I like to travel without any guidebooks. I want to make my experiences by myself, not by someone who knows the place much better than I.
However, I’ve made it a rule to book a hotel room in advance since I overheard a conversation between a female backpacker and a clerk of a tourist information in Germany 25 years ago.
Apparently, it was her first visit there and she was looking for a youth hostel ( very cheap hotel) to lodge in for a week. The clerk apologetically told her that there were no open youth hostels in the area, neither in the town nor in the immediate vicinity, until the end of April, which was one month later from then.
I cannot forget her face when she heard that even now.