When it comes to booking a hotel room, things can seem pretty straightforward. Pick a destination, choose dates and enter payment info. But sometimes even simple hotel reservations can go awry.
For instance, if you want to stay for a longer period than the hotel’s checkout policy allows, you will have to ask the front desk for permission to do so.
Do Your Research
The premise behind booking a hotel room seems like it should be relatively simple: pick the destination, choose the dates and enter payment info. But, in reality, it can be a bit more complex than that, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with how to make the most of the hotel booking process.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that a hotel’s website is the best place to find a good deal. While many hotels do have a website that lets you book rooms directly, it’s often better to use third-party apps or websites that provide access to discounts and other deals not available on the hotel’s site.
Using these apps can also allow you to compare prices at various hotels in your area and find the best deal for your travel needs. It is also a good idea to read online reviews from people who have recently stayed at the hotel you are considering, as they can give you a clearer picture of what it’s really like to stay there.
It’s also a good idea to book your hotel with a credit card instead of a debit card, as the former offers far more protection in case of fraudulent charges than the latter. It is also worth checking what’s included in your hotel reservation, such as free breakfast or Wi-Fi, and remembering to check the cancellation policy as well.
Finally, don’t forget to ask about special requests when you make your reservations. While most hotels try to honor these requests, it’s still worth calling ahead to be sure, especially if you have specific requirements.
For example, if you’re a pillow-picky sleeper, Winke says to ask the front desk staff to ensure that they’ll have your preferred type of pillows available when you arrive. It’s especially important to do this at smaller hotels, where it may be difficult for staffers to keep up with requests throughout the night.
Another thing to do is to research the best time to book a hotel, as this will vary depending on a number of factors, including location, seasonality, convention crowds and weather. But, don’t book too early: hotels will often raise rates in advance of high demand.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Booking a hotel room may seem like a simple task. Pick a destination, select dates, enter payment info and voila, you’re on your way. But research and surveys reveal that it’s far from a cakewalk. It’s easy to make blunders that can cost you money, comfort and peace of mind. Whitewater Hotel in Newby Bridge is open to any queries that customers might have and is very welcoming if you ever try to avail of their services.
For example, you should always be brave enough to ask questions about the amenities offered at a hotel. It is important to know what kind of room you’re going to book, what is included in the rate and whether any additional services are available for a fee. In addition, you should ask about the hotel’s accessibility and whether it offers shuttle service to tourist attractions, airports and railway stations.
Another tip is to check the hotel’s cancellation policy. You never know when something unexpected will arise that might change the course of your trip. Hence, it is better to check the cancellation policy before booking your hotel room. You can also check if the hotel offers any discounts and promo codes that you can use to save some money.
Lastly, you should always read the hotel’s house rules and policies. These are management policies that the hotel follows and they must be agreed upon by both parties before check-in. In most cases, these policies are mentioned on the guest registration card that you sign at check-in. These policies can include things like smoking in the hotel, wearing sexy clothes or not having appropriate attire while visiting certain areas of the property.
Finally, you should always remember to check out on time. Hotels have a check-out time for a reason, and it’s to allow housekeeping enough time to clean the room before assigning it to the next guest. Overstaying your welcome can result in unwanted fees, so be sure to leave on time.
Do Check the Cancellation Policy
If you have a travel itinerary that is subject to changing due to unexpected circumstances, hotel cancellation policies can be a lifesaver. This is why it’s a good idea to check the policy before booking a room. This will help you avoid any unwanted surprises, and may save you a lot of money.
Generally, hotels will allow you to cancel your reservation for free up until a certain amount of days before the date of your check-in. After this, they will charge you a set fee or percentage of your total booking amount depending on the situation. This is done to hold guests accountable and to ensure that they only book rooms when they intend to stay. It also reduces the number of no-shows, which helps the hotel to avoid losing too much revenue from avoidable vacancies.
However, not all hotels have the same cancellation policies. In addition, many hotels will offer different rates for the same room. For example, they might have a regular rate, a member rate, 60-day in advance rate, or prepaid rate, each with its own specific cancellation policies and requirements.
Another reason to always check the cancellation policy before booking a room is that some hotels require a deposit when you make your reservation, which is then nonrefundable. However, you can often get around this by booking directly through the hotel or joining a loyalty program. Moreover, you can also try to negotiate with the hotel if something comes up and you need to change your plans.
Most of the time, if you are willing to go through the trouble of getting a refund from the hotel, they will probably accommodate you as long as you explain your circumstances. For example, if you are planning on travelling to an exotic or remote destination and have been advised by your doctor not to travel, you could argue that there are no alternatives and deserve a refund.
It’s also worth mentioning that many airlines and hotels will give you credit towards a future stay rather than a full refund when you cancel a reservation. This is because they can still sell your room and don’t want to lose out on a potential profit.
Do Don’t Leave a Mess
Hotels rely on housekeeping staff to keep rooms clean, so if you leave a mess when you check out, you might be charged extra. To avoid this, throw away your trash, hang up wet towels and make sure all your belongings are put away.
Taking items from your room is another no-no. Not only can this result in additional charges, but it may also cause you to be banned from booking future stays at the property. This is because hotel staff will keep an inventory of items taken from rooms, and if you take items without reporting them, they might be able to charge you for their replacement value.
It’s also important to clean the high-traffic areas of your room, including remote controls and light switches. Additionally, many guests neglect to dust the base of picture frames, the inside and outside of drawers and the door and handle of the mini-fridge. Leaving these items dirty can lead to the spread of germs and bacteria that can be difficult for housekeeping to eradicate.
A clean, tidy hotel room is a pleasure for both guests and staff. It allows guests to relax and enjoy their stay without worrying about messes or extra charges, while also providing staff with the opportunity to do their job well.
In addition to keeping a clean, tidy room, it’s important to act respectfully towards hotel staff. This includes limiting noise, especially after 10pm, and respecting the privacy of other guests. Hotel walls and floors aren’t designed to provide much soundproofing, so noisy guests can be disruptive to other hotel patrons. It’s also important to remember that hotel staff work hard to make your stay as comfortable as possible, so if you have any issues with their services, it’s best to discuss them immediately.
A hotel room is a temporary home, so it’s important to treat it as such. Doing so will ensure you have a pleasant, stress-free vacation and prevent any unnecessary charges at checkout. By following these tips, you can be sure your next hotel stay is one to remember.