The process of booking a hotel has never been easier and quicker, thanks to a wide range of hotel booking websites and apps out there. Nevertheless, some people make mistakes when booking a hotel online. Mistakes, here, typically indicate doing anything that costs travelers a lot of money or affect their vacation. Well, some people might not even know they have been committing these big, costly blunders when booking hotels.
Booking at an unfavorable time
If you book a hotel at the wrong time, you’ll likely pay more than what the hotel room is actually worth. While there is no standard definition of “wrong” time, it refers to booking too early or too late. Generally, it’s best to start checking rates a couple of weeks before your travel date and book when you think it’s low.
Skipping price comparison
Never book the first hotel you come across on a booking website, even if it’s advertised at the “best price.” Perhaps the only way to know you’re getting the best deal is by performing a price comparison. To make price comparison easier, you can visit an aggregator website, which has multiple prices listed from multiple booking sites in one window.
Not paying with a credit card
Make it a habit to use a credit card every time you book a hotel. Credit cards typically offer rewards like airline miles, free night stays, and cashback. Another reason you should use a credit card is that it offers fraud protection and immediate refunds for mischarges.
Booking without checking reviews
If customer service matters to you, the last thing you should do is book a hotel without reading reviews online. Almost every hotel and its rooms look great in photos, but only those who’ve stayed there can tell you the real story. For genuine reviews, visit websites like TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Booking.com.
Selecting non-refundable rates
Non-refundable rates are lower than regular rates, even when the hotel room is the same. Wondering why? As the term “non-refundable” suggests, your money won’t be refunded in case you need to cancel your booking for any reason, be it health problems, flight delays, or bad weather. If non-refundable rates are not worth the risk, book at a regular rate and have peace of mind knowing you’ll be refunded if you cancel.
Disregarding the location aspect
Don’t overlook the location of the hotel just because you’re getting a great deal. If your hotel is too far from places you want to visit or is situated at an isolated location, you’ll end up spending a lot of money and time on transportation.
Additionally, if you plan to step out of the hotel to visit tourist spots, get a skip-the-line tour pass. This helps you avoid waiting in a queue, and you get more time to explore.