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Tips and Information for Booking hotels online
Choices are great. But too many choices can get overwhelming. So we have provided you with some useful tricks and tips to help you make a smart decision and one that you will be happy with.
Who gets the best-located rooms?
You might be curious abour what method hotel staff uses to determine who gets the best-located rooms. A front-desk agent revealed this surprising tidbit: Those who book through the hotel website or are hotel loyalty members usually get first dibs on room assignments, with the better views and quieter locations. Travelers who book through online travel agencies (OTAs) often receive "run of the house" rooms (what she called "ice-machine rooms," or basically whatever is left). The agent couldn't tell me just how many hotel chains do this, but she said it was a "fairly common practice" and that it sweetens the deal for travelers who book at regular rates.
Joining hotel loyalty programs is often free, and being a member can guarantee better room placement, free nights or helpful amenities like complimentary breakfast or Wi-Fi. If having the best possible room is key to happy travel, then book directly through the hotel's website. But when those low, low OTA prices can't be beat—we know the feeling—you can always make a request for a certain type of room or location.
Why you should use a credit card, not debit card?
When booking a hotel, credit cards are king. Not only do credit cards offer rewards like airline miles, free night stays or cash-back bonuses, but they also offer certain guarantees that debit cards and cash do not (such as fraud protection or immediate refunds for mischarges). Another tip that many travelers don't know? Most hotels will require an incidental deposit if you use a debit card to protect themselves against overdraft fees if your account has insufficient funds. These additional deposits can add up: I once paid a $100 deposit in Las Vegas that wasn't refunded to my account for two weeks.
If you are wise with money management and choose the right type of credit card, you could see plenty of benefits when booking accommodations.
Why prices on booking site are cheaper?
Hotels have a variety of rates—pre-paid, flexible, corporate, discounted, and more. And while rates go up and down based on demand, they don't (luckily) swing as widely as airline prices. They are a bit more static. Hotels sell rooms to these booking sites at a discount, which is why you often see rates cheaper on these sites than on the hotel's website.
The big booking companies then price in their costs, marketing, and whatever else to come up with a base for their displayed price. But those overall numbers mask a lot of variance. In the same city, depending on hotel class, we could have a different winner of booking site each time. One booking site might be the winner in the US and in higher class hotels, while some other ones might be great for two star hotels, and also some ones for three star hotels.
Featured Hotel Booking Articles
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3-Step to Choose the Right Hotel
Choices are great. But too many choices can get overwhelming. When booking a hotel, there are so many to choose from. So it's important to make a plan.
Not accounting for taxes and resort fees, Booking at the wrong time and Not checking reviews are the three common mistakes travellers make most. Be sure to avoid these mistakes.
Travelers, beware: A misleading hotel name or location description could lead you to book an airport hotel when you think you're getting centrally located accommodations.
King bed or two doubles? High floor or low? Non-smoking? Water views? Three single red M&Ms? When reserving your hotel, most booking engines will allow you to make requests...