Traveling and Hotels – How to Get the Best Deals
When planning a vacation, there are many things to consider. Booking early, using a meta-search site, contacting the hotel directly, and reading the cancellation policy are just a few. Taking these steps can save you money and time. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you’ll find that planning ahead of time is key to getting the best deal.
Booking in advance
Booking hotels in advance is an excellent way to save money and avoid the stress of last-minute reservations. When you book early, you will have plenty of time to select your room and check for availability. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling in peak season. In addition to saving money, booking in advance will ensure that you get the room you want.
Similarly, it’s a good idea to book flights and hotel rooms ahead of time to get the best deals. However, if you’re traveling for an extended period of time, you may resent your fixed itinerary and feel resentful. It’s also possible that you may not like the city you’re visiting, and therefore, want to be with people who enjoy the same activities.
Booking with a meta-search website
If you’re looking for hotels in a certain area, booking with a meta-search website is a great option. Many metasearch sites connect with a booking engine system, which updates information automatically. Because tourists usually end up at the booking page after visiting Metasearch, it’s vital that the booking page is optimized for conversion.
These meta-search websites help consumers find the best deals without using the OTAs. You get higher conversions with metasearch than you do with OTAs, and metasearch websites typically have lower commissions. Most metasearch engines have commission rates of 10-15%, much lower than OTAs. You should be aware of the commission rates and bidding models before integrating metasearch into your marketing strategy.
Contacting a hotel’s web site
When contacting a hotel’s web site, always start your email with ‘Hello’ or ‘Dear (hotel name)’ and make sure you include all of the necessary information about your stay. For example, you should specify when you’ll be arriving, the room type you’d like, whether you’d like to have breakfast included, and any special requests you may have. It’s also helpful to include a phone number for confirmation.
Often, hotel websites focus on improving online conversions, but they often overlook the traditional voice channel. Yet, call inquiries remain one of the most important direct sales channels for hotels. Furthermore, travelers are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets to make travel decisions. In fact, a recent study by Google found that 58% of smartphone users who searched for a hotel would call to make reservations if the website had a ‘click-to-call’ option.
When traveling, it’s crucial to know the cancellation and change policies of the hotel and airline you’re planning to stay at. Some cancellation policies are more flexible than others, so you should check before booking to find out what your options are. Cancellation and change fees will differ depending on the type of hotel, your travel destination, and the cancellation policy of your particular travel provider.
Generally, you can change or cancel your hotel reservations up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival. However, it is important to note that some cancellation policies may be more restrictive than others, so you should read the fine print and choose a place accordingly. For example, most hotels and short-term rental sites have cancellation and change policies set by the owner. A few companies, such as Airbnb, have implemented a six-tier cancellation policy, which protects travelers from cancellation penalties. Some companies also have an Extenuating Circumstances policy that protects travelers from cancellation penalties. Moreover, VRBO has introduced a COVID-19-specific cancellation plan.
Booking with a travel agent
Using a travel agent to book your hotels doesn’t have to be as expensive as booking directly with a hotel. Many OTAs charge a high commission, and they often do not offer the same advantages as booking directly with a hotel. Moreover, when you book directly with a hotel, you don’t have to pay any commission to third parties. This way, you can maximize your revenue.
Major hotel chains usually offer a user-friendly interface and straightforward programs for booking hotels. These hotels are familiar to clients and travel agents, which helps to ensure a smooth travel experience. Some of these hotels also have a loyalty program for frequent travelers, which can be especially beneficial.