They say prevention is the best cure, and this doesn’t just apply to illnesses. Most people make a lot of mistakes while traveling, like booking the more expensive hotel or taking overpriced cabs when the local public transport system works just as well. You might also sign up for a trip with a tourism agency that charges a hefty fee to plan your trip when you could have done just as well by spending a few hours in front of your laptop.
Traveling can be extremely fun and can also teach you a lot about other cultures, but it can also be stressful. The fear of missing out on important experiences and overpaying can hamper the whole affair. But worry not, since this guide will help ensure you don’t make the most common mistakes when booking a hotel to have a great vacation.
Don’t trust a deal that’s too good
When booking a place to stay, you might do what most people do and use websites like Trip Advisor or Expedia. While these sites can help you find hotels at a lower rate, there is a catch. You see, a hotel finds it more profitable to book a room at a lower rate than have it empty, so they’ll offer a discount, but these will be non-refundable tickets. This means if a family emergency or work issue arises and you need to cancel your trip, you’d still lose the money from your reservation.
So it’s better to research yourself and look through actual local listings. Let’s say you’re planning a trip to Pigeon Forge, down in Tennessee. You’re better off searching for Sevierville TN hotels and making an independent reservation since you would retain the right to cancel. In some cases, you might get lucky and the hotels will be willing to price match the cheaper rates you see online. It might make your trip a little more expensive if you can’t get a discount, but you can’t put a price on peace of mind.
Don’t forget about bundle offers
A lot of hotels do more than just offer you a room to stay in. They provide services like booking tours to popular attractions in the area, an airport shuttle service, and rental cars. In some cases, these services can be taken as a package deal that can save you a handsome buck. Now, you should, of course, look at the individual cost of the services before and make sure that it is actually a good deal, but if the price is right, this could be perfect for you. It’s a great way to have a more convenient trip and avoid the hassle without paying too much for the services.
These deals are often available during peak season as a last-minute booking offer to ensure the hotel has the maximum number of guests possible. However, keep in mind that these deals are usually inflexible. If your deal includes a plane ticket, you’d be stuck with the package’s exact departure time and date. You must be sure you can avail all the aspects of the bundle offer before committing to it.
Find out about hidden costs
Have you ever seen the little asterisk next to the price while making a reservation? It usually says, “Some additional fees may apply.” Most people ignore this and assume it doesn’t affect the bottom line, but many hotels could use this to add extra costs to the stay. The price you see online might cover boarding, but when you’re checking out, you might find out it didn’t account for the tax or that you have to pay for cleaning or any of the other facilities you used.
You should call the hotel before your booking and find out what is included with the room or not. Some hotels include free breakfast, while others advertise a free mini-bar for the first 24 hours of your stay. You must know which amenities you’re getting and which ones you’ll have to pay for. This way, you can make a more informed decision.
Think about conversion before paying
It’s common practice to use a credit card while paying for your reservation, but you need to ensure you’re querying the rates in the right currency. Let’s say you’re booking a hotel in France, and the currency is euros. In the worst-case scenario, you might only look at the number and not the currency symbol and pay more when the conversion applies. Moreover, many banks charge a considerable surcharge when they need to convert to a different currency, which could be an unnecessary extra cost on your trip. It would only take an extra few minutes to set your searches to the right currency, but it could save you a good chunk of money in the long run.
Use a credit card instead of a debit card
While this might seem like splitting hairs, there is a difference in the vacation experience when you book with a credit card instead of a debit card. Primarily, there are two advantages to using a credit card instead. First of all, most hotels will automatically place a hold on your card when you make the booking. Depending on how high-end the hotel is, this could be between $50 and $200. This is a standard practice most hotels employ to pre-charge you for any costs you might incur, such as using the mini-bar or the hotel gym. The hold is usually reversed a few days after you check out. If you use a debit card, the money will be cut immediately, which means less money you can use on your trip.
The second reason is to get bonuses on your credit card. Many banks and credit card companies offer travel-related perks on your card. These can vary from company to company, but they might include frequent flyer miles, access to airport lounges, waived exchange fees, and more.
These tips might seem unnecessary at times, but they can help you get better deals and avoid unexpected costs. Whether you’re double-checking if the room costs shown on the website include tax or if you’re making sure you get a hotel that includes the right amenities, following these tricks and tips can make your trip more enjoyable. To ensure you have the energy you need to enjoy the new city you’re exploring, you need a comfortable and fun hotel to come back to at the end of the day. The little luxuries add to an overall more enjoyable and memorable experience, so be extra vigilant when booking a room to stay in.