Here’s a conundrum for you.
How can the best planned holiday consist of an unplanned stay?
Now isn’t that a secret worth disclosing?
I have always been in two minds about sharing travel secrets. Once they are out, the entire novelty value of it being a secret, shared between a few, is redundant. But, being a travel blogger, I also feel it is my duty to share and let everyone experience the wonderful pleasures that the world has to offer.
Hotel bookings over the last decade have simplified down to a few clicks thanks to the availability of internet. We have reviews, photos, detailed information in front of us before we even leave the comfort of our homes.
While this has made traveling easy, it has also taken away the adventure of reaching a new destination without prior knowledge and finding a place to spend the night. Ask any seasoned traveler and their best stories would consist of hotel related misadventures. Be as that might, it is preferred to book in advance now, except for when you are going island hoping in Greece.
Besides the car rentals, the restaurants, the tours, running Bed & Breakfasts is another occupation taken up by many individuals, especially a number of young adults. A search on the internet will eventually lead you to small websites with all the information about these family run cosy habitats, but the trick is not to book online.
Island hoping in Greece should be done at a leisurely pace. Not having a pre-paid hotel booking gives you the flexibility of staying at an island for longer than planned.
Not only that, taking a ferry to the next island, not knowing where you will lay your head that evening, is the type of excitement that travel should conjure.
Here’s the secret; every time a ferry arrives, you will find a number of people standing at the port, shouting, in a friendly manner, with picture books in their hands. These are the local Bed & Breakfast owners calling out to you to have a look at rooms (in pictures) they have on offer, and strike a deal for your stay.
The wonderful part about booking a room on your arrival is that although it might seem haphazard, everyone calling out for your attention, there is some order to all the chaos, especially since it is done in a courteous fashion. There is no pushing or pulling and everyone respects each other’s space.
It is also a great way to exercise your bargaining skills. As I found out the hard way, it was possible to get a room; bigger and better than the one I booked online, much cheaper.
The Bed & Breakfasts, which are run almost like small hotels sometimes, are a wonderful way to not only help the local economy but also get a local perspective to everything from food and drink to finding out about hidden beaches and places to visit.
These “home-stays”give the guests an opportunity to experience the culture of the country and its people from the inside.
Now, when you plan a Greek vacation, be adventurous and don’t just book your stay. Take it as it comes, and enjoy the hospitality that will leave you in awe, making you salivate for your next trip even before you leave.