When to book dorm rooms

Hi all! I'm planning a first trip to the UK in July and scrambling to find lodging in the $120/night range. University dorm rooms sounded like a great option, and I was able to book college rooms at Oxford at $110/night, but I'm having a hard time finding a room that would work for my 15-year old daughter and me for 5 nights in London. Lots of University housing looks fine but I'm finding little availability of rooms that sleep 2. Does anyone happen to know if some places won't show availability until closer to the summer? Thanks for any advice.

Posted by Toni
Charlotte, NC, USA
3136 posts

The London School of Economics has LOTS of rooms in London- mostly central locations with excellent Tube/bus stop connections. However, their site often shows NO Availible rooms, but in reality there are rooms open. You just have to contact them directly by phone or email.

Posted by Gina
Yakima, Washington, Usa
12 posts

Thanks - that makes more sense than everything being booked already! I'll check those out and send a message to get the real lowdown. Crazy expensive city o_O. I have to admit I thought London would be awash in more affordable accommodations after the build up for the Olympics. Ya, right!

Posted by Geor
Seattle, Wa, USA
295 posts

Hi Gina: I booked a room at the International House of the University of Westminster approximately the summer before the 2012 Olympic Games. It was the only University that took reservations that far in advance. All of the other universities started their booking anywhere from the end of the summer of the previous year to April of the current year. I would certainly contact all of the universities but some of them won't begin taking reservations for a few more months. Good luck.

Posted by George
Independence, KS, USA
808 posts

Get on the www.travelodge.co.uk site and find room sales all around the UK. We've booked rooms for as little as NINE GBP/night although that is the exception. They often have thousands of rooms on sale across the UK for around 20GBP/night. Get on their site and they will send you announcements of room sales. The rooms are spartan, but comfortable with clean restrooms and comfy beds. We've stayed in various travelodges around London for several years. After all, we only need a comfy place to sleep since we are out and about from early morning to late at night. The London School of Econ is another choice but their rooms are pricey compared to travelodge and their rooms are just as spartan. The LSE won't book rooms until much closer to summer break, maybe 90 days prior.

Posted by Suz
Denver, USA
223 posts

Thanks for the Travelodge tip, George. I've looked at them in the past but they'd dropped off my radar. I signed up for their email alerts. They may be the right place for some nights on my next trip.

Posted by Gina
Yakima, Washington, Usa
12 posts

Thanks for the tips! In case it's helpful to others, I just heard back from London School of Economics that mid-July is in still in their summer term and availability is very limited. Rooms open there August 18 (but not sure how long that window is as I don't know when fall term begins). I'll check other schools and travelodge. I also just discovered www.airbnb.com, where you can rent rooms in people's houses (informal bnb's, I suppose?). Let me know if anyone has feedback on those. Seems like it'd be even more of a crapshoot than most, but there are reviews for each and the prices and options in Cardiff looked pretty good.