Sunday, November 28, 2010


When I traveled Europe as a young backpacker with a Eurail pass, I never made hotel reservations anywhere.  Why, the whole idea of backpacking is the freedom to come and go to any city, any time, on a whim.  Or to just sleep overnight on the train.  But as you’ve probably noticed since you had children, a lot of your old freedoms vanished with your new role as parent.  So to avoid dragging luggage AND sleeping children all over town to find a vacancy, and to avoid accepting, out of sheer desperation, one of those hotels that charge 25 centimes a minute in the coin-op meter shower for your family of five, make reservations from home before you go.  Even the most remote pensiones can now be found on the internet and scrutinized on Trip Advisor.  Virtually no private hotels, pensions, hostels, or Zimmer Frei ask for a deposit or advance payment, so there’s no fear of losing money upon cancellation.  Just be courteous enough to call or email and let them know if you’re not coming, since many times the loveliest of these places are family-run and they do arrange their schedules around your arrival.

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