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May 27 2013

Booking Accommodation on the Go

smartphone, booking accommodation, technology, travel

When I’m travelling, I tend to leave things like booking accommodation to the last minute, which isn’t always the best thing to do for a number of reasons: There might be an event in the city or town which means all the accommodation is booked out; if it’s a sprawling city, it might be difficult to hunt out places to stay; or it might be difficult to find something in your budget if you are watching the pennies. I know this from experience but I still don’t always book in advance. Will I ever learn? Maybe some day but I can’t promise!

After a couple of nights in Nijmegen, I headed to Amsterdam unexpectedly for a couple of nights. I hadn’t booked a place to stay and, while I was on the train chatting to other travel bloggers, I realised that they had either booked accommodation or knew where they wanted to stay.  I hadn’t really given it much thought apart from turning up with one of the other bloggers and hoping there was a spare bed for me.  As there was free WiFi on the train, I thought I may as well look the hostel up, which I did.  It’s just as well because I wouldn’t have been able to stay as they have an age-limit of 40. That was the first time I had come across it and, after lifting my jaw off the floor with surprise, I felt angry because I don’t feel old.  Age is just a number!  Anyway, back to the point, I was concerned that other hostels might have a similar policy and thought it would be prudent to check rather than just turn up only to be turned away.

Modern technology is wonderful because with the free WiFi and just my smartphone, I was able to search for other hostels to see if I was too old.  That was when I spotted a female-only hostel in Amsterdam.  I had never stayed in one before so I thought it would be worth doing, especially as a travel blogger who writes for women aged 35+.  As it is located outside of central Amsterdam, it turned off some of the other female bloggers but I was up for giving it a go.  The photos of it looked great so I decided to book two nights there in a four-bed dorm.  I did it while I was on the train.  I’m not sure if it was the most sensible thing to do as it was an open network but I wanted to make sure there was a bed for me.  It worked out fine because, when I arrived, they had my booking and it was very hassle-free.

Travelling with technology is a whole new world for me and I love it!

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What’s your experience of booking accommodation on the go?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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