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I am leaving for a family holiday to a non-touristic region. Long before I made reservations for a self-catering accommodation. I paid the required 25% and was promised an extensive email describing the details of our stay and how to get from the airport to the rented location.

Unfortunately I haven't received any confirmation since. So my question is what to do if you arrive at your destination after a long journey only to learn that your intended accommodation, is either overbooked or non-existent.

In the case of overbooking one would expect that the owners would do everything in their power to find an alternative, but it wouldn't be the first time that they simply don't care.

What are my options?

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If your booked accommodation really does prove not to exist at the last minute, there are some websites that specialize in last minute bookings. The most famous of these would be the cunningly named lastminute.com –  hippietrail Jul 23 '13 at 8:24
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Why not just ask "how to find accommodation on the spot without a booking"? I don't see how the story of a failed booking is relevant to potential answers. The question seems a too general. –  dbkk Jul 23 '13 at 8:49
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@dbkk it is a different story. At some destinations it is sometimes only possible to book in advance to find accomodation. Then arriving to find you are being a victim of either a fraud or overbooking can get you in a ver nasty situation, especially with children. Similar to the question how to deal with jetlags, I would like to know if this community has some valuable advice –  andra Jul 23 '13 at 9:58
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What's wrong with contacting the landlord and asking for the confirmation? He has perhaps forgotten to send it ... –  PERSONA NON GRATA Jul 23 '13 at 17:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It depends on whether or not you have internet access.

If you do, then you have the wealth of information on the internet to help you: As you asked "what to do if you arrive at your destination after a long journey only to learn that your intended accommodation, is either overbooked or non-existent." that means you will have probably less than 12 hours before needing a place to sleep. As many internet booking sites require 24 hours notice, they are probably not suitable to use directly. However, you can use these sites to find suitable hotels with good ratings near your current location, and then go to those hotels directly and see if they have rooms. www.agoda.com, www.expedia.com, www.booking.com are all options that I have used before with plenty of success. As the name suggests, www.lastminute.com does allow bookings on the check-in day, so that is also a good option.

If you don't have internet access then your best bet is to try to find a taxi driver who speaks your language and ask him to bring to an area with a lot of hotels. That's a better option than just asking him to bring you to a hotel, as at least this way you will have several options nearby in case the first is full or unsuitable.

All that said, as you have time in advance to prepare I would just take down the numbers and addresses of a few suitable 'backup' hotels in case you run into trouble with the one that you have booked.

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May I add these two sites:

AirBnB is for renting between individuals and has a lot of last minute deals.

CouchSurfing is for hosting people by other people, so worse comes to worse there is a last minute section there!

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