We’ve all made mistakes while traveling. It’s common for things to go wrong while you’re travelling. You may have forgotten important items or documents in the past and have had to figure a way out. You may have missed your flight or train. If you find yourself in the bad situation of having forgotten to book a hotel room on your travels, don’t panic! We’ve listed 5 things to try if you show up at a new city or country and realize that you haven’t booked a hotel room during its busy season.
Our first suggestion is to turn to technology. Go to a café or restaurant that has free Wi-Fi if you’re internet is not working, and browse websites or download APPs that will help you find and book vacant hotel rooms. Some websites include Hotel Tonight, Booking.com, Stayful for boutique hotels and Hipmunk. This is the easiest and safest way to find empty hotel rooms in the city you’re visiting. You may also get discounted rooms as some of these websites list unreserved hotel rooms at a discount. This way you will find a safe and reliable hotel room and you may save money as well!
If you’re still not able to find a hotel room, we suggest widening your search to more neighborhoods and hostels, motels or home stays. Most cities have numerous hostels, which are a great way to save money and meet other travelers. If you’re still unlucky, we recommend checking out other neighborhoods in the city for home stays or motels. This way you will discover a new part of the city and you may even get a better deal motels are usually cheaper than hotels. Staying in a less- touristy neighborhood will also give you the opportunity to find restaurants and things to do that you wouldn’t have visited if you were staying in the downtown area.
If technology has failed you, ask the locals for help. Talking to locals will help you learn about small hotels, bed-and-breakfasts or homestays that may not be listed online. Locals are the best people to get insider information and to learn about the city’s alternative stay options. While you speak to locals, you could also ask them about things to do and restaurants to visit. A local’s perspective cannot be replaced by anything you find online or in a guidebook. Be friendly and polite when you try to strike up a conversation!
If you’re still unsuccessful in getting a room reservation, you could find a comfortable lobby chair in safe hotel and try to get some sleep. We don’t recommend this for more that one night, but it’s a safer alternative than walking the streets of an unknown city late at night. This way you will be able to charge your phone and have the safety of a doorman and hotel staff.
If all else fails, you have no choice but to stay out all night! This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can make the most of the situation by being positive and finding things to entertain you. Get some food from a restaurant and ask locals for recommendations for the best bar or club in town. Dance the night away and once the club closes, make your way to an all-night diner or restaurant for some coffee and late-night munchies. This will make for a way better adventure and travel story than ordering room service and sleeping in a hotel room. However, the next morning we suggest you find accommodation and get some rest!