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Wanting to avoid all albergues

Camino(s) past & future
Trying to plan a trip.
#1
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
 

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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#2
A lot will depend on which Camino you intend to walk. The Camino Frances has the biggest infrastructure but also the largest number of pilgrims. Most people find a bed of some sort somewhere eventually even at peak times but if there are two of you and you are definite about not using albergues then you have limited your choice a great deal. It is quite possible that there will be no private rooms left by mid-afternoon, let alone nearing dark. If you want to walk without reservations that is a risk you will need to take.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Trying to plan a trip.
#5
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#6
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
If that is your preference then by all means use a compàny although I really believe that on the Frances it is not needed especially not on the last 100k.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#7
Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
My first camino was with a friend who had booked with Rayo Travel, and they arranged all our accommodations in CRs or Hotels - but we walked on our own, rather than with a tour. If you're thinking of doing that, they did a wonderful job and were endlessly patient with all our questions.
I have to say the hotels were very nice.;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
#8
That you don't speak Spanish will not be a big problem. Many people in hotels/ private lodges will understand and or speak enough Spanish to be able to make a reservation. You can always ask in the hotel where you are staying to make a reservation for you. They can advice you also about the possibilities. I would not book ahead with a company because that might limit your possibilities to adapt your Camino to your needs and situation of the moment
 
Camino(s) past & future
Trying to plan a trip.
#9
My first camino was with a friend who had booked with Rayo Travel, and they arranged all our accommodations in CRs or Hotels - but we walked on our own, rather than with a tour. If you're thinking of doing that, they did a wonderful job and were endlessly patient with all our questions.
I have to say the hotels were very nice.;)
That sounds great. Thank you so much!
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#10
I'm just back, about 3 weeks ago, from the Camino Frances. I used Booking.com, sometimes at the start of the day, other times in the evening , to secure accommodation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am currently walking the Camino del Norte summer 2018
#11
Hi Trevor,

My son and I walked the Camino del Norte from Irún to SdC in June/July of this year and used booking.com to reserve our hotel accommodations...it was easy,
inexpensive, and we never encountered a problem....even though we are both fluent in Spanish, we found that most, if not all accommodations had someone on staff who spoke English......all accommodations were clean and many unique! We stayed in more than one that had been converted from palaces—- with antique furniture and museum-like common rooms...gorgeous libraries,etc.....one that had a beautiful intact private chapel that was opened upon request for any guest...several washed clothes for us after informing us that there was no local laundrymat......many had their own cafes where the rate included breakfast......Buen Camino !
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#12
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
Really not necessary.
On my first Camino I spoke no Spainish at all.
I used booking.com or asked my hosts to book the next night for me.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#13
If you walk in July (that is peak season) and want a specific type of lodging, reserving is very advisable.
Yes, booking.com it is. Look for the filters 0-50 euros, "hostels" & "bed houses". In some cases, the bathroom could be shared.
Notice the establishments called "Albergue". It is the type with collective accomodations, but with private rooms available; so you can have privacy, and at the same time experience (if you like) the "feeling" of the pilgrim life, meet people of every corner of the world, and share eventually a communal dinner.
English wil not be a major problem in the Camino Frances -just try to learn some basic words in Spanish, for the fun of it. It will also be appreciated by local people.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese/Coastal Sept
(2019) Via de la Plata - Seville to Santiago May
#14
Nothing at all about wanting a private room with a good shower. From what I've done and seen when I walked the Camino Frances a few years ago, it wouldn't have been necessary to book ahead. That said, I used walkthecamino.com to set it up. It was well worth the extra cost and the tradeoff between the freedom to completely choose your itinerary against the confidence of relaxing and knowing that you had a room for the night weighed heavily for the later approach. I'm doing the same on this year's walk on the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago and next year from Seville to Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
first timer
#15
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
no need to use a tourgroup they cost twice as much as just going on to booking.com!! its makes no sense and most hotels are able to be cacelled with just 1 day notice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese/Coastal Sept
(2019) Via de la Plata - Seville to Santiago May
#17
Thought I would put one more comment on this thread. Definitely, don't book a tour group. Most of my best moments on the Camino were when I just ran into someone and started talking. Booking in a group is fine if you want to have the comfort of being with the same group and people for the walk. Nothing wrong with that, but you can walk by yourself (although you're usually alone for a short time until a conversation starts). You may find yourself alone on the Camino but you'll never be alone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2015, 2017, 2019
#18
Camino(s) past & future
first timer
#20

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#21
I have not stayed in albergues for most of my caminos, other than in private rooms. For reasons sufficient to me, I don't want to share accommodation. I have relied on my innkeepers' recommendations for the next stop and they have often called ahead to book the next night for me, or I used booking.com. I would tend to avoid a tour company as the cost will be considerably greater-- a few of them can be recommended as they provide value added in terms of historical information, etc, but unless you want to rely primarily on the group for your social interaction....

Even telephoning ahead proved simple, in spite of my horribly bad castellano. Read from a prepared 2-sentence script, utilising a John Wayne accent (there are many youtube examples of his painful Spanish from his western films) so the other party knows you're not fluent, and you will have little trouble.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019), Portuguese (2019)
#23
I'm just back, about 3 weeks ago, from the Camino Frances. I used Booking.com, sometimes at the start of the day, other times in the evening , to secure accommodation.
The cost per person who uses albergues is about 30 Euros. What is a practical estimated cost per day for a person using hotels/CRs etc.?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019), Portuguese (2019)
#24

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#25
The cost per person who uses albergues is about 30 Euros. What is a practical estimated cost per day for a person using hotels/CRs etc.?
Let's say that not staying in albergues would cost you 20€/day. Add to that anywhere between 15-25€ for a private room if you go for a budget ones. It also depends which Camino you are walking and if you are alone. Prices also varies for accommodation in bigger towns and in rural areas. So for one person it would be 35-45€ I'd say.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/primitivo (15)
#26
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
I am also retired military. I used trailsmart it lists all the lodgings and has there contact info. I did the coastal route with the spiritual variant in May. That said I used both and some of the albergues are quite nice and semi private or private. Also most of the hotel will offer a pilgrim price. U will need to get your stamps from cafes etc.. if u want a compestela
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019), Portuguese (2019)
#27
Let's say that not staying in albergues would cost you 20€/day. Add to that anywhere between 15-25€ for a private room if you go for a budget ones. It also depends which Camino you are walking and if you are alone. Prices also varies for accommodation in bigger towns and in rural areas. So for one person it would be 35-45€ I'd say.
Thanks! I followed Efren Gonzalez video blog on his CF in Sep 2017. (Check it out on YouTube! Very good!) He showed his costs for meals, albergue, & misc at the end of each day. It averaged about 30 Euros. I think my costs for everything except lodging will be similar. I recently used Booking.com to make reservations from SJPP to Pamplona for my CF in Sep 2019, but the prices seem higher than I anticipated. So, I thought I should check for advice here.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#28
Thanks! I followed Efren Gonzalez video blog on his CF in Sep 2017. (Check it out on YouTube! Very good!) He showed his costs for meals, albergue, & misc at the end of each day. It averaged about 30 Euros. I think my costs for everything except lodging will be similar. I recently used Booking.com to make reservations from SJPP to Pamplona for my CF in Sep 2019, but the prices seem higher than I anticipated. So, I thought I should check for advice here.
I saw all of the Efren's videos but I think he included cost of albergues in his average daily cost too. That's why I subtracted 10€ from it. You can not put the cost of albergue into equation if you are going to sleep in private room :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012,
2013, 2018
Camino Portuguese 2014
Camino Ingles, Finisterre/Muxia 2017
#29
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
Not necessary to speak spanish you can book on Booking.com and those places you need to go direct can be booked using google translate. The tour companies double the price plus you can't cancel or change them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019), Portuguese (2019)
#30
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
Trevor, I used Booking.com to make reservations from SJPP to Pamplona in Sep 2019. I will book ahead daily after I get to Pamplona. Booking.com is very easy to use! It has a filter on the left side of the page that allows you to limit your search to accommodations with private bath. Simply select your preference from the list of hits to make the reservation in English. There is also a way to ask questions online. Finally, many of the accommodations allow late cancellations! I found the ease of use and flexaibility afforded by Booking.com extraordinary!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#33
This July I did Tui - Santiago with no reservations and I always found room in the first hotel that I asked.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#35
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
Open the Gronze website in Google Chrome and it gets translated for you. It even works on videos - there was a series of Spanish TV programmes on a while back and you got nearly simultaneous translation as closed captions.

My preference over the last 3 caminos has been Booking.com
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#36
"Wanting to avoid all albergues" seems like you are running away from them! I share your the preference for private sleeping and bathroom facilities. However, I do think there is something special about the experience as part of the Camino - at least occasionally. So please keep your mind open. Depending on how old your son is, at least encourage him to experience them and then you can have a truly private room those nights!

As others have said, some private albergues have rooms for two, perhaps sharing the bath with others. Many of them will take reservations but they will be in great demand.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#37
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
Keep in mind @Trevor Johnson , that not all albergues are giant bunk rooms. The municipal ones certainly might be, but there are many, many private albergues that offer a private room and private bathroom. I don't want you to discount a great night's rest/experience based on a name.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#38
Hi, some people just don’t do albergues.

That’s fine – I didn’t on my first camino.

When I finally stayed in one (due to budget constraints) I realised - with a little bit of sadness - what I had been missing the first time round.

Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
July/August (2018)
#39
I’m about halfway through and there are very few pilgrims here it would seem. The locals have said twice now that there’s half as many people as usual.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan on walking the Camino Frances May 2019, God willing
#41
Trevor, I used Booking.com to make reservations from SJPP to Pamplona in Sep 2019. I will book ahead daily after I get to Pamplona. Booking.com is very easy to use! It has a filter on the left side of the page that allows you to limit your search to accommodations with private bath. Simply select your preference from the list of hits to make the reservation in English. There is also a way to ask questions online. Finally, many of the accommodations allow late cancellations! I found the ease of use and flexaibility afforded by Booking.com extraordinary!
Did you already book for September 2019??
That is when we are planning to go but it had not occurred to me to make reservations this soon
 

jimmyc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#42
I walked from SJPP in 2015 with a friend. After Pamplona we gave up albergues and stayed in pensions or hostals. We never had a problem finding a twin room in this type of accommodation except in Granon where there were none.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#43
I walked the Frances in May and stayed in only one albergue. I booked my first two days from home (SJPP and Orisson), then relied on Booking.com for the rest. I tried to plan a few days in advance and had only a few problems. Sometimes my first choice of town was booked and I had to choose one a little closer or farther.
 

owms2323

Credential question
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2016) Camino Finisterre/Muxia (2017)
#44
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
I would suggest booking 1-2 days ahead for a private room
 

janicemf

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
the french way
#48
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
My husband and I have walked CF twice now, we speak very little Spanish, he books the accommodation on through Gonze and we had no trouble booking place, getting registered and finding a meal. I hope you enjoy the time with your son and the walk.
 

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
#49
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
I did 30 years in the military and never would classify a person sleeping next to me as a stranger, I’d call him a brother, probably the best part of he Camino for me was sleeping with my new International Camino family
 

Texasguy

And so...we keep on walking ..
Camino(s) past & future
French completed in 2013
Portuguese Conpleted March 2015
Ingles Completed November 2015
French 2016
#50
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
This could be an option. If you are in the US, many folks are booking with REI.

It all depends of the kind of experience you want.

Buen Camino,

Texasguy
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July CF
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#51
Hi Trevor,
My husband and I are both prior military. We stayed in a variety of settings from simple refugios sleeping on mats to luxury hotels. We had no difficulty finding beds. We found sleeping in private rooms very restful, but had the best experiences on the Camino in the most simple places. You will find what works for you especially on the Camino Frances which seems to have something for everyone.
Janet
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2019
#52
I'm just back, about 3 weeks ago, from the Camino Frances. I used Booking.com, sometimes at the start of the day, other times in the evening , to secure accommodation.
I am surprised that you were able to book accommodations on short notice. I am planning to walk the Ingles next May. Looking for accommodations on booking.com shows some places are booked already! I am really worried
 

Canucks

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances, SJPDP to Santiago (2013), Le Puy to SJPDP (2014)
#53
We did the Frances and Le Puy caminos and didn’t share a room once. We had shared bathrooms perhaps four times total.
On our first Camino, we wanted to confirm our distances before booking but once we knew that a 27km average was fine, we just emailed ahead or used booking.com. Google Translate does wonders when it is straight email communication.
I realize that many choose to use "the Camino will provide" method and not book anything. Heck, our son did it that way.
Our choice, and it worked really well for us, was to take matters in our own hands for lodging and allow the Camino to provide all of the other stuff. YMMV
What was kind of interesting was that we ended up staying in the same places as one of the best tour package......and the prices were far better on our end. However, I recognize the convenience of sending one email and one payment. We just have fun setting up everything ourselves.
Whichever way you do it will work but there are definitely ways of doing it how you want to do it.
 

Canucks

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances, SJPDP to Santiago (2013), Le Puy to SJPDP (2014)
#54
I am surprised that you were able to book accommodations on short notice. I am planning to walk the Ingles next May. Looking for accommodations on booking.com shows some places are booked already! I am really worried
It doesn’t matter if some are booked......only if *all* are booked.

Also, be aware that the booking companies take a good percentage of the booking as their fee so the accommodation provider will likely only release those rooms to booking.com as they get closer to the dates, instead hoping to book on their own. Try emailing directly to the provider.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#56
Booking.com doesn't have access to all of a property's inventory. Find places on Gronze.com and email or call directly.. I just stayed in a place in Finisterre that was full on booking.com, but I went to their website and filled out their online reservation form and go a room with no problem.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2 Camino Frances completed, 1 Camino Portugues completed from Porto
#57
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
Hi Trevor - some ideas for you. Definitely book your first night in advance, so even if you are late, your room is ready. Finding hotels on the Camino Frances will not be a problem from April-Oct, there are plenty - but they tend to close around winter holidays and are in high demand in summer. So my suggestion is to get an app (I like WisePilgrim) which shows all accommodation in any given village - and links to booking.com for any private facility that can be booked ahead. My suggestion is to limit your hotel searching - don’t spend hours researching, just spend 15 minutes each evening figuring out where you want to stop the following day (your body will tell you), book your room and be done with it. Plenty of people do camino in hotels-only, advantages not only include privacy but bedding/towels (lightens pack), laundry (also lightens pack) and no curfews. When I win lotto and/or reach age 75, I will go hotels-only, great way to do camino.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#58
I had an interesting situation this June in Madrid. I found a room (for two) on Booking.com that was advertised for 45€, from the memory. I called the hostal directly and asked if they have any free rooms and they did. When we came there the man said the price was 65€. After I showed him the Booking.com page with advertised price he settled with 45€.
He explained to me that not all of the rooms are offered over Booking etc. but they do change the prices according to search and demand and they could be lover than "official" prices.
But I experienced the vice verse situation too ;)

It's hit and miss I think.
 

LaFlorida

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF May-June 2018
#59
I stayed in a mix of different types of lodging on the CF in June of 2018 and Booking.com was really easy. In Portomarin just past Sarria, an albergue host made about 6 calls for me with no luck, but I found what seemed like the last bed in town using booking.com. At least one place charged less for direct phone call or walk-in bookings because they passed the booking.com fee straight to the customer.
I really had great experiences in municipal albergues and will use them more and cook more meals next time. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#60
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
I agree with you I did a lot of rooms with BR or share.
 

Ronald H

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012
#61
I walked the Camino with my wife and she did not want to stay in albergues so I used Booking.com to book almost all my reservations. It is a great site since you can cancel almost all your bookings within a few days of arrival and they pretty much cover the world. I have attached a list of places we stayed. She did not want to walk more than 13 miles a day so we took 40 days to do it. Some places are albergues with private rooms. The MAP column refers to Brierley’s book. The **** refer to places that are FANTASTIC.

1534008761917.png
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#62
Thanks for the list, one suggestion in Carrion de los Condes the Poor Clare monastery has private rooms with BR, I always stay there. One is assured with the nuns one will have a good nite sleep the gates close at 11 I believe.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#63
I have tried both: doing the albergues on the Frances for 25 euros total a day, and supplementing with booking.com on the VdlP for 35+ euros total a day due to impossible stretches and festivals that got in the way and took all the beds....
I think it is overated to spend so much more every night, rather than the more primitive albergue...
my back still gets me up in the night, no difference.

Waiting to see what happens in the end of the day comes more natural than planning in the morning where you want to end.
just saying..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future (2019) Portuguese.
#64
This could be an option. If you are in the US, many folks are booking with REI.

It all depends of the kind of experience you want.

Buen Camino,

Texasguy
Just my own experience so far has been the tour guide sites offer little to nothing you can not simply book on your own for a fraction of the cost. In one case (name unmentioned) they could not even communicate on email w/o problems.

Luggage transfer and accommodations are easy to self arrange.

I only spent a few days here before I realized there was little an expensive tour could provide that was out of the easy reach of myself. €1900 for 12 nights (in "select" 3* or Pensione) , 12 breakfasts, 2 dinners and luggage transfer. This from Porto to Santiago with two 2 night rest stops.

My estimate is I can book all of this for well under $100 a day myself. That includes a couple albergues but mostly guest houses, rural casa and similar $40 a night lodgings. $30 a day for coffee, snacks and meals (I plan to eat many picnics with fresh market goodies and also a big mid day meal for $12 or so) and $10 for luggage transfer. That leaves wiggle room to reach $100. The tour was closer to $200 a day.

And planning this, with all the help and wonderful people here, is way better than mailing a check and sitting back for what I was looking for. All folks want different things and this is what I want.

I hope this helps...

D
 

ForrestUS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Finisterre starting May 12th
#65
Did the CF in May of 2018 myself and stayed in single rooms with a private bath only.. I used booking.com and would usually book my room for the next day while having a drink after just checking in to my destination
 

ForrestUS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Finisterre starting May 12th
#67
I found every place I stayed at to be extremely clean with most being relatively modern except for the larger hotels in places like Leon..
The price varies widely between 40 and $60 a night but most probably coming in around the $45 range
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Zamora Dec 2017 as Hospitalero
#68
I walked from SJPP in 2015 with a friend. After Pamplona we gave up albergues and stayed in pensions or hostals. We never had a problem finding a twin room in this type of accommodation except in Granon where there were none.
The alberque at Granon is a special place. Yep, it is probably uncomfortable for most people to sleep on the mats but the total experience is unforgettable. It is worth staying at. Like some folks, after a week or so, I tended to look for places with a private room but did not totally quit using albergues. Of course some alberques have private rooms. We used guidebooks and booking.com as well as asking our hosts about where to stay the next day.

Phil
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2010,2013,2015), Portugues (2011,2016), Muxia/Fisterra (2012), Norte (2018)
#70
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
Hi, Trevor.
I am exactly of the same mind as you. After my first four albergues 9 years ago, I decided I had had enough of albergues, and from then on it was only accommodations with my own room and bathroom through all my 6 Caminos. The same goes for my 7th one, this time the Del Norte, which I am going to begin on August 21st. I have already booked all the 37 hotels I am going to stay at. Booking ahead does reduce your flexibility in deciding how far you are going to walk each day, but after the first Camino you more or less know what your physical abilities are, and are able to plan ahead.
However, from experience, it depends very much on what Camino you choose and at what time of year.
If it is through July to September, the Camino Frances definitely requires advance reservations. The Camino Portugues is quite the same, perhaps to a lesser degree. The Camino Finesterra-Muxia mostly not. On the Camino del Norte there is still no pressure from pilgrims, but seaside vacationers do pose a serious competition for hotels. I, for one, did not leave it to chance and booked ahead on all the Caminos.
The trouble is that some places, particularly small villages, offer only albergues, with no other alternatives. So I suggest that you buy your Brierley guide as soon as the 2019 edition comes out, study it day by day and find out what is available where. In some places you must reserve even your individual beds at the albergue, or else you and your son may find yourselves sleeping out at the local pelota court or church entrance porch.
 

Gcmacrae

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
#71
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
For a while I treked with a woman and her father wh stayed exclusively in casa rural or pilgrim hotels. In July of this year on Camino Frances you could get a clean, small room with private shower for 28-40 Euro. A pension with a washroom down the hall 25 euro. Most provided breakfast. Pension, Casa Rural and many private hostels have private rooms. The couple had booked everything 9 months previously. That is unnecessary. Hotels. Com, booking. Com will tell you what accommodations are ahead. You will always find something.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2017.
Camino Portuguese in planning (Sept 2018)
#72
Hi Trevor - we are about to start our 5th camino and have only ever stayed one night in an alburgue (at Orisson). We have got Garry from Spanish Adventures to pre-book all our accommodation for us (he has a family business based in Santiago de Compostela). I would highly recommend him.
The points about missing out on camaraderie I would say were definitely true for our first caminos in 2010 and 2013. But we have found big changes over the past few years. There are many many more people staying in pensions/hotels, so we have met plenty of people. But this does mean pre-booking may be a bit more necessary.
We also had our luggage transferred. In 2010 that seemed to isolate us a lot (ie people would walk up to us, ask if they were day packs or our full packs, and then when finding out they were day packs, would walk off and not speak much to us again or rather bluntly tell us that our camino was not as spiritual as theirs!). On our last camino in 2017, it seemed like nearly half of the walkers had day packs.
We start the Portuguese in four weeks time, again with accommodation booked by Garry and luggage transfers. We can't wait!
 

owms2323

Credential question
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2016) Camino Finisterre/Muxia (2017)
#73
This could be an option. If you are in the US, many folks are booking with REI.

It all depends of the kind of experience you want.

Buen Camino,

Texasguy
Just learn to say how many beds you need for what night and call the alberques directly Buenos Dias, me gustaría reservar dos camas para mañana por la noche por favor. I would like to reserve 2 beds for tomorrow night, please
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#74
This July I did Tui - Santiago with no reservations and I always found room in the first hotel that I asked.
I agree there is no need to reserve I did Camino from Sevilla as far as Zamora and didn't reserve and always had a place. Then from Astorga to Santiago I had no problems even though the students were numerous. In Sarria busloads of students, every day and I stayed there for two days.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#75
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
Booking.com
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
#76
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
Trevor, I've completed the French way 3 times and have a detailed list of hotels that I choose for the location and quality in each town. Send me your email and I'll send it along.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March-mid April 2017 first time
#77
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
Your best bet is book thru booking .com. we did sleep in private room and bathroom from Astorga to Santiago. Will do it again in 2020 mid September to mid October. Speak only few wards of Spanish no problem. Cathy K.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future (2019) Portuguese.
#78
I cannot speak Spanish.

Perhaps I should book through a tour guide and customize my Camino trip? This might be more costly than "winging it" but would avoid difficulties.
If you have the time to practice now perhaps learn a few key phrases.

Whenever we travel I always try to learn a couple key things in the native language. "Forgive me, I do not speak _____" "Do you speak English?" From there I try to learn left, right and straight so I can understand directions. Lastly learn the word for "reservation" and to count to five. This will not always work and in remote places likely people will not find English is widely spoken, especially among older folks. That first phrase goes a very long way to encouraging people that do not speak English to try and help anyway. Seems people really respond well to an apology for not speaking the native language as the first thing they hear.
 

Opa Theo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
#79
"We also had our luggage transferred. In 2010 that seemed to isolate us a lot (ie people would walk up to us, ask if they were day packs or our full packs, and then when finding out they were day packs, would walk off and not speak much to us again or rather bluntly tell us that our camino was not as spiritual as theirs!). On our last camino in 2017, it seemed like nearly half of the walkers had day packs."

Isn't there a line in the bible to the effect, "judge not. Lest thou be judged". Save us from self-righteous people.
Ted
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#80
. . . Isn't there a line in the bible to the effect, "judge not. Lest thou be judged". Save us from self-righteous people.
Ted
There is that quote from the Bible, which is often used (wrongly). As used in the Bible, it refers to someone who is judging the spiritual condition of another person, rather than things in the physical world.

But then, there is always "You cannot judge a book by it's cover" :)
 

Wockin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's 2013
#81
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
There are allot of Casas and hostals which are like a 2 star hotel. That time of year there is allot that's already booked and you really need to be at least 5 days ahead of yourself. After sarria I would book everything if you want your own room. There are some alburgue's that offer private rooms as well. If you look at booking.com they have some good alternatives.
Buen Camino
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#82
There is that quote from the Bible, which is often used (wrongly). As used in the Bible, it refers to someone who is judging the spiritual condition of another person, rather than things in the physical world.

But then, there is always "You cannot judge a book by it's cover" :)
Nice one!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#83
Did the CF in May of 2018 myself and stayed in single rooms with a private bath only.. I used booking.com and would usually book my room for the next day while having a drink after just checking in to my destination
Hey, there I hear you I have done 10 Caminos and it is getting harder to stay in albergues. This year I stayed in some albergues but mostly in small pensions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#84
There are allot of Casas and hostals which are like a 2 star hotel. That time of year there is allot that's already booked and you really need to be at least 5 days ahead of yourself. After sarria I would book everything if you want your own room. There are some alburgue's that offer private rooms as well. If you look at booking.com they have some good alternatives.
Buen Camino
Last August I only needed to book one day ahead between Sarria and Santiago. Or sometimes when I stopped for lunch for a room that night.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#85
If you have the time to practice now perhaps learn a few key phrases.

Whenever we travel I always try to learn a couple key things in the native language. "Forgive me, I do not speak _____" "Do you speak English?" From there I try to learn left, right and straight so I can understand directions. Lastly learn the word for "reservation" and to count to five. This will not always work and in remote places likely people will not find English is widely spoken, especially among older folks. That first phrase goes a very long way to encouraging people that do not speak English to try and help anyway. Seems people really respond well to an apology for not speaking the native language as the first thing they hear.
The first word I learn in any language is "thank you". There are many languages for which that is the only word I know. If worst comes to worse, I can be pretty good at using gestures and signs to convey what I mean and now there is Google Translate as well. But nothing says "thank you" like saying it in someone's own language.
 
#86
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
yes lots of hotels, if you have the money!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#87
Hmm. I am looking at trying to walk in the UK and only finding touristy walks with B&Bs and inns that I can't afford. And these are called pilgrimages. :(

Campsites are few and far between, as are hostels. And even those are pricey! As these walks are set up for people who want private lodging , I am wondering if you have considered them. (I'm not saying you can't "do your own Camino" in Spain!) --There is a beautiful St. Patricks Pilgrimage in NI, and others in England that I would love to do. My strongest memories and places where I was influenced and changed on the Camino were through the people I met at albergues, --discussions over shared meals, caring for other pilgrims as we could.

I wish you a buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future (2018)
#88
Trevor, I've completed the French way 3 times and have a detailed list of hotels that I choose for the location and quality in each town. Send me your email and I'll send it along.
Hello Super Pilgrim. That sounds a very useful resource. Would you mind sending it to me? I’m aiming to set off in a month from SJPP. Regards Ian
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#89
Hello Super Pilgrim. That sounds a very useful resource. Would you mind sending it to me? I’m aiming to set off in a month from SJPP. Regards Ian
Ian, I suggest that you edit your post and remove your email address. You can send other forum members a private message with your email address, but you should never post it on a public forum - unless you like receiving a lot of spam! :eek:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future (2018)
#90
Ian, I suggest that you edit your post and remove your email address. You can send other forum members a private message with your email address, but you should never post it on a public forum - unless you like receiving a lot of spam! :eek:
I’ll do that thanks. I couldn’t see how to do a pm.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#91
Hmm. I am looking at trying to walk in the UK and only finding touristy walks with B&Bs and inns that I can't afford. And these are called pilgrimages. :(

Campsites are few and far between, as are hostels. And even those are pricey! As these walks are set up for people who want private lodging , I am wondering if you have considered them. (I'm not saying you can't "do your own Camino" in Spain!) --There is a beautiful St. Patricks Pilgrimage in NI, and others in England that I would love to do. My strongest memories and places where I was influenced and changed on the Camino were through the people I met at albergues, --discussions over shared meals, caring for other pilgrims as we could.

I wish you a buen camino.
B&Bs in the UK tend to be overpriced and sometimes of dubious quality - this is why I use my old campervan at home (UK) or walk the Iberian Caminos. Had you thought of the Youth Hostel Association? You don't have to be a youth any more YHA
 

gcsz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hope to walk in 2019
#93
We are retired and need a good nights sleep. We to like a private room with our own bathroom.

This is a list of the places we stayed on our last Camino.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/attachments/1-2017-camino-albergue-pdf.41000/

I would recommend you book a day or two in advance and/or plan on arriving in Town by 1pm

Were you stay tonight, will often help you reserve for the next night.
That's an informative link.....on the several nights you stayed in an albergue, was it because you couldn't get a private room?
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#94
B&Bs in the UK tend to be overpriced and sometimes of dubious quality - this is why I use my old campervan at home (UK) or walk the Iberian Caminos. Had you thought of the Youth Hostel Association? You don't have to be a youth any more YHA
Thanks for the reply. I have looked at YHA, but they are few and far between, and still about £20 for a bunk, and rarely on the path. :( I will be walking the Coastal Causeway in NI with my older son in September, and have booked a room in few hostels along the way. Then will make our way to England where he'll be at university this coming year. I had thought of doing the Cotswolds Way, and I may still, come Spring-- But the B&B scene is just not what I'm looking for. -- The Scout Camp in the Cotswolds did say that I can pitch a tent there for £5 per night-- and they have hot showers. So that might work. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#95
I too eschew albergues whenever possible. I am a light sleeper. I snore, get bronchial diseases quickly, and being of a mature age need to use the toilet hourly. So, as a win-win, I avoid albergues. Everyone is happier...except my wallet. But this is a compromise I learned long ago was a sage one.

However, when it is unavoidable, I will reserve a private albergue, and request a private room, if they have one. This has never failed. Only in desperation do I stay in shared rooms, and then I try to arrange the smallest room possible, a double or 4-bunk room. The desperation phase comes AFTER I have made inquiries at the local bar, if anyone takes in pilgrims needing a room. A lot of folks do this to earn cash. But, you need to seek out the local watering hole and ask politely.

The above thread contains a lot of useful advice. Rather than discuss each of them, I will summarize my experiences, and takeaways from above, here:
  • Use booking.com to book ahead. They list most all private places including private albergues.
  • Be cautious when considering 'distance to town.' After walking 25 km, I do not want to walk another 2 km 'off-piste' to get to lodging. If they want to come give me a ride, okay, but no side trips.
  • www.gronze.com is very good too, but only in Spanish. Use the Chrome browser to auto-translate.
  • If walking off-season, booking two - three days in advance, as you progress, is a good idea.
  • DO rely on suggestions of the place you are staying at today for a good onward alternatives.
  • Ask them to phone ahead to make a reservation for you. Works every time. These folks look after each other.
  • If you will not arrive for your reservation FOR ANY REASON, please cancel via email or phone so another pilgrim can have a place to sleep.
  • One very good tip to save € on private lodgings; not all rooms are offered through online reservation sites. Properties typically only offer a few rooms through online sites, holding the rest for direct reservations. They pay a 10 - 15% fee to the online sites for the online convenience service.
  • If you can, locate an available room on booking.com or any other online reservation site, then try to contact the property directly by e-mail (use Google or Microsoft Translator to compose a message in Spanish) to try to make a direct reservation, bypassing the online services. If you browse for the property, you will find that many, but not all, DO have a website. You can save 10 -15% on the cost of the room, IF the proprietor passes along the savings. This has worked for me many times.
  • Cost-wise, staying exclusively in albergues averaged me € 57 daily, over my past three of six Caminos in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Staying in albergues exclusively, you can keep this cost to € 30 or less. Sometimes you will pay € 25 for a private room. Other times it will be € 55 - 60 per night. I eat simply and do not drink a lot. It all averages out. The longer the Camino, the lower the overall average.
Once you check in, seek out the local albergue or bar/cafe/restaurant to reconnect with folks you walked with during the day. If you simply hunker down at your private lodging, you will, as others have stated, miss out on one of the seminal experiences of the Camino...camaraderie.

Hope this helps.
 

Nonnieto9

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
#96
"Wanting to avoid all albergues" seems like you are running away from them! I share your the preference for private sleeping and bathroom facilities. However, I do think there is something special about the experience as part of the Camino - at least occasionally. So please keep your mind open. Depending on how old your son is, at least encourage him to experience them and then you can have a truly private room those nights!

As others have said, some private albergues have rooms for two, perhaps sharing the bath with others. Many of them will take reservations but they will be in great demand.


My friend and I did a combination of hotels and albergues...we used phone app Wise Pilgrim (there is one for each route)...I was able to check the route, expected temperature and the difficulty of the next day's walk. With that information I looked at the info for the anticipated destination, checked the housing options AND made reservations. Always had a good bed! BTW, some albergues have private rooms. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
second week in may to start from St jean de pieds Santiago
#97
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
i have walked the camino Frances and the camino Portugues i had to stay in a few Albergues but by booking the day before managed to find somwhere to sleep every night on my own ? the guide supplied by Ivar was very good Buen Camino
 

Johnvd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
Hello,

I did years in the military and now that I am out I never want to sleep next to a stranger again. Ha ha, sorry.

So I want to hike the Camino but want a room and bathroom to myself at night. My son and I.

Are hotels plentiful or do I really need to book in advance? What are the chances of it nearing dark and without lodging for the night in July of 2019?
For some people, including myself, the Camino experience was about the balance between control and trust. Booking through a tour company would be on the control end of the continuum: everything is predictable and there are no surprises. Also little need for trust. Making daily reservations is still high in control although it requires some trust that there will be openings where you want them. All the way on the trust end of the continuum requires you to start walking with no reservations at all, simply trusting that when you walk as far as you want to, there will be a place to sleep, just right for you and your son. The decision to lean towards trust rather than control is a very personal one, affected by such things as faith, fear, courage, and contentment. You may learn about yourself with respect to these things along the way. Some people have pre-booked everything in advance, even signed up with a tour company, but discovered along the way that control comes at a price. Learning to appreciate the freedom that comes from trusting made them give up on all reservations, at considerable expense, in order to enjoy the fact that the Camino can, and will, provide everything they needed.

Buen Camino!
 

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