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England on the fly ...

Is it reasonable to not to reserve hotels the majority of our trip? Is it possible to go from town to town and find a room? Our trip is 14 days. Also my interest lies in hististory sans London. While it would be nice to stay a few days there are too many other ancient ahistorical sites, etc., that interest me more. Plus I want to see the small villages and countryside. So, can we do this on the fly?

Posted by
6113 posts

You will probably be able to find rooms, but if you are travelling in July and August, places near the coast maybe full. Do you have an idea of where you are likely to be staying?

Posted by
6806 posts

Depends on when and where you’re going. It will be easier in less touristy areas, but you could have trouble finding a spot in popular places during high season. In September 2013, we had trouble finding a place in a small town along the southern coast due to shows and festivals of various types.

Posted by
1013 posts

The peak travel time is from July 20th 2018 for 6 weeks. (UK school summer holidays). So I think you will be fine to travel on the fly during your travel times. However, it also depends on the location and how many rooms you need. If its just one room - I think you will be OK.

Margaret

Posted by
3122 posts

Having traveled without reservations in years past, I can say it usually works out just fine, but you could get stuck paying a lot more than your budget or traipsing a long distance to get to an available room.

Why not log onto a service like Booking.com and reserve one or two days ahead as you go along? That will give you a better chance of assessing the lodgings available in a town you want to visit. Your hosts will probably also appreciate your not turning up at the last minute, as they like to be able to plan how many guests they'll have for breakfast, among other considerations.

Posted by
2785 posts

I would suggest to prebook your first night and your last night. I never prebook all my rooms, that really limits your time, meaning have to be in a certain place by a certain time. We just drive then when we decide that we want to start looking for a room we start watching for B&B signs. There are hundreds of B&Bs that depend only on their signs. By not having every night booked that gives you the option to stay as long or as little in each village you go to. We’ve never spent more then 15 minutes finding a room.

Posted by
15 posts

Reserving a day or two in advance might work well. We have booked our first 4 nights and our last 2 will be spent with a relative. So you all have given me hope that meandering and wandering will work! We aren't fussy and would love to just stay in small out of the way places, not touristy, no Holiday Inn, or such. I do appreciate all of your comments.

Posted by
3392 posts

We have done this quite a bit but it definitely has pros and cons. The higher the high season, the dicier it gets.
Pros...you can go where you want when you want.
Cons...you often can't be picky about where you stay. You get what's available and sometimes it isn't great. Sometimes you can't stay in the town you want to because of limited accommodation.
I would suggest using booking.com. That way, once you know where you're headed each day, you can see what's available. In my experience they have the largest "bank" of accommodations from large hotels, to homestays, to B&Bs, to convents, etc. I have found some amazing places through them.

Posted by
1332 posts

HI, my name is Debbie Downer. I'd say this sounds like an awful idea. Sorry, but these days there are just too many people traveling, even in off season, to make winging it a reasonable strategy. You're not the only person who travels outside of the main season to avoid the Tiered pricing is used by almost every accommodation so waiting until the last minute means you'll usually pay the highest possible price. Sure, there's a chance you might score a last minute bargain. But, nothing will taste more bitter than paying a high price for a mediocre room because it is the only one available. Another consideration, do you really want to spend your time in England hunting for accommodations which eats into precious sightseeing time? At least for me, unless I'm booking a resort or a romantic getaway, looking for accommodations online is about as exciting as doing a spreadsheet for work.

Posted by
15 posts

hmmm - well something to ponder. We have travel like this all over the USA, and have stayed in some pretty dicey places. BUT they make for a great story later on! :-)