Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to book a hotel room ?

How to book a hotel room ? There are various ways to book a hotel. Each one has its pros and cons.

1) You can book directly through the hotel by calling them or going to their website. In the majority of cases, unless they are running a special, you will not get the best price.

2) You can walk into the hotel and book it right there. You do run the risk of it being booked though, if it is peak season or if there is a convention in town. Also, in many cases even if you have seen a lower price online, the staff at the desk is not authorized to give you that rate. The hotels have contracts with many online providers and offering you the rate you saw online is against policy, due to this.

3) You can bid on a hotel at sites like Priceline and on occasion you can actually get a very low rate this way. Often though, in order to get the best rate, you choose the star rating and the price but they choose the hotel. In those cases, you do not know which hotel you have until after it is booked and it is non-refundable. So unless you have travel insurance and a really good excuse, you are stuck with that hotel.

4) You can go to travel auction sites and see if you can win a trip for a good price. Often though, they will dictate the location and the exact dates that you have to travel.

5) You can go from site to site and compare rates yourself. You may find a huge difference in price for the exact same hotel from travel site to travel site.

6) You can use travel points that you have accumulated on your credit cards. Some companies make this easy for you. Others require you to book the trip first, stay there and then get your money refunded.

7) You can use a travel comparison site. These sites surf the web for you and bring back the prices on some of the top travel sites for you. You can still read reviews of the hotels, and look at the amenities but you do not have to do the leg work. You will see in a matter of seconds what each travel site is giving as their best price for the hotel that you want to stay in.

As you can see, learning how to book a hotel is fairly easy. You have choices, you just have to see which one fits with your criteria. Do you need to pick the hotel yourself? Do you need to choose particular days? These are the questions that you need to ask before choosing one of the strategies above.

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