With hotel room prices often reaching dizzying heights, many people are looking for ways to find the best deals. One particular method gaining popularity is searching for discount hotel rates online.
While there are certainly plenty of reputable websites that provide these listings, others may be less legitimate. Here are some questions you must inquire about when looking for a hotel booking online.
Is the Website Secure?
Websites that provide a secure connection through a payment account or credit card use a particular protocol called HTTPS. Entering your personal information can be risky if you do not know you are on a secure site or not. Many people get victimized by phishing schemes online. But you can tell if a website is safe or not by looking for the lock icon in your browser’s address bar.
What is the Hotel’s Location?
Ideally, you must book a hotel room in an area of town with plenty of entertainment venues and restaurants. This way, you would have to spend less on commuting. So, before you make your final decision, find out what attractions are nearby the hotel. You may also need to consider transportation issues, such as whether or not the hotel is located close enough to public transit or the airport.
When is the Hotel’s Price the Lowest?
Paying the total price for a hotel room is almost always unacceptable. So you need to know when rates are the lowest. While weekend rates may be slightly higher, you can often save money by planning your trip during the middle of the week. You also might be able to get a better deal by booking your room three to four weeks in advance.
What Types of Amenities are Offered?
Although it is nice to have access to things like an on-site restaurant or pool, you may be able to save a lot of money by choosing a hotel that does not offer amenities that you know you will not be using.
For instance, if you are not planning on spending much time in your hotel, it may not be worth paying extra for a hotel that has a ton of services such as a spa, swimming pool, etc.
Are There Any Extra Fees?
Most hotels will not charge a fee to book online, but you should always check before making your final decision. Hotel websites may not include all the prices at once, such as phone calls or parking charges. However, later during check-out, the travelers are taken by surprise. So, review your bill and make sure that there are no hidden fees.
Is the Hotel ADA Compliant?
According to reports, hotel chain Marriott International generated approximately $10.6 billion in sales revenue in 2020. While it might not be a question that many people ask, those who need to stay at an ADA-compliant hotel should always make sure that a hotel is accessible before making a reservation.
Some hotels may have rooms with roll-in showers, while others may have accessible entrances. Being on the ground floor is ideal for those who have trouble climbing stairs, so if you have such issues, remember to request a room on the ground floor.
What Kind of Customer Service is Provided?
When you make an online hotel booking, you will usually be able to choose between self-service check-in or an actual person at the front desk. While self-service can often save money, many people prefer the personal touch of a human being. If you are unsure, be sure to read reviews left by past guests to get an idea of the quality of customer service.
Is the Hotel Safe?
Before booking a room in any hotel, try to find out if previous guests or locals reported any safety issues. You can also ask the hotel about their security measures and whether they provide amenities like safes, security cameras, or security locks.
Are There Any Blackout Dates?
While it is nice to have access to rooms year-round, the rates may not be that great during certain times of the year. These dates, known as blackout dates, are when rewards, discounts, and promotions are not applicable.
So, when booking, remember to verify you’re not booking a room on a blackout date. It will ensure that you can get the best deal possible.
What is the Cancelation Policy?
You may need to cancel your reservation at any time for any reason, so be sure to find out their cancellation policy before you book your room. Most hotels have a policy that states the number of days’ notice you must give before canceling to receive a full refund.
By asking yourself these questions, you can be sure that you are getting the best deal on your next hotel room. And by booking through a reputable website, you can avoid any potential problems.