I am planning a short trip to Bavaria, Austria, and the Czech Republic. This will be my first trip to Europe. I will arrive to Munich by plane on 15 of September and I am going to leave from Prague on 4 of October. Just by chance I am arriving before Oktoberfest, I did mean to spent few days in Munich just because of Oktoberfest, I really don't like beer, maybe I'll love the atmosphere of festival.
I am not really sure what I want to visit, and the question is not actually about the place to visit, this information I can find in previous posts and in tourists guide. I am more interested in the approach to traveling.
The First Approach is to arrive in a central city, with an advance-reserved bed in a hostel and start visiting all the interesting places around the center. For example, in my case, the central city is Munich, and living in Munich I am going to visit Dachau, Neuschwanstein, Bavarian forest, Nuremberg.
Advantages of 1st approach: you always have a kind of base (your Hostel) where you can leave all your heavy stuff (I am traveling with my girlfriend, so I expect to have a lot of heavy stuff) and just go to interesting places by train or by bus with minimum luggage. Also using this approach I can cover relatively a lot of sights. In addition, I assume that I can save money on many expensive hostels, that I found in less popular places.
Disadvantages of 1st approach: I am going to pay much more for train (which is surprisingly very expensive, it seems like less expensive to take a plane), and many hours of the trip will be spent in transport. Instead of taking the train I can rent a little car, I am not sure if it is gonna be less expensive, but I am sure it's gonna be less comfortable and I don't know if Germany has a problem with parking.
Beforehand I reserved 4 days for Munich, 3 days for Salzburg (by now I prefer to dedicate more days to Munich), 3 days for Vienna and 7 days for Prague. I know it's not balanced. This schedule can be changed easily.
The Second Approach is just move every day or every second day to a new place (hostel). This approach is less flexible, just because everything should be reserved beforehand and our trip should be very exact without changes in the middle (a friend of mine did the same in Italy but instead of hostels he stayed in good hotels, and as he said, there was not a problem to reserve a room one or two days before arriving). All hostels ask to make reservations beforehand, therefore I am not sure that we can find a hostel when we are already in the city or day or two before arriving. Is this right? Of course this approach is less expensive, because less traveling, but it's more strict, it will be much more complicated to stay in the place for one more day if you really loved it (in case of beforehand reservation).
As always the truth is in the middle, maybe sometimes it's worth asking someone for place to sleep in CouchSurfing, I have already experience as the person who hosts, but I never tried to surf. In addition, there is no "loss situation", in any case, the trip will be very exciting, I just want to prevent some mistakes that I can make with lack of experience.
I would like to know your opinion, and your previous experience regarding trip planning.