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To book or not to book ahead post Covid?

ktchnofdngr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2013, June 2016, and July 2021(hopefully!)
So, I'm having my pack carried, so I have a rough idea of where I'm going to be staying each night, but I haven't booked where I'm staying each night yet. Part of that is because I plan to stay in a mix of Albergues and Casa Rural/Hostels, and part of that is because I'm not even sure of where to make those reservations. On my past two Caminos, even when I was having my pack carried on, I usually just showed up in the town and found a place to stay. Should I be more proactive about pre-booking my lodgings?

Ruth
 
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andycohn

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (12-15); Muxia (15); Portuguese, Primitivo (17); Norte, Ingles, VF partial (18), Le Puy (19)
As said above, you'll need to book if you're shipping bags ahead, but while booking.com is very useful, it's also very limited. In general, only the higher end places will list rooms on booking.com. The less expensive hotels and pensions, as well as the private albergues are often not on booking.com. Brierley, Gronze and the good apps, like Wisely / Wise Pilgrim will give you a wider range of places to choose from and you can easily call ahead a day or two in advance, or send them an email. If your Spanish is limited, just use google translate for emails. Also, booking.com only gets a limited number of rooms, so sometimes a place is listed as sold out when it really isn't. Nevertheless, booking.com is very useful, and I use it a lot myself. No need to limit yourself to it, though.
 

Owensr23

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
As said above, you'll need to book if you're shipping bags ahead, but while booking.com is very useful, it's also very limited. In general, only the higher end places will list rooms on booking.com. The less expensive hotels and pensions, as well as the private albergues are often not on booking.com. Brierley, Gronze and the good apps, like Wisely / Wise Pilgrim will give you a wider range of places to choose from and you can easily call ahead a day or two in advance, or send them an email. If your Spanish is limited, just use google translate for emails. Also, booking.com only gets a limited number of rooms, so sometimes a place is listed as sold out when it really isn't. Nevertheless, booking.com is very useful, and I use it a lot myself. No need to limit yourself to it, though.
I would agree with your assessment of Booking, but still useful in a pinch.

I used the Wise Pilgrim app and they give links to the albergues websites/phone #s as well as a link to Booking. At one small albergue they told me if I canceled by Booking reservation they give me a room and would take 8 euros off the price :)
 

pepi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
As said above, you'll need to book if you're shipping bags ahead, but while booking.com is very useful, it's also very limited. In general, only the higher end places will list rooms on booking.com. The less expensive hotels and pensions, as well as the private albergues are often not on booking.com. Brierley, Gronze and the good apps, like Wisely / Wise Pilgrim will give you a wider range of places to choose from and you can easily call ahead a day or two in advance, or send them an email. If your Spanish is limited, just use google translate for emails. Also, booking.com only gets a limited number of rooms, so sometimes a place is listed as sold out when it really isn't. Nevertheless, booking.com is very useful, and I use it a lot myself. No need to limit yourself to it, though.
 
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pepi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
...."If your Spanish is limited, just use google translate for emails."
Google Translate is about the worst translation on the planet, Instead use deepl.com, the best!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
...."If your Spanish is limited, just use google translate for emails."
Google Translate is about the worst translation on the planet, Instead use deepl.com, the best!
Good to know.

I use SpanishDict a lot because it gives you several translation options. However that's probably only useful if you know enough Spanish to determine which is the best translation.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(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
I used the Wise Pilgrim app and they give links to the albergues websites/phone #s as well as a link to Booking. At one small albergue they told me if I canceled by Booking reservation they give me a room and would take 8 euros off the price :)
I strongly advice to avoid booking.com, although I use it when I have no option. The reason: They collect a fat sum from the albergues/hostals for each reservation they bring in. I have no problem about using them for hotel bookings (rarely).

And by all means: Booking.com is much better, pricewise, than f.ex. hotels.com IMHO, but nevertheless, I want to funnel as much as possibe of my retirement pension directly to the locals.

Having the Wise Pilgrim app on your phone is far better, showing alternative places that are also not on booking.com. You will get lower prices by phoning them directly, and they will still make more money from your stay. It is a Win/Win for you and the locals.

Teach yourself a few words on how to make a reservation in Spanish. It will save you money, better spent on cold beers in the heat.

Edit: As said above: Booking.com has some places in each town on their list; it is my impression that Wise Pilgrim has all places on its list.
 
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Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Hi I am walking from Lisbon to Porto at the moment (currently half way). I've seen just 2 other pilgrims and everywhere I've stayed so far has had plenty of room available. But on the other hand, the municipal albergues have been closed so there are fewer accommodation options. For what it's worth I have booked ahead for all nights just to be sure - but now I'm here I reckon you'd be ok booking 2 or 3 days ahead. But one caveat- things can change fast and I'm told numbers of pilgrims are rising. Bom Caminho.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
If your Spanish is limited, just use google translate for emails.

...."If your Spanish is limited, just use google translate for emails."
Google Translate is about the worst translation on the planet, Instead use deepl.com, the best!

Good to know.

I use SpanishDict a lot because it gives you several translation options. However that's probably only useful if you know enough Spanish to determine which is the best translation.

Could be a bit tricky until one reaches the border! This thread is about walking the Portuguese ;)
 

SioCamino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
For translation of sentences i would recommend deepl.com over Google, its very good for context.
Individual words SpanishDict or WordReference can be useful. Actually the latter can be good for those colloquialisms where you understand each individual word but not the phrase!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
For translation of sentences i would recommend deepl.com over Google, its very good for context.
Individual words SpanishDict or WordReference can be useful. Actually the latter can be good for those colloquialisms where you understand each individual word but not the phrase!

As a professional translator I agree.

It is true you will need something for colloquialisms. Because you are going to get a lot of them if you use Spanish in Portugal! (This thread is posted in .... Camino Portuguese Central).
 

Richard of York

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
It is true you will need something for colloquialisms. Because you are going to get a lot of them if you use Spanish in Portugal! (See thread title).
I can't vouch particularly for Spanish or Portuguese, especially if you are trying to use the wrong language in the wrong country, but deepL is very good at colloquialisms in French and German, better than Google. Of course the Camino portugués does go through Spain too.
 
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This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
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yourheromad

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2011
I strongly advice to avoid booking.com, although I use it when I have no option. The reason: They collect a fat sum from the albergues/hostals for each reservation they bring in. I have no problem about using them for hotel bookings (rarely).

And by all means: Booking.com is much better, pricewise, than f.ex. hotels.com IMHO, but nevertheless, I want to funnel as much as possibe of my retirement pension directly to the locals.

Having the Wise Pilgrim app on your phone is far better, showing alternative places that are also not on booking.com. You will get lower prices by phoning them directly, and they will still make more money from your stay. It is a Win/Win for you and the locals.

Teach yourself a few words on how to make a reservation in Spanish. It will save you money, better spent on cold beers in the heat.

Edit: As said above: Booking.com has some places in each town on their list; it is my impression that Wise Pilgrim has all places on its list.
Does the Wise Pilgrim app update the status of each lodging whether they are open or not during this time?
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(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
Does the Wise Pilgrim app update the status of each lodging whether they are open or not during this time?
It is supposed to update automatically.
 

SioCamino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
It is true you will need something for colloquialisms. Because you are going to get a lot of them if you use Spanish in Portugal! (This thread is posted in .... Camino Portuguese Central).
Deepl is available for Portuguese although i haven't used it for that (usually use it for Spanish and German). I thought WordReference was available for other languages but perhaps not.... Apologies i didn't realise this thread was solely focussed on Portugal/Portuguese.

Edit - just checked my apo and yes WordReference is available for Portuguese<-->English AND Portuguese<-->Spanish
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
We've walked all three camino frances' in Sept - Oct. The last two caminos (2019, 2017) have been jammed with pilgrims causing entire towns to be "completo" by early afternoon. I'm guessing this fall will be the same. For example, I just signed onto Booking.com and checked for available beds / rooms in Zubari on a random date (Sept 2 which is a Thursday night) and there were no beds / rooms available that night.
 
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Steve Taylor

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 2019 Sarria to Santiago Sept 2019 Logrono to Burgos Aug 2020 St Jean Pied De Port to Logrono
So, I'm having my pack carried, so I have a rough idea of where I'm going to be staying each night, but I haven't booked where I'm staying each night yet. Part of that is because I plan to stay in a mix of Albergues and Casa Rural/Hostels, and part of that is because I'm not even sure of where to make those reservations. On my past two Caminos, even when I was having my pack carried on, I usually just showed up in the town and found a place to stay. Should I be more proactive about pre-booking my lodgings?

Ruth
Regardless of whether you use Booking.com etc, or go direct, be aware that the break in opportunities to walk the Camino will lead to an increased demand. This was evident when I tried to reserve a bed at a private albergue on the Meseta at the very end of August and was told that it was completely full, due to one booking for the entire place. I have found a room at a hotel for a higher price (naturally) but worth thinking about,
 

Turigrino

Carpe Diem
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
when I tried to reserve a bed at a private albergue on the Meseta at the very end of August and was told that it was completely full, due to one booking for the entire place.
Was it during the summer of 2020? You seem to have walked a "pandemic" camino. Very valuable bits of information.
 

Steve Taylor

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 2019 Sarria to Santiago Sept 2019 Logrono to Burgos Aug 2020 St Jean Pied De Port to Logrono
The August in question is 2021. I did walk some of the Camino in 2020 and it was really good, albeit relatively quiet.
 

Renascer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
So, I'm having my pack carried, so I have a rough idea of where I'm going to be staying each night, but I haven't booked where I'm staying each night yet. Part of that is because I plan to stay in a mix of Albergues and Casa Rural/Hostels, and part of that is because I'm not even sure of where to make those reservations. On my past two Caminos, even when I was having my pack carried on, I usually just showed up in the town and found a place to stay. Should I be more proactive about pre-booking my lodgings?

Ruth
I am booking because of this virus and because i will be sending my pack whenever i feel like it. Like you said i would just enjoy it too to show up and look for a place that i took a pic, checked the vibe etc... but with this situation and being a first timer i decided to cut a little on the level of adventure, which by the way is what i like, adventure. Do what will be more comfortable and safer for you. To book i am using booking.com, emails, text and Gronze.com and keeping track of this All is a bit time consuming but in the end it is for a dream. So its worth. I have to say that booking.com makes the tracking part much easier and organized. I hope this helps in anything but this is what the newbie here is doing.
 
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