Can of you guys could give me your opinions, advise etc.
Im off to Asia (Inc India and Japan) for 6 Months then to South America for about 5 Months. Do most travellers book in advance before they leave or before they reach their next destination, or is it better to just set off and just book in at random hostels as i go?
I thought i would just turn up to hostels as i travel without pre booking seeing as im not really that organized of a person.
I very rarely book hotels in advance. In fact, I really hate doing so. In the last couple years, when I've taken shorter trips (2 weeks or less), I have booked a few hotels in advance just because I don't want to waste the time searching for hotels. When I fly into a major city for the first time, I often book the first in advance, because even for the most experienced traveler, a city like Delhi, Lima, or even Tokyo can be quite daunting when you don't know where you're going. Booking in advance eases your mind a bit, and sometimes you can even arrange airport transport with them if you want.
However, in general, when I'm taking a longer trip, especially one of several months, I never book in advance after the first night. I find that it's usually cheaper, as you can often bargain for a better deal, you get to actually check out the hotel before hand and decide if you want to stay there (websites always make a place look good), and oddly enough, I actually enjoy the challenge of looking around for the best spot in town.
Most of the time, cities of interest to travelers in Asia and SA will have one area of town with a concentration of hotels. So it's not usually a problem to look around at a few spots before you decide where to stay.
Having said all that, you might want to consider booking in advance in Japan. I say this because hotels are very expensive, and you don't want to get stuck having to pay a full price because all the cheap hostels are booked up. If you find a decent place for a good price online, I would take it. The rest of Asia is so cheap that it's a very very rare occasion that you can't find a place in your price range when you show up.
I wouldn't book in advance for the simple reason that it doesn't seem like you have everything else planned out. It will allow you to be more flexible. For example, if you get somewhere and decide you want to spend a few more days than you had originally planned, you have nothing holding you back from doing so.
To be honest i did have a plan for my trip.....To not have alot of plans Just wasn't sure if i could just turn up to hostels and book in for the night.
Im only in Japan for a couple of weeks so i'll prob book all the hostels before i leave!