Finding Accommodations

Hi all! My husband and I are going to Italy for a month, from late June to late July. We were wondering if we MUST prebook our accommodations all in advance, or would it be possible to just book our first spot (in Rome) and then just look for places (including VRBO, vacation rental by owner) from there on out? We just don't know if we want to be committed, rather than going more with the flow of our travels/tastes. THANKS!
Liz

Posted by Sheron
Alta Loma, CA, USA
1202 posts

Hi Liz. June/July is peak season; I would most definitely pre-book lodging. While I'm sure it's possible to wing it, I personally would not want to waste valuable sightseeing time looking for accommodations. We were in the Cinque Terre in mid-September a few years ago and met a couple from the U.S. who had gone from town to town with teenagers and luggage in tow looking for a place to stay to no avail. They spent several precious hours doing this and finally had to take a train to a larger non-CT town in hopes of finding something. I personally like the feeling of knowing that I have lodging secured ahead of time but then again I'm a bit of a "planner" and like to pre-plan as much as possible so that I can maximize my sightseeing time. I would book your lodging now but expect that many places will already be booked for June/July. Have a great trip.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

I too prefer to roll with the flow. But in the highest tourist season, you probably need reservations. (Make sure accommodations are air conditioned, as you're going to a very hot place.) I take a laptop/notebook with me when traveling to stay plugged up to the world and home. I like Booking.com, the world's largest hotel reservation system. They have places to stay virtually anywhere in the world. Any other month, you could easily obtain rooms as you go. I also like RonInRome.com for suggestions on places to stay in the Rome area.
Hotels.com and AirBnB.com are other great sites, but they require payment on front end. AirBnB is really coming on strong, and they are often cheaper accommodations.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4877 posts

I highly doubt you will find vrbo places on the fly. In peak tourist season if you book last minute you will mostly find places that the advance bookers didn't want. If you don't mind spending more for less to have the opportunity to be flexible, than go for it!

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17792 posts

Liz, Late June to late July is PEAK travel season and many places will likely already booked. While it may certainly be possible to find places on short notice, you may also find that: > You have to pay more (perhaps far more) than planned. > The accommodations may be somewhat "distant" from the centre of town. > The accommodations may be a bit "dodgy", "less than desirable" or in a bad part of town. Wandering around an unfamiliar city hauling my luggage on a hot afternoon is not my idea of a "fun" holiday experience, so I always prefer to pre-book (especially at that time of year). Happy travels!