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to book or not to book???

Travel Forums Round the World Travel to book or not to book???

1. Posted by madslater (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

hi there, i know this is a very broad question and may sound silly, but when planning a rtw trip what are peoples thoughts on pre booking hostels vs just turning up and hoping for a bed? any advice/experiences people have had regarding this would be much appriciated...

2. Posted by Sophia_uk (Full Member 48 posts) 6y

If you book beforehand you will pay over the odds and not get to see the room until you're there. I did this the first time I went and I paid about £15 for a night at a hotel in Delhi. When i got there, i discovered that there were hundreds of hotels and that for about £5 I could get a much better room.

3. Posted by hotelf (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

Quoting madslater

hi there, i know this is a very broad question and may sound silly, but when planning a rtw trip what are peoples thoughts on pre booking hostels vs just turning up and hoping for a bed? any advice/experiences people have had regarding this would be much appriciated...

Well as far as what I've experience I book a hotel in Australia I book and experienced that it is much better to book online fast and hassle free and variety of hotels are on stock. pre book much better you can find cheap hotels worldwide. :)

4. Posted by emilyemily (Budding Member 82 posts) 6y

It is certainly true that often times, hotels booked online are crap in person, so for the majority of your trip, don't even bother. Unless you're staying somewhere really remote, you'll be able to walk around and check out a couple different hotels before choosing one. Also take into consideration what are the high tourist seasons in the places you're staying and you may want to book ahead if you'll be there smack in the middle of the crowds (I.E. Showing up on Ko Pha Ngan island in Thailand inadvertently and unknowingly on the same day as the Full Moon Party because you're a dummy like me, good luck finding a hotel at all, no matter how much you look around). On the verso, if you're going in the middle of low-season, and you show up and see a hotel in person, it's likely that you'll be able to bargain a bit to get a (sometimes up to 50% off) better rate, something you can't do online. So I guess it really depends on the situation.

However, it is soooo nice to book a hotel for at least your first night in town after a long flight. Even if it's crap, (-snip-) it's still a place to lay your head if you're exhausted and saves you the trouble of having to walk around with your big pack in a jet-lagged state.

Good luck!

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

5. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 6y

It all depends where you are going, and when. The first time I booked a hostel ahead was in August, in Helsinki, Finland. As I was checking in, two separate couples came in, looking for a room- only to be turned away. So, if you are going somewhere during the peak tourist season, especially in Europe, you should book ahead. It's easy and simple to book online- some sites even accept PayPal.

On the other hand, in most parts of Asia- especially China- booking ahead IS a waste of time. You can always find a hotel room- you'll see plenty of touts at the airport or train station trying to get you to come to their hotels (negotiate hard!)

Emily is right, though: it's nice to have a place booked the first night, at least, after a 14 hour flight.

6. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

Never book a hostel in advance unless you know 100% that you're going to get there and no money is taken off you in advance (as well as a credit card number). If you've paid and you dont make it for whatever reason - then the result will almost certainly be the same as a missed Ryanair flight. They'll keep the cash and you wont have a bed that you've paid for.
I've haven't paid for a room in advance for years, since missing a flight to Amsterdam. I was lucky that they let me have the room the following night - but only because I could that prove my connecting flight let me down - and I'd stayed there before. Since then, I never book a hostel in advance unless its just name and date details - nothing else.