The town is packed, you don't have a reservation, and night is quickly approaching. What are your emergency room-finding tricks?
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Follwed Ricks advise and stayed at the Hotel Garda in Milan. Friendly, clean and so convenient. Thanks for the suggestion. Don't miss museums at the Castle Sforza. We are living in Italy for a year.
Livorno, LI Italy 11/20/2012
Taking advantage of travel professionals and industry insiders
Utilize travel groups and travel professionals that specialize in certain areas. They usually have the best access and rates to unique accommodations. For example, we belong to a travel club for singles and solo travelers--Whenever doing our own trip we always ask the clubs organizer if they have good hotels in the specific country and often get us in the loop on the best off the path places that are harder to find on your own! If interested you can join the travel club its free and we love it: http://singlesbythebaytravel.com/
Phoenix, AZ USA 11/12/2012
I always rely on Rick's recommendations. If I run into a problem however, I address it quickly. This means a room switch or new hotel hunt. Remember, if you switch to a different hotel and have the receipt, you are in a better position to convince your credit card company to deny charges. Never pay for a room in advance!
Seattle, Wa USA 07/03/2012
Who would the B & Bs recommend??
Had your heart set on a B & B but it's full? Or you're not sure they can accommodate you? First, write/email B & Bs in advance for availability, making sure to ask about special offers, cuts for cash payments, and cuts for Rick Steve's readers. Then ALSO ask if they can recommend another B & B if they are full. This is a great--my spouse and I learned of a brand new B & B in Italy this way that was lovely that wasn't on our radar--and because I was able to say, "so and so recommended" we got a pretty amazing deal.
Columbia, MO USA 05/12/2012
Great accomodations in Sighisoara
We used a number of resources in advance of our trip. Trip advisor, Rick Steves, and other travellers that we have come to know and trust. On our blog we have listed some of our favorites, the best being schneiderturm in Sighisoara Romania. This guy was great. blog at: http://vstromadventures.blogspot.com
So if our blog stuff helps out, great.
LADYSMITH, BC USA 09/15/2011
Hostelworld.com is a good website for finding/booking hostels, but I found that sometimes they aren't up to date with the website of the hostel itself. Sometimes the hostel is shown as booked or hostelworld tells you that there are only the more expensive beds left so I go to the hostel's website and find that what I want is still available and I book it there.
Puyallup, WA USA 06/27/2011
There is always a room somewhere. I travel alone without reservations. Have slept on a night train compartment with a stranger. In peoples spare room near Rome station. In a one hour room in Venice the weekend of Regatta. In a convent in Italy. In a dorm at London School of Economics. Have prayed in the dark following a stranger to a rented room. Watched them make a 'film' across the 'air duct' in a Paris hotel.. AND I'm still here to tell about it. It was ALL fascinating and I would do the same again in an instant. Rick Steves can tell you what you can experience when traveling solo and so can other women solos. I usually stay in nice hotels or local Pensions and regular rooms. But when you need a place to sleep and it's late.....There is always a room somewhere.
Pennsylvania, USA 06/23/2011
Room finding tricks
We've been using Airbnb.com with great success. We've found full apartments in Rome for $75 and a castle in Umbria for $54 with breakfast. Also, when we're stuck we go into a bar or restaurant and ask if someone knows of a room. It usually gets results.
Daytona Beach, FL USA 06/14/2011
I am booking several hostels in several countries and have found hostelworld.com to be very useful. They do charge you $2 fee for booking but you can review all bookings in one place AND print out a 3page PDF for most locations. Reviews and maps are also very helpful when searching.
The Region, IN USA 05/26/2011
I have booked over 40 nights via Venere and have NEVER had an issue, have gotten room upgrades a number of times. just read the booking rules. have also changed plans and no problems cancelling rooms
Calgary, AB USA 04/27/2011
We were in France August 2009 and stayed in 3 different small hotels the first 3 nights in the Normandy region. Two of the 3 rooms were directly above the kitchen windows and exhaust. First there was smelly exhaust til 10pm and then there was clean-up noise til 1:00am and it all started up again at 6am with noise and smells. These were in Giverny and on Mont St Michel. Very nice, clean hotels but just one really bad room location!!
Glen Ellyn, IL USA 03/03/2011
I saw the comment about how Venere.com is a scam, and, for the record, need to say that Venere has been the BEST source for our annual travels to Europe: my family and I have found great hotels and great deals in Rome, Paris, Vienna, and other places. All the information and photos are accurate, and the comments from other traveller's very sharp. This seems like one bad experience that should not at all taint this excellent travel source.
Greenwood Village, CO USA 03/02/2011
Avoid rooms over busy streets, bars, discos, and eateries. The noise and/or smells will make sleep impossible.
london ontario, ont Canada 02/27/2011
Barcelona - Airport TI
We frequently use official TI offices during non-peak travel seasons for booking rooms upon arrival at airports in Europe with great results . We were especially pleased with the room the Barcelona TI found us upon arrival last week. The rate could not be matched anywhere and we stayed at a very centrally located, but off the beaten path, 3 star business hotel for less than a hostal with shared bath found in online searches. The TI required we pay 10% deposit for the reservations but told us we could get a refund at any TI office if we did not like the hotel once we checked it out. We were so leery of the excellent price we only reserved one night. The hotel allowed us to extend at the same rate for three additional nights once we realized what a great deal it was, but had we checked out, we would not have been able to get the same rate again. We fly standby because my husband is an airline employee and never know if we will make it to our destination as planned or not. For this reason, we do not like to reserve rooms in advance. I do my homework and know what is available before arriving but always go to the city's TI office if they have a booking service (most in Europe do). We have never been disappointed after 20+ trips.
Germantown, TN USA 02/06/2011
Avail. & prices!
I go on http://www.explorotel.com/ - a very easy to use interface to find the right price, the right area, and check for vacancy!
Albany, NY USA 12/29/2010
I always found that they had cheaper rates (especially in Chartres,France)than the hotel's website itself or by going in person!
Quad Cities, IL USA 10/14/2010
Hotel Bookings - Venere.com
One word: Venere (www.venere.com). Ever since I discovered this site last year, it's the only one I use to book hotels or B&Bs in Europe! When I was in Spain, I'd literally book a room online an hour before showing up in the hotel lobby, and have never had any problems. Read the reviews - they've always steered me in the right direction! More on my blog: http://bit.ly/cvmkdn
Chicago, IL USA 09/17/2010
While traveling in Germany recently, we had reservations for just the first two nights and the last two nights of our two week trip, and that was just because we wanted to stay in these specifict hotels/B&B's. The rest of the trip, we would look for the tourist information center when we entered a new town and have them suggest lodging. This worked great for every city except for Munich and that was because they were having two major conventions during the time we were there.
Lawrenceville, GA USA 09/16/2010
Hotels Paris Special Offers
I usually check this hotel website for special offers as they get room availability not found on other websites and have a selection of hand picked recommended hotels...
Atlanta, GA USA 07/30/2010
Room-finding in Ukraine
Try asking a taxi driver. I was in Ukraine for two weeks and stayed in two different furnished apartments, made available via taxi drivers' contacts. Prices? $45 a night, for a lovely, furnished apartment overlooking the Black Sea.
Seattle, WA USA 06/14/2010
I noticed that a computer room search doesnt mention if Breakfast is included. The search was for London where breakfast for 2 can easily be $40 and not be so convient to your hotel
Bellevue, USA 05/27/2010
Sobes in Split Croatia
Upona very early morning arrival in Split Croatia on a ferry from Italy we were approached by a lady inquiring if we needed a room for the night. Agreeing upon the price we walked the harbor up into the residential area to her place.She then awakened the sleepy young couple already staying in her room to rent so [it was only 7am!]we could see it! How emarassing ! I did not want the same thing to happen to us when it came our time to leave and after a lengthy discussion she agreed that they would have until 10'oclock to depart and we as well the next day!
Marion, Ohio USA 03/28/2010
Istanbul hotel prices rising fast
My updates/corrections re Istanbul hotel prices. The following are for a SB in mid-April 2010 based on the hotels' own websites (Istanbul guidebook price in parentheses): Cordial House 30-60 euros depending on day of week (25-35); Hotel Stone 79 euros (65); Hotel Sultan Hill 60 euros (60); Hotel Sarnic 110 euros (55); Grand Peninsula 50 euros but no availability for the week (50); Sphendon Hotel 85 euros (50). Do you think some of these are taking advantage of their listings with RS?
Add the devaluation of the dollar vs. the euro, and it gets pricey for budget travelers from the US.
Priceline has no bidding for Istanbul. Hotwire features a 5 star and a 4.5 star hotel each for about $95 per night plus tax for a DB (of course). This seems a deal compared with what the above are charging, if you do not mind the "luxury".
Chicago, IL USA 03/27/2010
Short term apartment rentals, Paris and elsewhere
I find that in Paris, and it's probably true elsewhere, you'll see flyers in the windows of many real estate agencies for furnished apartment rentals of all sizes and locations throughout the city. If you're staying for at least 3 nights, agents are sometimes willing to find something available right away. Be prepared to pay their commission. My husband and I love staying in apartments when we travel and have other tips for finding and checking out short term rentals that I'd be happy to share.
Sacramento, CA USA 01/19/2010