There are few things better about traveling than having your bed made for you. Staying in a hotel can be a luxurious experience, even if it’s not at a five star hotel.
There are always risks involved in staying in a hotel. Most problems occur during the booking process.
Here are some of the most common mistakes made when booking hotels and how you can avoid them.
- Not Reading the Fine Print
You might think that you only have to pay the cost of your room, but that’s not always the case. Hotels like to sneak in fees for things you wouldn’t expect.
There might be an extra bed fee. Maybe breakfast is more expensive than you were anticipating. The snacks and drinks in the mini bar are almost always not free.
Make sure to check the tax regulations of the town you’re visiting. This is particularly a problem in European cities.
Each European city has its own VAT (value added tax) per person and per night. Hotels don’t necessarily have to tell you this ahead of time.
It’s best to double-check everything before you depart. You don’t want to start your stay at the hotel with a debate about the price.
- Incorrect Booking
When booking on the internet, it is easy to make a mistake. Maybe you booked an extra room or mistake or forgot to add someone. Or you forgot to add breakfast.
The best way to ensure there are no booking issues is to ask for a reservation confirmation. If there are any issues, call the hotel in advance.
Sometimes booking mistakes are the hotel’s fault. Hotels often overbook rooms to compensate for no-shows and last minute cancellations.
Hotels can usually find you a room somewhere else for the same price. Being a rewards points member or using a hotel booking service increases your chances of not being kicked out when a hotel has overbooked.
- Currency Conversions
This is the most common mistake when traveling internationally. If you aren’t looking at prices in your home currency, check the conversion.
Prices can sometimes be misleading and change depending on the exchange rate. If you are booking while abroad, be extra careful.
The company’s website can tell where you are and will usually show currencies in your current location.
So, if you’re in Switzerland but planning on traveling to England, prices will show up in Francs instead of Pounds.
You can usually change the settings on the website to your preferred currency.
Be aware that the exchange rate could change between the time you book the hotel and the time of your stay. Keep this in mind when deciding when to pay.
- Not Reading Reviews
Reviews aren’t always trustworthy, but they usually give a good idea about the quality of a hotel. Reading reviews is particularly important if you have particular needs.
If having a high quality breakfast is important to you, reviews of the restaurant will reflect that.
Make sure to read a variety of reviews from different websites. The hotel will promote and respond to positive reviews and will only feature good ones on their own website.
Keep in mind that some people just like to complain. People are also more likely to get angry and leave a bad review than they are to write a positive one.
- Booking at Peak Times
When it’s cold outside and your driveway is covered in snow, a trip to Hawaii sounds great. Everyone else has the same idea.
Booking summer holidays in winter is not the best idea. The reverse is also true.
There’s a great deal of data on the best booking times for hotels. Do some research to figure out what works for your schedule and budget.
Many hotels offer last-minute deals, but sometimes it’s better to book far in advance. If you’re traveling because on a big event, booking ahead of time is better.
Look up local holidays and events at the destination to make sure you don’t overlap with big conferences to avoid high prices.
Figuring out the perfect booking times and learning the ins and outs of filtering reviews takes time. Mistakes can still happen, but that’s part of the adventure of traveling! If you keep these things in mind, hopefully they won’t happen at all!