Booking a hotel room online before is a pretty straightforward and quick process. In fact, it’s so simple that many travelers overlook a few crucial aspects before booking, which ends up costing more time and money. What’s even worse is that a seemingly-minor misstep can spoil your entire vacation. If you want the best deals and make the most out of your trip, here are some common hotel booking mistakes you must absolutely avoid.
Booking at an inopportune time
When you book a hotel at the wrong time, you often end up paying a lot more. “Wrong” here means you’re booking too early or late. That being said, there’s no single best time to book, but you must consider the popularity and seasonality of your destination and monitor rates for a few days before booking.
Assuming there’s no better deal
Nearly every booking website claims to offer the best online hotel deals. But taking their word would be unwise. Compare prices across different sites and check if they’re offering promotions. Sometimes, the lowest prices are available on a hotel’s official website, so you might want to check that too.
Not paying with a credit card
Always use credit cards for hotel bookings. This path is typically the only means of getting cash-back bonuses, rewards, and free stays, among other benefits. More importantly, credit cards offer fraud protection and immediate refunds for mischarges, which are not offered for payments made through debit cards and cash.
Booking without checking reviews
Most hotel rooms look spacious, luxurious, and spotlessly clean in pictures, but the reality can be quite different. Reading reviews helps you know whether the hotel is how it looks. In addition, reviews can give you an idea of the quality of service and overall stay experience.
Booking non-refundable rooms
Non-refundable rooms are cheaper than regular ones, but keep in mind that booking such a room is a high-risk option. The hotel will not refund a single dollar if you have to cancel or amend your stay for any reason, be it a flight delay or medical emergency.
Overlooking the location
In search of the best deal, many travelers ignore the fact that their hotel is too far from the places they want to visit. If your hotel is located in an inconvenient or isolated location, it could ruin your whole vacation and cost you more money and time while traveling.