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How soon to book a hotel room prior to a tour

So, we have been given the green light to our tour, not until October 2022. We got our initial info, suggesting booking a room in the hotel that we meet, prior to arrival date. I understand the benefit to arriving early before the tour, having done 2 RS tours before. BUT, this is nearly 16 months in advance of tour date (oct 1/22) Should we book or wait….we are also thinking of arriving early to Europe and then going to Greece, so just need a feel for what’s the best plan.. with so many travellers jumping on the tour band wagon, need some input for discussion.

Posted by
1528 posts

Well, I just sent off an email today for a late April tour. The worst they can do is tell you not yet, but maybe they can give you a date when reservations will be open. I wasn’t so worried about the last hotel , but we want to arrive a few days ahead and would prefer to stay in one spot. The Greek tours are especially popular and seem to usually be full.

Posted by
1861 posts

We just got the green Light too for our Sept 2022 tour. Have to figure insurance first, then we’re going to e-mail the hotel directly about booking. Our tour starts and ends in the same city so we are talking over how many days before, any after, etc. So many fun problems (except maybe the insurance part).

Posted by
1166 posts

I’ve got one booked for the first tour of a back to back in September 2022 but not the second. No response from second hotel at all.
While it’s nice to stay at the hotel the tour uses, it’s not necessary especially if you might want to experience another neighborhood or if the tour hotel isn’t far from the one you book. We have two days to kill between tours so I’ll be happy to get a place close to the tour hotel if that hotel is booked up. That is what happened to us a few years ago. We just walked around the corner. Easy Peasy.
I’ll start looking the end of summer or early fall if I hear nothing from the tour hotel.
Portugal first then Barcelona /Madrid. Fingers crossed.

Edit: just got a confirmation email from the second tour Hotel for pre-tour room. We were given RS rates and we won’t have to change rooms when the tour starts. Yay!

Posted by
3 posts

I sent an email to the first hotel on our tour (Scotland, Sept. 2022) and they replied that they won’t know their rates until 8 months ahead so would not take my booking. I do understand - it is a long way in the future but the excitement of a trip makes it hard to be patient.

Posted by
35 posts

Hello fellow Canadian!
I am booked on the Best Of England in September 2022. Have just booked 3 extra nights at the hotel in Bath at the beginning, and 2 extra nights at the hotel in London at the end of the tour. The London reservation was done through Expedia at a much better rate than the hotel was offering, but they will try and honour my request to stay in the same room I'll be in on the tour. All fully refundable until 24 hours before departure.
I was to take the same tour in September 2020. Also booked the same hotels a year earlier. Had to pay cancellation fees for the rooms last year. With all the Westjet banked credit from the cancelled flight, I'll be able to fly transatlantic in business class. What a treat. I opened up a US bank account and put all the money in for the final payment to RSE. Everything bought and paid for 15 months early. Woohoo!

Posted by
697 posts

It’s worth narrowing it down to where you would like to stay now. I’ve noticed that when I book on a third-party booking engine i.e., TripAdvisor, I get a better rate the further out I book. If you do reserve a room way out, always check a month before you go to make sure that the reservation did not slip through the cracks. That happened to me once.

Posted by
1073 posts

I have contacted the hotel I am interested in for August 2022 in Edinburgh and they said they are not taking bookings until maybe late September/early October. I am a little anxious to get it booked as we will be there during the Fringe Festival. I will just have to wait a few more months to book.

Posted by
40 posts

Yes - go ahead as they hold a limited number of rooms for that purpose. Contact hotel (s) you plan to stay in prior to the tour directly rather than via web site. We have a tour in Sept of 22 and have already reserved two days prior to the tour - got the RS tour rate and will be able to stay in same room.

Posted by
2661 posts

I just contacted the Rome hotel for late October 2022. As, generally, I am a planner of just a few months at best, it felt a little ridiculous to be getting reservations, but we just want to stay in the same hotel as the RS Rome tour. I sent an email, and the hotel responded with a lovely email and I now have reservations for two nights each for pre and post trip. (It's not the trip we planned for 2020 by any means, but it is soooo far away, we played it conservatively as much can happen, or not happen, in 1 1/2 years.)

I have to admit, it felt really good to make hotel reservations in Europe.

Now I need to check GeoBlue and make sure there is no pre-existing health clause...I believe those are just for trip insurance, but it has been a while since I've read the policy. I plan to reserve nothing else for the trip until a few months before. In the meantime, independent travel will be our my minds!

Posted by
1172 posts

I followed everyone’s lead and sent an email to the first hotel for the South of France tour for the previous night.. The tour begins in Chartres on Sept 11. The hotel was very easy to work with.
Normally I wouldn’t book hotels this far in advance. I’m thinking that six to nine months prior to the trip will be adequate to book the rest of my pre- and post-tour rooms, flights and trains. Any opinions or insights?

Posted by
1528 posts

I just got the OK to book from our hotel in Venice for our late April 2022 trip. I’m sure I could have found a cheaper place , but Venice is not a place I want to be dragging even the RS-approved amount of luggage through the streets. We usually try to arrive in the tour city a couple of days ahead, but I rarely get around to booking far enough ahead to get the tour hotel (I think I’m 2 out of 5). It’s never been a problem to move, but if it’s important for me to stay at the tour hotel I’m going to book as soon as I’m confirmed.

Posted by
27 posts

Susie - I'm going to be on the Best of England tour in September '22 as well. Which dates are you going? Are you at the Henrietta House in Bath?