I have a quick question that I wanted to ask people's opinions on:
I am backpacking through Europe for the first time with a friend from march 20-may 1st of this year. We are starting in amsterdam, then France (paris, nice, cannes) Italy (milan, venice, cinque terre, florence, rome, sorrento, capri) Greece ( the islands: ios, mykonos, santorini, corfu) and then i may go to london for a few days before i go home.
my question is: is there a need to book hostels in advance for any/all of these places, given the time of year that we are travelling?
we have researched hostels and will be having a list of a number of hostels for each place we are in, and will most likely book a few days a head or just arrive that day.....we figured this gives us some flexibility.
Should we be booking more hostels in advance, like before we leave on our trip? I have been told that this is not a very busy "touristy" time in Europe so it should not be a huge problem, but I was wondering if anyone else had an opinion on this.
Thanks a lot!! :-)
Deary me! No need to book hostels. Day or two before is plenty. When I hosteled Europe I arrived and ambled but its actually a bit of hassle, nicer to know where you're going after getting off the bus/train. Use hostelworld.com I think its one of the best. You know exactly what to expect because of the ratings. And the directions are always clear. I've never been to the greek islands but as far as I've heard its pretty much the same as the rest of europe. Maaaaybe you'll want to book a three days in advance for sat night for the best hostel but something will always be available. Enjoy! Its great! I'd recommend Franks hostel in Riga, Latvia if you get a chance. Brilliant!
Most the time you should be fine without booking in advance, but I wouldn't risk it when you are going to Venice, because hostels are very expensive and after hostels the prices are rediculously expensive. If you stay in London, you should stay in Piccadilly Backpackers, that is a realy great hostel in a magnificent location but that is booked out in the cheapest rooms most the time. In Santorini I did not see many hostels at all, so it mightn't hurt to book at least one night before you arrive there. I'd assume the other Greek Islands would be the same.
On my first trip in Europe, all apart from Santorini I just turned up and found a place and all apart from Venice where I was forced to pay big amounts for a crappy hotel more like a hostel with a double bed. The last trip which concentrated more on the expensive places in Europe, I pre booked most places (went in the summer time). Over all at the time you are going you should be fine. On hostelworld if you are going to pre book more than 5 times, it would pay to get yourself a gold membership as it saves you a lot on those $2US booking fees.
Have a great trip.
I think it would be OK, to book them, just a few days in advance.
True, it is not heavy tourist season, so there will almost certainly be vacancies, in many of the hostels, if u just show up. But the problem with this is, if there are no vacancies, it would be a pain, to have to trudge around and find another hostel. U might be tired, and want to off load your back pack and relax in a bar. Also, having to go from hostel to hostel, looking for a bed often involves bus and subway costs.
thanks everyone for ur advice!
I think we are going to probably book a few hostels in advance and then just book as we go along. It sounds like we will be fine doing it that way!!