Working on future travel plans is a great way to boost your health
So, if you’re rich on time and short on activities right now, you could do yourself some good by starting to work on your next getaway now.
With time on your side, you have ample opportunity to start working on the best vacation ever. Get started by finding out how to book a hotel room to ensure satisfaction and savings.
Old-Style Hotel Bookings
If you have a favorite hotel destination in mind, you could call up the hotel and reserve your spot right away.
You’ll have plenty of time to ask any questions you need, and you can ask about current special offers or discounts.
However, we’ve moved way past this old-world in-person type of booking these days. When you’re planning a vacation, chances are you’re going to do it online.
Here’s how to book a hotel room when you don’t have a live operator to guide you through the process or if you’re planning to try somewhere new.
How to Book a Hotel Room Online 101
The first step in making a hotel reservation is always the research. Fortunately, it’s also a lot of fun.
Plenty of research is a vital ingredient in discovering the best out of the way places to explore on your trip.
Searching for Accommodation
Any internet search begins with a search engine, but there are a host of other places to start your quest for the perfect getaway.
Online Travel Platforms like Expedia, Travelocity, and Hotels.com will give you a good idea of what’s available at your chosen destination. You’ll also get a handle on what you can expect to pay by browsing on these sites.
As an added bonus, these sites may offer transfers booking services as well as other handy add-ons you’ll need during your trip.
It’s important to remember that not every accommodation provider features on these OTPs and they’re also not always the cheapest.
So it’s best to use these platforms as a starting point, rather than view them as the final authority on availability.
Check on Cancellation Policies
Whichever site you decide to book on, check the fine print before you make a booking. If your situation changes closer to the time, you want to know that you’ll get a refund, or at least a credit towards your next stay.
Many hotels have scrapped cancellation fees, but some may offer only a partial refund if you cancel a certain number of days before your check-in date.
Oftentimes, review sites like TripAdvisor can help you choose the vacation of your dreams, but it’s not because of the reasons you think.
Yes, reviews can alert you to possible scams and substandard service. Yet, it’s wise to remember that people are far more likely to complain than post compliments online.
Also, there are still scam artists out there who hire people to write glowing reviews about their properties.
Read between the lines when reviewing the opinions of others. Take note of whether the hotel resolved the issue or ignored it.
You may also find you don’t view some of the issues as serious concerns or that other people have posted information that disagrees with the matter at hand.
Double Check Discounted Rates
Don’t let price be your first criteria when making a hotel reservation. It’s true that you won’t spend much time in your room while on vacation, but very low rates can indicate serious issues.
If a hotel offers rates that are far lower than others at the same destination, there’s a chance it’s in a bad part of town, undergoing renovations, or generally sub-standard.
In these cases, reviews may be helpful in getting to the bottom of the low rates.
Take a virtual visit to your destination before making a hotel reservation. Thanks to the powers of Google Earth’s Streetview tool, you can travel to the outside of most hotels from the comfort of your armchair.
This way, you can gauge the condition and location of the building before you commit. You can also find information on nearby restaurants and attractions as well as calculate the distance between these spots and the closest hotels.
Get in Touch
There’s one last thing to do before reserving a hotel room.
If you’ve completed all the above steps, you’re likely to have compiled a shortlist of the most desirable hotels for your vacation.
The next step is to call them directly. This serves two purposes.
Firstly, you can ask them about any unresolved issues you’re having. In the second place, they can answer any of the nagging questions you have.
For example, issues like whether the beds have feather pillows or the depth of their swimming pool, are snippets of information you won’t find online.
Whenever you have specific queries like this, it’s best to clear them up in advance with the hotel.
Booking With a Travel Agent
Apart from booking online or in-person, there’s one more way to find great hotel bookings for your trip.
Many travelers prefer to let a travel agent do all the work for them.
Thanks to years of experience and industry contacts, these professionals know how to get a hotel room at the best rates and in the best location for your needs.
If you’re undecided about what to do and where to stay, especially in a foreign country, booking via a travel agent can give you the peace of mind you crave.
Find Inspiration for Your Travels
Know that you know how to book a hotel room, there are few limits to the places you can explore.
Keep reading our blog for more travel tips and advice or to find out more about planning the most exciting things in your life.