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Can I just turn up at a hostel without booking?

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Can I just turn up at a hostel without booking?

1. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Im going to visit several countries in South America pretty soon (Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia etc.) and i was wondering if anyone has any experience of travelling round these places.

Im not planning on having an Itinery, I just wanna hop on hop off buses wherever takes my fancy on the day, probably avoiding big cities where possible.

My question is this:-

Can I just turn up at a hostel in most towns/villages without booking?

for example if i was to turn up at 6 or 7 oclock in the evening in a town with no where to stay am i gonna have trouble booking into a place?

im talking about budget hotels and hostels here.

If anyone has any experience of this anywhere in the world id be grateful to hear their thoughts.

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 6420 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Any hotel / hostel with room should have no problem with you just turning up. All they want to do at the end of the day is fill their rooms :) The problem is if everywhere is booked out, then it could get troublesome.

It would seem that in those cases only the 5 star hotel around the corner has any room; either that or the bench down at the train station.

My guess is that it would be ok, but I myself would tend to book things ahead (usually the same day or day before) to avoid wasting time knocking on doors.

3. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Good idea to at least have the name of one guesthouse in mind when you arrive in any new town. There's sure to be others near by if that one is full.

4. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

yeah, I agree. And having a name for a hostels helps you with the hustlers who try to get you into their hotel/hostel. Just tell them you're staying at that place and that you've already paid (that used to work for me in Tunisia, they lost interest quite quickly after that.)

5. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

In Southamerica is highly unlikely you will find all the hostels booked fully but you should make sure you dont land in specific cities when they have certain holidays (especially the religious ones) but if anything, work your itinerary around them. People in South America are very friendly so I dont think you will have a problem finding a place even if everything is booked.
Remember, Southamerica is still third world. Not only can you turn up without booking but you can also bargain once you arrive. This is customary by the way. Good luck!