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To reserve or not to reserve...

Travel Forums Europe To reserve or not to reserve...

1. Posted by g0ldeneye (Budding Member 4 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I am travelling Europe for two and a half weeks, starting August 14th. I have a round trip ticket to Amsterdam, and I have only booked my hostels there so far. I plan on travelling to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria as well but have not booked any hotels, hostels, or rooms yet because for all I know, by entire itinerary could change the first day in Amsterdam. However, I do not want to end up without a place to stay during my visits to Zurich, Innsbruck & Tyrol, Munich, and Vienna. I am on a tight budget which is why making cheap ahead-of-time reservations make sense. If I don't reserve, making last minute reservations are going to probably wipe out my bank account because of the short notice fee everyone charges.

Does anyone have any suggestions about reserving ahead of time, or should I just wing it? I found a really cool site where you can rent people's rooms and even entire apartments & houses, but they too have reservation calendars which don't look promising as far as last minute reservations go. If I reserve I might feel rushed to get somewhere, if I don't, I might end up broke and sleeping on the streets until my return flight.

You can see my dilemma here. I would appreciate any suggestions or insight.


2. Posted by Thamin (Budding Member 9 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Dan, iam too with same feeling of yours and would be watching your above thread and pples response as im too a new born baby planed to travel this part of the region by sep 13..with no idea yet...please update or message too the attracted places of your visit..
Thanks and wish u a pleasure trip..

3. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1388 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

It's a question that pops up every time, and basically my advice would be to do what you feel works best for you. As nowadays you have the possibility to book ahead one of two days in advance by internet, you can still make reservation before going to the next city.

I myself just don't want to think about having to make reservation on the way, as I want to travel relaxed, not having to think about having to make reservations, or going to a city without having one, other find it part of the trip and feel more relaxed knowing they can stay in one place longer when they feel like it.

However for Amsterdam and Vienna, I would make my reservation ahead anyway, as in my opinion good and cheap options are limited in these places. Not so sure about Zürich, as the whole of Switzerland is expensive at this moment, compared to countries in the Eurozone.

4. Posted by g0ldeneye (Budding Member 4 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the help Herr Bert, I will take your advice. I am booking the MAIN places I want to see but leaving some time in between to be spontaneous. Quick question, it's obvious renting rooms ahead of time is a smart thing to be sure I have a place to sleep, but what about reserving/purchasing train tickets ahead of time. Are they (tickets/seats) something that run out (fills up) too? For example, if I leave Amsterdam and go to Kaiserslautern (to see a friend), is it safe to assume there will always be a train seat available? Living in the U.S., I can't imaging a foreigner reserving a train from Seattle to Portland -- there will most likely always be a seat. Should I be booking my rooms AND train tickets to be safe, or are room reservations enough? Do trains actually/ever fill up?

Thanks Herr Bert (and anyone else who replies)

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Aug-2012, at 16:59 by g0ldeneye ]

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5087 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

g0ldeneye: This time of year, especially on Fridays/Saturdays, you can expect ICEs to be booked near solid in that direction. You can still generally find a place to sit on individual stretches (for example if you see on the little display that a seat isn't reserved until Arnhem, that means you could sit there from Amsterdam to Arnhem), but on the whole it's worth booking a seat (of course, for the ICE you really want to book a few weeks in advance anyway, otherwise tickets aren't really affordable anymore; looking two weeks ahead (at, I see ICE "sparangebote" tickets for €59/€69, versus €110-€130 for regular ICE prices).
On all other types of trains, you should be fine (even during rush hour the trains are currently pretty empty, due to everyone being off vacationing). Those other trains just take a friggin' eternity to get that far south.

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Aug-2012, at 23:51 by Sander ]