Planning The Best Way to Book a Hotel: Direct vs Booking Site

The Best Way to Book a Hotel: Direct vs Booking Site

Want to optimize the way you book hotels for your next trip? Here are some tips for booking a hotel effectively:

Use hotel booking sites like Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, etc. to compare prices at different hotels. These sites often have good deals and packages. Read reviews from other travelers to help narrow your choices.

Consider booking through Delta.com if you’re a loyal customer of this airline. Delta offers points in exchange for booking through their platform.

Use travel reward points or hotel loyalty programs to redeem free nights or get other benefits at certain chains. Sign up for hotels’ email promotions.

Contact the hotel directly and politely ask if they are offering any unpublished specials or can match a lower rate you found elsewhere. Being friendly can go a long way.

Be flexible with dates if you can to take advantage of lower weekday or off-peak prices. Hotels often drop prices when demand is slower.

Generally speaking, when booking a hotel, use filters like star ratings, amenities, price range, etc. to find hotels that suit your needs and budget. Be clear on what’s included in the room rate – breakfast, wifi, parking, etc. Extra fees can add up.

Consider location in terms of proximity to sights you want to visit or transportation options. Centrally located hotels can reduce transportation costs.

Check the hotel’s cancellation and refund policies in case your trip plans change. Many sites allow cancellation without penalty within a day or two of booking.

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Is it better to book hotels directly?

Booking hotels directly or through third-party websites both have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are some factors to consider:

Booking directly with the hotel

  1. Better Communication: Direct booking allows direct communication with the hotel staff. This can be beneficial if you have special requests or need specific accommodations.
  2. Loyalty Programs: Many hotels offer loyalty programs or rewards for direct bookings. These programs can include perks like free upgrades, discounts, or other benefits.
  3. Flexible Policies: Sometimes hotels offer more flexible cancellation policies or room change options for direct bookings.
  4. Price Matching: Some hotels offer price matching, meaning if you find a lower rate elsewhere, they might match or even beat that price.

Booking through third-party hotel websites

  1. Comparative Pricing: Third-party sites often allow you to compare prices across multiple hotels, giving you a wider range of options.
  2. Discounts and Deals: Sometimes, these platforms offer exclusive discounts or deals not available when booking directly with the hotel.
  3. Convenience: These sites can be convenient for quickly comparing prices, reading reviews, and making bookings all in one place.
  4. Reward Programs: Some third-party sites have their own reward programs that can accumulate points for future discounts or free stays.

In essence, the decision may depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you value direct communication with the hotel, want to access loyalty program benefits, or seek flexibility, booking directly might be better. However, if you prioritize price comparison, convenience, or specific deals offered by third-party sites, that option might suit you more.

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s always a good idea to research and compare prices and policies to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your preferences and needs.

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