We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

Erding, Germany
Level Contributor
49 posts
40 reviews
Save Topic
Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

Would like to know if anybody has any experience traveliing through France (specifically Southern France to the Pyrenees) without prebooking accommodation in the high season?? My husband and I are planning a motorbike tour and want to be flexible about how long we stay in one place/how long we would take to get from one place to the other. Not sure if we are too optimistic!

Mentioned in this post
France
France
Europe
L'Art en Chemin
Sightseeing Tours, Walking Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Literary, Art & Music Tours, Day Trips
Maitre Savonitto
Sightseeing Tours
England, United...
Level Contributor
5,470 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

It all depends on what sort of accommodation you want. There are a multitude of chain hotels (Ibis, Mercure, Novotel, etc.) that usually have a room to spare.

Just bear in mind that August is busy in France generally but particularly in the South.

Mentioned in this post
France
France
Europe
England, United...
Level Contributor
3,964 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

In August I would definitely pre-book. In September you may be luckier but it's still a busy time.

It happened to us once when driving through France in early September that we could not find accommodation of any kind. As it was getting late we drove to a municipal campsite and slept in the car. We thought that was the safest thing to do. It was ok for one night (luckily it wasn't raining) but I certainly don't recommend it. Now we always prebook to avoid the anxiety in late afternoon of finding somewhere.

If you really don't want to pre-book, I suggest you get paper copies of the hotel chains' guides (Campanile, Ibis, Formule 1, Holiday Inn Express etc) in advance, and invest also in paper guides to Bed&Breakfasts (eg the one published by Gites de France). That's because you may not always have internet access while on the road. Then you can phone ahead a day before or even on the day to see if there are vacancies.

You can also stop at the nearest local tourist office and ask them for help in finding accommodation. But all of this takes time out of your holiday. Up to you, but I recommend pre-booking.

Mentioned in this post
France
France
Europe
Essex
Level Contributor
29,992 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

I have done many motorbike tours in France, sometimes solo, sometimes with others.

Usually go in September as the weather can be good, but the schools have gone back....

It is still a popular travel time for those like me who don't have kids and are not tied to the school holidays.

Must admit, I do usually "wing it" for accommodation. However, with the use of internet and 'phone, one can be reasonably flexible, yet still book ahead... Ring and organise somewhere for your next night....

Only ONCE so far did I go somewhere and find no room at the inn. When you are alone on a bike at the end of a long day, even in a civillised country, that can start to become a bit nerve wracking!

It is not as if one can do as celestina, and sleep IN the vehicle, and I was getting worried that I would have to sleep under a hedge somewhere.....

Mentioned in this post
France
France
Europe
Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
Level Contributor
23,619 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

In August you either prebook or carry a tarp you can drape across your bike so you´ll have a shelter to protect you from the rain at night.

Essex
Level Contributor
29,992 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

Another thing that can work well is to pick 2 or 3 areas that you want to exlpore, then book an accommodation in a central spot in each one. Then you can go out for rides in different directions each day.

You still get to enjoy good roads and exploring. However you have reduced hassle of packing up the panniers each day and the sometimes stressful job of finding a place to stay. You can even find space in Hotels with pools and other nicities that you don't always find 'on spec'. That can make for a more relaxing time!

Erding, Germany
Level Contributor
49 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

Thank you everyone for your input. It certainly is very helpful to hear about other people´s experiences. I had to laugh about the tarp because that´s exactly what my husband had said!!

The tip about the hotel chains is very good, makes me feel a little more confident, although we would prefer to avoid the big towns, but at least that is one option.

What we will probably do is pre book accommodation for the first half of the trip, which will be in August, and look for a base in the Pyrenees for a week or so from where we can do daily rides, we´ll book that ahead too. The return trip will be early September, depending on the route we may just decide to "wing it" but will definitely bring literature and our smartphones!

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
2,426 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

Tourist offices can indeed be saviors in an emergency. They often have unpublished lists of casual overnight accommodations. They can make the calls for you also in these situations.

8. Re: Hotel/B&B situation in August/September

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:19 am, February 13, 2015