Booking Your Accommodation
Booking hostels or other accommodation while traveling is easy with the internet. Our advice is to book your hostels ahead of time, especially if you are traveling during peak season. Part of the nomadic backpacker experience is to see what happens and just show up but the last thing you want to do is to be walking around a city after a long train ride with your backpack looking for a room. It is a completely unappealing proposition.
With the backpacker trail so well traveled, it is possible to just turn up and find accommodation somewhere. There are usually lots of hostels in a city. However, all the internet cafes around the world enables most people to book a head. It saves time, energy, and gives you piece of mind. If you know when you are going to be somewhere on a specific day, book ahead. Nothing is lost. Nowadays, most people do that.
Moreover, early booking means most of the better hostels are taken before you even arrive. Hoping to stay at the infamous Flying Pig or Kabul during the summer? Check again. Base in Melbourne? Try tomorrow. If you know you are going somewhere on a certain, book your hostel before hand to be on the safe side. This is especially true in Western countries, where all the best hostels accept online bookings and usually fill up this way during the high season.
In Asia, South America, or Africa, most guesthouses/hostels don’t use internet booking sites. While some do and you can certainly book them online, there are so many in such a small area that turning up is sometimes the only way to go. You’ll never have trouble finding a room on Khao San Road!! There is a whole network of companies designed to always keep you happy and spending. On the off chance, everything is booked, you can probably pay someone to stay with them. However, book ahead during Christmas and the New Year’s, especially if you plan to head to the islands in Thailand- space does sell out there!!!
We’ve only encountered issues in western countries where the number of hostels is limited. There are a number of sites out there that let you book your accommodation online. We prefer Hostel Bookers as they have the nicest collection of hostels, no booking fee, videos of some properties and a robust database of reviews that lets you see what other people thought in order to help you choose the best place.