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1. Posted by Liosa (Budding Member 9 posts) 9y

just wondering if it was more advisable to book hostels on-line before you travel or wait until you get there???

2. Posted by camoraza (Budding Member 8 posts) 9y

it would be better to book them if you know for sure you will be going there (since they will usually keep some $$ just from booking, whether you end up staying there or not.) because otherwise it might be full and have no rooms when you get there. but it depends, which city do you have in mind?

3. Posted by Liosa (Budding Member 9 posts) 9y

i am going to go inter-railling, by myself. My mother is going mad as she does not think it is safe. I am trying to reassure her.

4. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

You should tell your mother all the ins and out. Show her that you know what you are talking about. Then she will fully understand and will accept the fact that is OK. Its all about communication.

5. Posted by camoraza (Budding Member 8 posts) 9y

wow! really great. i know an 18-year old costa rican girl who did that and it was a great experience for her, even though she really didn't know much about traveling in europe. it worked out for her, so don't be discouraged!

6. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

If you plan on going to any popular destinations in high season (like Paris in July), book in advance. Otherwise, you should save yourself the hassle (and in some cases, the money) of doing so.

7. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

If you get a gold membership through hostelworld (1 off $10 fee for 1 year), you can book your hostels in advance without the $2.00 booking fee. They'll still put a small 10% fee on to your credit card, but that is the 10% to guarentee your bed but that 10% comes off the total price you pay when you get to the hostel. It is probably a good idea to book a night in the place you are going to be arriving and if it is looking like it is getting very full in the area maybe book a bit more than a night. Booking online at least through hostelworld, usually will often save you money than if you just turn up and see if they have a vacancy.

On my first RTW trip I basically never booked in advance and only on one occasion I was left in a bit of a pickle when no hostel had vacancies, but on my latest trip about 75% of the time I booked at least one of the days stay in advance (just till I saw if the place was crap or good and if I could stand to stay at the place for the rest of my time in the city).

Good luck in explaining it to your mother, I went through that crap only I had to convince more than just my parents. Bad stuff can happen to you where you live, but unless you live in a war zone it isn't likely to happen, the same thing on the train it is slightly possible but chances are nothing bad will happen and you'll only have great things to write home about. Your mum will only want you to be happy and if safe, so if she knows that you are feeling excited at going away on your holiday, then hopefully she'll get over the standard mother thing. I know when my first RTW trip happened it was hard, but after she knew that their is no stopping me going away and I went things eased. Then when she was receiving emails and she could notice a change in the tone of my talk with how exciting life was away instead of how dead boring life is at home. Just tell them your mum that you will keep in touch regularly to keep her up to date with things. If she has an email address and checks it regularly, that is a good way to keep in contact regularly but with just the occasional call using a calling card.

Have a great trip.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 26, 2007, at 3:02 PM by aharrold45 ]

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

If you are interrailing - why are you booking hostels at all? Take night trains! They will save you lots of money and time.

if you have to book in advance - I myself prefer to call or reserve a bed a few days before I get to the city. Say, today I am in London and intend to go to Edinburgh tomorrow by the afternoon train, I'll pick a hostel in Edinburgh from my guidebook and give them a call in the evening to reserve a bed.

Interrailing and independent travel is all about freedom and the possibility for spotanous decision. If you book your full trip ahead, you loose this freedom.

9. Posted by angela_ (Respected Member 1732 posts) 9y

When I went interrailing 2 years ago I wasn't really sure where I would be going, so when I was ready to leave the place I was I just found an internet café and had a look at some hostels in the place I was going, if they were available (their websites often say) I wrote down the address of a few I liked and just went there..
I did get a HI membership card that was quite handy. HI hostels are very reliable, always clean but not always the most interesting hostels so it might be good to have a look at them if you get stuck for options.

10. Posted by nicojammes (Budding Member 26 posts) 9y

It really depends on when you are planning on traveling...If it is the high season you'd be better off at least ringing some hostels before hand as they might be full and then there's not much option left... Night trains are also a very good idea as you really do save a lot of money and you wake up in a new place.
When going to big cities or quite frequented areas i'd avise you to book in adavance though, but usually you can do it a few days before and it is enough!
I went interailing twice before and nothing bad has ever happened to me, just be sure to keep ur passport and money with you all the time and don't trust all the people you meet!
Anyway, I'm sure you'll have the time of your life!!!