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2019 Camino Guides

Booked out 6 months in advance? For real?

Camino(s) past & future
Portugues (April 2019)
#1
Hi all, I am starting my camino in April and have had a peek at some websites for accommodation as I am looking to mix it up a bit, just wanted to get a feel for pricing etc.
Much to my surprise these websites like hotel.com etc indicated that some places are already booked out! Is this for real?
Do I have to plan and book this far ahead if I don't want to end up in the race for a bed?
I thought that April was low season and therefore not a big demand for beds.
What has been the experience of fellow pilgrims?
Cheers and buen camino!
 

nathanael

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#5
Hi all, I am starting my camino in April and have had a peek at some websites for accommodation as I am looking to mix it up a bit, just wanted to get a feel for pricing etc.
Much to my surprise these websites like hotel.com etc indicated that some places are already booked out! Is this for real?
Do I have to plan and book this far ahead if I don't want to end up in the race for a bed?
I thought that April was low season and therefore not a big demand for beds.
What has been the experience of fellow pilgrims?
Cheers and buen camino!
You should throw caution to the wind. I have done 10 Caminos and never booked and yet always had a bed. That's the whole adventure of the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
#6
I think it was the BBC that recently did a report on hotel booking websites and found that it was invariably cheaper to book directly with hotel as they then did not have to pay their commission to the hotel booking site. It may be worth you while emailing the lodgings direct.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
#7
You'll be fine in April,
Do I have to plan and book this far ahead if I don't want to end up in the race for a bed?
There should be no need to book in advance at that time of year - or on that Camino.
I'm planning on the Portuguese Coastal next April/May and will start thinking about lodgings each day around 2 p.m. !!!
Bom caminho!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#8
I agree what others have written regarding hotels not releasing rooms to booking sites yet....but Just another consideration when you do book... April 19, 2019 is Easter so expect, Semana Santa, Holy Week, to be a very busy time!
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#9
Somewhere along the way during my most recent camino, I read that the bookings sites typically assert that they have no spaces left at a number of places that appear lower down on the list they supply (creating a perception of general scarcity), and assert that few accommodations remain at the spot one is actively assessing. It encourages people to make the booking. Then, one arrives and frequently finds that the hostal, albergue, pension, etc. is not actually full at all.

I've never rebooked an albergue or refugio, but about once every 7 days I do seek a private room in some kind of accommodation. I use booking.com because even if it tacks on a premium, I can see easily that I have confirmation of exactly the product/service I was seeking; it's far easier than phoning (trying to hear, etc). But I ignore the assertions that my chosen sites have only one room left. I've seen the same assertion made for several days in a row without that last room disappearing.

Honestly, even for my most desired place to stay on my most recent trip (the Via de la Plata Spa in Astorga), I waited until I was 24 hours from destination to make the booking, and I would not consider doing a booking any further in advance than that. 6 months out?? No way. Practically speaking, there's too much that can prevent you from reaching a destination on the day you think you will. Many times I've ended up a day early or a day late to a place I'd provisionally marked on my calendar as an anticipated landing point.

This past summer, the provisional idea was that I would meet Spouse at Sahagún, but he had blisters and shin splints, so he slowed down, and I took the train to meet him at Fromistá. And our plan when we'd bought our flights was that I'd meet him in León. The original thoughts were days apart from the actuality. And that's why one does not try to book accommodations in advance on an intense walking trip.

Being prepared for Camino really requires letting go of the schedule (other than arrival and departure at the beginning and end of the journey, and I envy those who can have completely open-ended dates for returning home!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#11
grateful for all the comments, thank you. I was just looking to get a feel for pricing so I can budget.
I'm sure there is such a thread already existing in this subforum of Caminho Portugues. If not you can start a new one.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#12
If a booking website tells you that no rooms are available, send the property an e-mail directly to make a reservation. Alternatively, use the property's website to book directly. Most but not all hostals, and casa rurales have their own website.

I use the MIcrosoft Translator or the Google Translator to compose a 'canned' reservation request, in Spanish. I save it on my iPhone, and reuse it, copying it then changing dates, towns and other information as needed. This works very well.

Finally, if you are staying somewhere and need to make a reservation, up the route for the next evening, ask the proprietor of the place you are at to call ahead for you to make the reservation. I found this is the best way, especially if the next place does not have e-mail. The local 'innkeepers' all know one another and take care of one another.

Hope this helps.
 

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
#13
You should throw caution to the wind. I have done 10 Caminos and never booked and yet always had a bed. That's the whole adventure of the Camino.
I agree, I have also done 10 Caminos and never booked there are lots of little pensions along the way if you want private rooms. I do a mixture.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#14
Relax. I booked a night in Pamplona from Tuesday to Wednesday 10 mins. ago on booking.com. 15 Euros incl. breakfast. Beds are no problem (unless you walk till late, maybe). In countless Caminos the last 10 years I have never missed a bed. But it depends on your behaviour.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in August 2017
#15
You'll be fine in April,

There should be no need to book in advance at that time of year - or on that Camino.
I'm planning on the Portuguese Coastal next April/May and will start thinking about lodgings each day around 2 p.m. !!!
Bom caminho!
Hi Stephen. I am planning out the Portuguese coastal route starting next April (around 20th) have been worried there may not be any others on the route and as a solo traveller I was a bit panicked . I am hoping there will be a few at least doing it at that time
 
D

Deleted member 83944

Guest
#16
Look up 'Semana Santa' in the threads, I seem to remember there was a good advisory on its effect on bookings a while back. Also make sure you understand what counts as Semana Santa, ie it's not a Friday, a weekend and a Monday.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
#17
Hi Stephen. I am planning out the Portuguese coastal route starting next April (around 20th) have been worried there may not be any others on the route and as a solo traveller I was a bit panicked . I am hoping there will be a few at least doing it at that time
Hi Tricia!
Sorry about delay - just got back from Costa Brava, walking a bit of the GR92.
My guess - and it can only be a guess - is that the Portuguese Coastal will be very quiet in April. You might meet two or three other pilgrims each day. It will be slighty busier when you rejoin the 'normal'camino: and it will probably be quite busy when you reach the "100 kms from Santiago" point.
It would be interesting to hear other peregrinos' views - especially my friend Albertinho if he reads this!!
If my body is up to it, I plan this route next year - April is such a lovely time on the caminos, with wild flowers in abundance. I hope our paths cross!
Bom caminho, Tricia!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#18
I agree what others have written regarding hotels not releasing rooms to booking sites yet....but Just another consideration when you do book... April 19, 2019 is Easter so expect, Semana Santa, Holy Week, to be a very busy time!
April 19th is my birthday and every time Easter falls on this day I feel especially blessed!
 


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