When planning a trip or vacation, the internet has made it easy enough to compare prices of accommodation that booking hotels online has become a common practice. Many who have booked online, however, have found themselves wishing they'd known certain things beforehand. Below are five of the most essential things you should know before doing some online hotel booking. You may just save yourself some headaches and regrets.
1. Check the Reviews
A number of sites offer star ratings and reviews of hotels provided by users based on personal experience, which can prove helpful. It is one thing to take a glimpse at the score, but actually reading the reviews can prove fruitful also. Do the reviews seem too good to be true, as if planted by the hotels themselves? Or do the complaints provided by a reviewer seem exaggerated and petty?
While there does exist a lot of noise and unnecessary hate on internet comments, checking the reviews is nonetheless advisable, because it's difficult argue with a parade of glowing reviews from a diverse array of personalities (especially those who have posted numerous reviews), nor should you ignore an equally large miscellany of extremely upset patrons.
2. Compare Prices Using a Metasearch Engine
Many online shoppers will immediately identify a price that fits within their budget and book the room without comparing any other options. It can be beneficial to look more closely, and pretty easy too, considering the number of tools online that help you quickly compare the prices offered by hotels for certain dates, in a certain location, etc.
Use these metasearch engines in collaboration with reading the reviews and see if they can offer you a greater chance of getting the experience you want at the price you want.
3. Don't Book too Far in Advance
Hotels will often charge more for advance bookings, as hotel owners will not offer deals until they are sure they have an excess of free rooms. Figures vary on how long exactly you should wait. One source says don't book more than three months in advance, while another recommends no more than twenty-one days, obviously an extreme difference.
There is no perfect amount of days that is suitable for all hotels, but if you are looking for value, wait until your trip or vacation is soon before you book the room.
4. Choose the Right Time to Go
The prices of rooms in a hotels vary depending on the time of year, as hotels can charge more when they are busier. There are many rate tracking tools available online to help you identify the right time to go.
5. For Major Hotels, Check the Official Site
Travel booking sites collect a commission on each sale made, so in effect, hotels have to charge more for sales made on these sites to make the same profits. Smaller chains are less likely to change their prices in light of this, but larger hotels often do. If you find a good bargain on a major hotel on a booking site, have a look at the webpage site to see if they are offering a lower rate still.
For more tips and tricks on booking the ideal hotel room, use resources such as Windsor Lodge Como.