Choosing a Hotel Booking Site
The hotel gross bookings in the US have accumulated hundreds of billions over the years, pushing the hotel industry to be among the leading sources of revenue for the government. This has not been made possible without the technological advancement in the running of hotel processes. Today, over 85% of travelers across the US want to search and make a hotel reservation online, from the comfort of their homes. As for hotel booking sites, there is no insufficiency of resources when it comes to booking the hotel of your choice. However, choosing the best hotel booking site can be quite overwhelming, considering the numerous options available today. This article gives you insights into what you should know about hotel booking sites.
Booking Hotels Online
Prior to the internet, booking a hotel was done by calling or writing to a hotel directly. Some travelers would also hire travel agents to facilitate their reservations. Processing a booking during this era was time-consuming, inconvenient, expensive, and quite a daunting experience. With the dynamic use of the internet in the hotel industry today, placing a booking has become easy and cost-effective. Not only is booking hotels online convenient and fast, but it also brings together some of the best hotels from which a traveler can make a choice. Travelers can also read reviews, compare rates, as well as fetch discounts offered for making a reservation online.
Things to Know Before Using a Hotel Booking Site
It is possible to book a hotel and end up landing in a room with features that are contrary to what attracted you to the hotel. You want to ensure that you get value for your money when you book a hotel online, and here is what you should know;
You should not believe every image you come across
A hotel booking site is as attractive as the content it displays. Most sites will display images of the interiors and the exteriors of the hotels to capture the attention of potential and existing clients. However, not all the photos posted on these sites are authentic. Some hotels will play a twist on some photos to make you believe in their services. You might want to read through reviews before using a hotel booking site for your reservation.
Go to the hotel’s official website
It is possible to come across details of a hotel from different supplier’s websites. However, most hotels will only have offers, discounts, and other privileges featured on their official websites. Prices might be relatively lower when making a reservation via the official website than any other source.
The small print is worth your time
Hotels will have some inconspicuous details hidden on their website. In most cases, these details are unfavorable to travelers. You should browse through the website to establish the hotel’s policies, terms and conditions, taxation guidelines, and other service requirements.
How to Plan Ahead When Booking a Holiday
Several plans are necessary to solidify your hotel reservation.
1. Have solid travel plans
You cannot book a hotel without having solid travel plans. If you are spending your holiday near a landmark or an attraction site, then you might want to budget for more. Rooms with a view of attractive features tend to more expensive than those located in regular places.
2. Settle on who is traveling with you
You want to place a hotel reservation when you are sure of who is traveling with you. This is because more people will require more beds, spacious rooms, and flexible amenities for children, where necessary. All these features imply budgeting for more.
3. Be clear on the nature of your trip
Some trips have a very high likelihood of being canceled. In such cases, you will need to check on the cancellation policies outlined in a hotel booking site. Sites with unfavorable policies could only make your holiday plans worse.
Things to Look for When Choosing a Hotel Booking Site
An ideal hotel booking site should have the following features;
This calendar shows the reservation status of hotel rooms. In addition to showing whether a room is available for booking, an availability calendar indicates the demand for a particular hotel. It also helps you to know the seasons with a high rate of occupancy.
A good hotel booking site should allow you to cancel your reservation whenever you find it appropriate. However, the best site should indicate the cancellation duration and the possible penalties linked to booking cancellation. Lack of this feature may result in conflicts.
Responsiveness and Device Compatibility
Sites that are not responsive to different devices are not reliable. You need a hotel booking site that is accessible by phone, iPad, or a computer. Hotels that have developed a mobile booking application are worth your time and money.
An ideal hotel booking site should provide you with efficient contact details. Additionally, they should have a readily-available support team to respond to your inquiries.
This is the most critical aspect of a hotel booking site. You want a site that allows for easy payment and refunding processes. You should lookout for a payment gateway that facilitates easy use of credit cards and direct payments to complete transactions.