, I'm going to give you an 'it depends' answer. I walked the CP in May 2022, and in preparation, booked for my arrival and the rest days that I planned. These were all done using booking.com using properties that allowed for cancellations without charge, even if that might have been a bit more expensive than not using the cancellation arrangements. Once on the road, I would check availability for the places I wanted to stay that allowed bookings for the next couple of days. This allowed me to make any adjustments to my planned stages should there be no places available where I wanted to stay.
From Porto, I stayed in:
- two Xunta albergues, one of which took bookings, and neither had private rooms, although because I was using a CPAP, in one the hospitalera put me in in a small room and didn't need to put anyone else in with me.
- three private albergues, one of which had a private room which was used by another pilgrim couple, the others didn't have private rooms
- one association albergue which didn't take bookings, and didn't have private rooms.
- three hotels, and one casa rural. They all took bookings, and I stayed in private rooms.
There is no easy answer to retaining flexibility over how far you walk than to avoid booking too far in advance. I found the pattern I used worked well enough for me, but for my next camino, I will be returning to finding my accommodation without booking around the middle of the afternoon, when I know how much further I want to walk that day.
For four of you, it might be more difficult. Have you discussed having to split the group over two or even more places, or is keeping the group together at night a higher priority? You don't say whether you are individuals or are there one or two couples that would clearly not want to be separated. Or would they?
This sounds a bit scattered, but it seems the answer lies in the willingness of the group to explore what your priorities are, as well as different options. While my advice would be to only book ahead a day or so, it really is up to you how tolerant you will be individually and as a group to the uncertainty this will bring.