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Hotels without a reservation?

I've only really spent time in Greece but every time I've visited, I made no reservations or solid plans ahead of time. I rarely had any difficulty finding a room in a small hotel or family-run place and prefer to just wing it. I've found I usually end up in places that are cute and often not found in guide books (but usually cheaper). For this trip, we start in Morocco and then head north through Spain in the first part of July. Will this plan (or lack there of) work in Morocco and Spain or should we do some booking ahead?

Posted by
10344 posts

The more popular parts of Spain, in summer, might be a problem when not booking ahead.
If you know where you are going to be, on which days, booking ahead sometimes simplifies things and gives you more time to see what you came there to see, because you're spending less time looking for lodging.

Posted by
9110 posts

Of course you can.

Too many people get wound up if they don't have a place to stay set in concrete months ahead of time. Judging by some of the questions on the forums, guidebooks and reviews are their only source of scoop -- and they probably spend more time noodling and fretting over where to stay than they do figuring out what to see.

What you did in Greece will work equally well in both Spain and Morocco.

I spend about six months a year sleeping in beds I don't own. Reservations happen maybe five percent of the time and are generally tied to weddings, funerals, and traveling with more than a couple of people.

As you've found, you don't wander around -- you walk into the TI and walk out a couple minutes later headed for a completely satisfactory place that didn't make the books but is often better and always in the price range (or well below it) for the location.

If the TI doesn't exit or is closed, you can do just as well by walking into a hotel that strikes you and either getting a room or else a referral to something equivalent. In smaller towns, ask the person behind the bar or a grocery clerk.

Ignore the staid naysayers. Press on. Planning sucks.

Posted by
16883 posts

I have done both Morocco and Spain in July without reserving ahead. You can call or reserve online a few days ahead, if that's when your plans solidify, but there's no deadline. The bigger cities have lots of hotels, and they won't be filled by business or convention travelers at this time of year. Beach destinations will be tighter. Train tickets might offer some discounts for booking now (nonrefundable, nonchangeable) but buses can be another cheap option that rarely need booking.