LeJOG accommodation - is it essential to pre-book these days?

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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davidwgreen
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Joined: 11 Sep 2009, 7:12am
Location: Cambridge UK
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LeJOG accommodation - is it essential to pre-book these days?

Post by davidwgreen »

I rode LeJOG twice back in the 80's, staying in B&B found along the way, 14 day trip both times. This was very flexible and I seldom had trouble finding a room. And I was fitter then.

I'm thinking of repeating the trip next year (2024) with my wife. Both in our 60s. We'll probably aim for 3 weeks, using a mix of B&B and some camping. It would be great to keep accomodation plans flexible, depending on where we find ourselves each day, and how tired we are! But how easy is it these days to find ad hoc B&B (and YHA) accommodation without booking days ahead? I fear that everything has moved to pre-booking since COVID.

If ad hoc is inadvisable, what the best way to keep some flexibility without planning every stop weeks beforehand?

Happy Christmas!

David Green
rareposter
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Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: LeJOG accommodation - is it essential to pre-book these days?

Post by rareposter »

davidwgreen wrote: 22 Dec 2023, 4:04pm It would be great to keep accomodation plans flexible, depending on where we find ourselves each day, and how tired we are! But how easy is it these days to find ad hoc B&B (and YHA) accommodation without booking days ahead? I fear that everything has moved to pre-booking since COVID.
Like you, I like to keep some flexibility in plans. It's not fun to get 30 miles into a day, have it lashing down with rain, a headwind, a mechanical or two and find yourself way behind schedule with 40+ miles still to go to your pre-booked accommodation!

Opposite to that, you may have a tailwind, it's a lovely day and you feel like cycling for a bit longer - not just arriving at 2pm at your B&B and find the room not ready and then nothing to do all afternoon!

What I did for a couple of years (these were shorter tours, not 3 week ones) was to get online at lunchtime and just find somewhere on booking.com for that evening, the distance being roughly what I wanted to do from where I was. A friend used this approach when she did a trans-Europe tour - sometimes even leaving it until she actually arrived in a nice looking town, she'd find a decent hotel, pop into a nearby restaurant and book the hotel online then turn up there after her meal.

Some hotels were a bit surprised to find a long distance rider checking in but she never had any issues - most even let her take the bike into her room.

Note that Premier Inn and Holiday Inn aren't on booking.com, it's worth having those as separate tabs. At weekends and last-minute, they can often do very cheap deals since most of their clientele are business people staying during the week plus they often get very short notice cancellations and just want to fill the room. Both chains allow you to take bikes into the room although they may object if they're absolutely filthy! If you're using e-bikes, check that they do allow those into the rooms, some places now are (understandably) getting a bit nervous due to battery fires when charging.

Also it will of course depend on your timings - if you do it during summer holidays, expect most places to be fully booked and/or high prices. May or September (out of school holiday time) both tend to be fairly off-season and both often have surprisingly good weather!

Good luck!
davidwgreen
Posts: 53
Joined: 11 Sep 2009, 7:12am
Location: Cambridge UK
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Re: LeJOG accommodation - is it essential to pre-book these days?

Post by davidwgreen »

Many thanks for these great ideas.
David Green
L+1
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Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 5:47pm

Re: LeJOG accommodation - is it essential to pre-book these days?

Post by L+1 »

If Premier Inn is of interest to you and in the right locations, they have a choice of booking rates, with different levels of flexibility for cancellation. Their ‘flex’ rate is most expensive but can be cancelled without any charges up to 1pm on the date of arrival. Another booking rate allows a change of date at the same location.
So you could hang onto a Premier Inn booking en route, then make a decision before 1pm about whether it will be your final destination for the day. You do need a data mobile signal or WiFi for the cancellation, which almost certainly needs to be done via the Premier Inn App.
Premier Inn is famously bike friendly (almost always allow bikes in rooms) but I understand restrictions are being introduced regarding electric bikes/battery charging - details might be on the PI website.
NickG
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Joined: 27 Mar 2024, 10:00am

Re: LeJOG accommodation - is it essential to pre-book these days?

Post by NickG »

Hi

I resume this old thread

I'm writing from Italy, first post here

Me and my wife have planned the FRJOG (somewhere in southern France to JOG) route starting at the beginning of May. We are likely to do the UK leg during June
We are now thinking about the stages and the logistics

In the past 10 years we used making reservations shortly in advance, same day or one/two days before
However, I noticed that in this forum many people mention reservations made far in advance ("160 days to go")

What is the reason for booking so early?

The need to have pre-established stages exactly in certain places, to respect a tight plan
An objective lack of beds in the area
Being able to choose cheaper options or have early bird rates


We have plenty of time (both retired) and are very flexible, so don't need to take the shortest route.
We can afford a good hotel but we don't mind to stay in a basic one
We don't mind to make a shorter leg if accommodations are not available where we expected

What do you think?
Is it a risk in general? Or just in sparsely populated areas with few places to sleep/eat?

Thanks
Nick, Italia
Ron
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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 9:07pm

Re: LeJOG accommodation - is it essential to pre-book these days?

Post by Ron »

NickG wrote: 27 Mar 2024, 10:06am What is the reason for booking so early?
We have plenty of time (both retired) and are very flexible, so don't need to take the shortest route.
We can afford a good hotel but we don't mind to stay in a basic one
We don't mind to make a shorter leg if accommodations are not available where we expected :D
What do you think?
I think, with your flexible attitude to route planning and accommodation costs that you will be ok. Also your plan to do the UK part of your tour in June, outwith the peak tourist period, would be another factor in your favour.
I don't know why people book so far in advance, but have discovered that some possibly enjoy the planning more than the journey.
We're all different, I just try to live and let live. :D
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