6 mistakes to avoid while booking a hotel
Various online platforms have made booking accommodations a breeze. Whether you are traveling within the country or abroad, you need to make sure that you have chosen the right place to say and made the bookings correctly, so there’s no issue when checking in. However, certain common mistakes people tend to make when booking hotels can put a hitch in their trip. Here’s a list of six such booking mistakes that you should avoid:
Not clarifying the different elements of the rate
Many a time when making a booking, people just see the room rate. They forget to check out other additional components of the room rate. For example, many forget to find out about taxes. If you are booking online, there are resort fees that you may not see immediately and forget to check about. The resort fee is an amount charged for certain amenities at the property and is mostly not part of the basic room rate. You may realize the extra amount to be paid only when you arrive at the hotel, and at that time, it is too late to cancel your booking without paying a hefty fee. Therefore, it is best to gather all information before you make the booking. This way you will not end up being in a sorry state spending more than budgeted for the trip.
Choosing non-refundable rates to book the room
This could be another big blunder. Non-refundable rates usually are lower rates than the normal rates, that’s why these are so attractive. Sometimes, the non-refundable tag are prominently displayed but at times it can be mentioned in tiny fonts somewhere below that is easy to miss. Unfortunately, situations can change anytime and what was once a confirmed trip, you may need to cancel the booking eventually. There could be an emergency at the home, or office, or you may need to change the dates, etc. It is highly unlikely that the third party or the unit will directly refund the advance money you have paid for the booking. The amount is lost and there is no ground to write emails asking for a refund because it was a non-refundable room booking.
Assuming requests are guaranteed
There are various requests that travelers put in at the time of the booking. An early check-in, a late checkout, a non-smoking room, higher or lower floor, city view or garden views, double bed or single bed, etc., are examples of requests guests make during booking a room. Many people take it for granted that once the request has been made, it will be fulfilled by the resort. However, that is not the case. The requests are met only when the conditions are right. For example, if the garden view rooms are available for the room category you have booked, you might be allotted one. Thinking that all guest requests will be fulfilled is a big mistake. In most cases, the front desk will try and fulfill the requests, but there is no guarantee. Try to call the front desk before check-in just to reaffirm your special requests.
Not verifying about AAA or AARP or military discounts
Many people are not aware that if they are members of AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), AAA (Automobile Association of America), or the military, they can avail of special discounts while booking hotels. Very few establishments state these discounts without prompting, and customers can often miss out on them. The discounts enjoyed by members are quite noteworthy and you might want to ask for more details during the booking. It can help save some money that can be used for other purposes during the trip.
Forgetting to provide your contact information during booking
This is a piece of basic information that you need to provide to the resort. Many people, however, skip the step. They might offer their phone number but not their email ids. The problem is that in case the unit needs to get in touch later, maybe for an overcharge or maybe an item forgotten by you at the hotel, it has no place to send you a formal note about it. Yes, they can call but this is not a reliable mode of communication. The associates may forget to call, or the connectivity may be an issue or you may not receive the call if it comes through. An email id is considerably more reliable serving as a formal mode of communication.
Choosing the wrong location
This is a common mistake made by guests when booking rooms, especially when booking at a hotel chain that may have multiple units within a given radius. It is easy to get confused and book the rooms at some other place other than intended. It is, therefore, best to first check the address and choose the right one during the booking. The mistake may make things difficult for you or your family after check-in. You may waste time and money traveling to and fro due to the change in location. Request at the front office to see if they can get you a room at the other location and if not, you’ll have to make some adjustments to your schedule.
Avoiding these mistakes can help save money, time, and energy. That is why, it is recommended that while booking you should read between the fine lines, compare, do your research well, and read all the details before proceeding.