Hostels: to reserve or not to reserve?

     Question: if you were flying to the Middle East, arriving at 8:20pm, would you have a hostel/hotel reserved? Is it a preposterous question? Who wouldn’t? I am hesitant. I like some serendipity and flexibility. I might end up Skyping a place and seeing how much availability they have, but I lament how much over-planning people do for their trips.
     If you have only a week or so to travel, I understand, but all the time on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree I see people asking for opinions of their long itineraries planned out to the day. I usually bite my tongue and don’t respond, but I say let yourself be swayed by events on the ground. I once stayed an extra few days in Tbilisi, Georgia when I discovered a film festival was about to start, and it became a highlight of the trip.
     This subject is a convenient segue to the sad fact that the least-viewed page on my website is the hostels page. So sad…good thing my therapist is on speed dial. Maybe people see the title and think they already know about hostels (I am thinking of changing the title to “Naked Photos of Me”), but it’s actually a one-man discussion of the pros and cons of booking hostels, whether to buy a IYHF hostel card, what hostels are like these days, a mention of, and a photo of a couple sleeping in the airport in Athens, Greece, looking very comfortable.
     Still not intrigued? All right then, I’ll try and figure out how to use the self-timer on my camera… Khao San Fukuoka

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