To Book Or Not To Book?

It’s that time of year when Europe planning is in full swing and every traveller is faced with the dilemma of pre-booking the perfect amount of accommodation. How much is too much? Am I leaving enough room in my travel itinerary for spontaneous travel? Stop there. Those last two words ‘spontaneous travel’ are critical to your European travel itinerary.

It’s no secret that summer time in Europe is extremely busy, especially in the ‘hot spot’ places. I always prefer to book accommodation in the most popular tourist destinations. This way I know when I will be visiting a place and that I will be staying in a great location. Alternatively, it’s ok not to book, but keep in mind that you will have to take what you can get based on what is available at the time. This may mean standing for a forty-minute squishy train ride into the main city; time wasted travelling to and from the city that could have been better spent checking out a particular place and uncovering it’s hidden gems.

For lots of my four-month Europe trip, I didn’t plan before I left home. I mean, I had a rough direction mapped out of the way I wanted to travel from country to country and a few bits and pieces of accommodation paid for but the majority of accommodation itself I did not book. Would I do it like that again? Absolutely! Throughout your Europe journey you will meet new friends and hook up with them as travel buddies, especially if you are riding solo. You will jump on board with their travel itinerary, gallivant across Europe to places you had not previously planned and maybe even cancel some pre-booked accommodation in sight of chasing better adventures.

However, I would say as you are on your trip, it would be wise to book your accommodation and plan your itinerary a few days to two weeks ahead of time. It may work out once or twice waking up in the morning, booking a flight, heading to an airport, rocking up in a new country, arranging transport and finding accommodation successfully, but there’s a fat chance it will happen more times than that. There’s just simply too many factors to align. Giving yourself at least a few days will mean you will know when and where you are going and it will ensure that you actually get to see all of the countries you hoped to! Europe is a big place and four months was still no where near enough time to discover all of it’s magic.


Travel Tip: Have you thought of everything you need to do before leaving for your big trip? Are you aware that there is a borderless travel scheme across many of the EU countries? This means you can only travel for up to 3 months – 90 days total across Europe, unless you sneak off to a country that is not a part of the EU Schengen Agreement. What is the Schengen Agreement? Confused? Or planning on staying in Europe for more than 3 months? Check out my helpful post A Comprehensive Guide To The Perfect European Summer to ensure you have covered all bases before you leave home. 


Jumping berlin

2 thoughts on “To Book Or Not To Book?

  1. theemilyk says:

    When I backpacked Europe I didn’t have any accommodation booked. We booked as we went and were fine and were able to be flexible with our itinerary. We used most of the time because we started to find that since we were booking a day or two ahead for our next destination we could get some really good hotel deals since the hotels wanted to sell as many rooms as possible. Sometimes it would be cheaper for us to split a nice hotel room vs. booking a hostel! Which was nice to have piece of mind with our stuff being locked up at all times in a private room.
    I will agree it could be a bit stressful at times to try and find a good place at last minute but we would take our lunch or dinner breaks at restaurants with wifi to do that so we wouldn’t have to necessarily be wasting time trying to find accommodation.


    • you.theworld.wandering says:

      Thanks for your tips. Thats awesome you left lots of time for spontaneous travel and were free to make up your itinerary as you went. Great you scored some last minute deals too. Always nice! Good advice, thanks for your input Emily 🙂


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