a holiday weekend. Reservations are a MUST, and may even be difficult with multi-night minimums not uncommon.
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Jun 18th, 2004, 03:18 AM
  #11
Dan
 
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Hotels LOVE "walk-in" guests. While some may offer you a cheaper rate just to fill the room, many will charge you full rate when you could get lower via an advance booking.
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Jun 18th, 2004, 05:06 AM
  #12
 
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Canadians will be on vacation, too. July 1 is a national holiday, Canada Day. Make reservations.
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Jun 18th, 2004, 05:18 AM
  #13
 
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We never used to make reservations until one time during the summer in Maine about 5 years ago when we couldn't find a room anywhere. We drove for hours until we finally found a yukky place next to a highway.

Another time, driving to inlaws through western NY, we started looking around Syracuse and didn't find a room until Erie PA. Those experiences made me make reservations! So much for spontaniety...
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