In all my travels I have always booked in advance the accomodation. That gives me a bit of a sense of safety: I know that I have a place to sleep and I how much it costs. The bad thing is that I cannot change the schedule and improvise along the way, staying longer in a place I liked or going anywhere not planned.
For these last reasons I am starting to think in not booking the hotels for my next travel. But there is a question I have in my mind, a curiosity I just don't happen to know:
Is it cheaper or more expensive to book or not to book?
And by the way, I want to ask you what do you prefer: to book or no to book?
In my experience, booking hotels in advance saves money, especially for some 4-star hotels and higer-star ones in big cities.
I think it's necessary to make a rough schedule before traveling. Determine the destinations and choose the biggest city of them as the arriving and departing sites. Then, reserve a hotel there in advance. That helps for making the travel easy but not lax.
Always a good debate, this one. Its normally split down the middle (which I suppose is no help to you, as it cancels out the yes or no).
I personally 'Never' (anymore ! !) book a room in advance, for two reasons..
1.. If I miss my flight or it's or badly delayed, and I lose the room, then I'll probably lose the cash Ive paid - generally.
2.. Ive booked in advance before, after seeing the glossy pictures, only to find a stinking matress and food that I wouldnt feed to someone elses dog.
I like turning up in a city and getting a local bus into town, then finding a room. Sure, if the flight gets in at 3am or something daft like that, then - well, I wouldnt personally bother with a room at that time of the night anyway. I'd sit on a seat in the airport for a few hours, or see if I can jump on a night train somewhere thats passing through shortly and close-by. That way I get to sleep and it costs just the fare and not the cost of a bed.
It always brings good chat to the forum though.
It depends on several things - no one answer can solve the dilemma. How well do you know the destination? How much time do you have to hunt down a room? Are you traveling alone? Are you trying to save a buck? Do you value the adventure of the hunt? Are you an old fart or not? Who's paying, you or the boss? I do it both ways, and it also depends on demand (holidays, popularity of destination, etc.)
[ Edit: Edited on 23-Jun-2010, at 16:56 by Daawgon ]
I always like to book the first night in a destination- after that, I generally don't book ahead, unless it's the peak tourist season there, and it's a very popular place.
Think of it like making a reservation at a restaurant- if you are going to a popular, ritzy place, you may have to make a reservation. If you are going to Pizza Hut, you don't need to.
yes, I aslo think that you should book hotels in advance. Sometimes hotel staff will guide you some tips via email.
There are some steps that i will do:
-Search on tripadvisor about hotel in destination you want, if this hotel is good by almost people who used stay. You can search on google about this hotel or maybe you can try to book via some hotel reservation such as agoda.com,booking.com,expedia.com...........
- You just book 1 day in advance, but sometimes hotel runs promotion for stay longer,get discount,you can join with this promotion.
And then if you want to stay longer,you can talk with hotel.Don't lose much money or waste of money even you don't spend it.
Like Madpoet, I definitely prefer having the first night booked. But it also depends on where we are going, if it is somewhere remote-ish then I like to be sure of having somewhere to sleep, but if it is a city then I'm more prepared to wing it... and even with small children, we have turned up in a city and found somewhere to sleep... aaah the beauty of wifi!
alot of people search hotel before they go,. They have a list of hotels. Then they walk around and find the best hotel with them. I think it is ok for low season.
But for high season, we should book early.
I always book night no 1 and then play it by ear. If i am only away for a few days i dont want to waste time searching for a place to stay, but if i am travelling around it is all part of the adventure!
The only way I wouldn't book ahead is if I already had a list of at least three places to try when I get there. On a tight budget, I can only imagine walking with my luggage for hours trying to find a place I could afford, only to give up and pay more than I wanted. When I was in Cinque Terre, three backpackers in my hostel couldn't move on to the next place because of a train strike. Our hostel was booked and couldn't take them (and they wouldn't let the boys sleep in our girl's room, lol) so they wandered around town with their backpacks on looking for a room. Luckily, they ran into some Canadian girls renting a house who offered them a place to crash for the night, otherwise they were thinking they were sleeping outside.
I would love to be able to just drop into a city and stay at the first place I thought looked interesting regardless of cost!