So with some places like South East Asia, generally accommodation is really simple - you basically just need to rock up and there's enough people trying to drag you to their hotel.

With Europe and Japan, it was less simple, and you probably want to have some accommodation plans, especially if you want to get the best prices.

Just wondering, for South America (Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Chile), is it necessary to book everything in advance? We're going for 7 1/2 weeks and we kind of have a rough plan of where to go, but we're prefer to be as flexible as possible if we could.

Also might mention that we're happy to stay in hostels (and dorm beds) if nothing else is available but would probably be interested in staying in cheap hotels and the occasional expensive hotel.

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    Supply and Demand. Sometimes even in Southeast Asia all the accomoodation in a place can be full, at least within your price range. I hardly ever book anywhere, but I've been stuck several times because of it. (-: Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 12:12
  • @hippietrail : true, but some places are more accessible than others to not have accom. Eg. SE Asia - getting hassled all the time is kind of annoying but it also means that anytime u want anything - room, food, massages, alcohol, drugs you've never heard of etc. someone will be willing to provide it to you. You rock up in Sydney without accom and u risk spending half a day trying to find somewhere. Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 12:36
  • Not if you rock up in Southeast Asia during a major festival or in Australia in the middle of winter. It's still supply and demand. Southeast Asia is also big but the only place I didn't find a place to stay within minutes of arriving was Khao San Road, where it took me an hour or two because everywhere was full or more expensive than I'd been used to paying in less touristy parts of SEA. There's no definitive answer. Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


South America is BIG! A generic answer is difficult to give. I have traveled in both Chile and Brazil without any reservations. Having either a hamock and/or tent was sufficient.

I tend to travel unprepared by default. That is the fun of traveling in my opinion. But I take the risk that I will have some frustrating days, looking for accommodation.

Another factor to consider is if you speak the language. If so, you have a much better chance to find accommodation on the spot since you can simply ask around.

I assume for places like Rio or Sao Paolo, the same applies as in other metropoles such as New York, Shanghai, etc.

Also don't expect many possibilities during the upcoming world cup or carnaval in February.

To know if you should go unprepared I would ask my self the two questions: 1. Do you speak the language, 2. Is some level of frustration acceptable? If you answer both questions with, No. I would make reservations.

  • thanks, yeah my spanish is fairly basic, but it's two months till I go, so I'll try to get a little bit better at it. Maybe we'll book for the first place and then keep a list of places we COULD stay at for the other ones, and book a couple of days before we get there. Good point about the world cup - definitely will book Rio. Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 12:11

At least in Bolivia you shouldn't have any problems. You can usually go and find available rooms in any hotel here.

It will be even easier for your if you don't have special needs.

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