Does booking a hotel seem easy? Just choose a destination, choose check-in date, complete the payment, and enjoy your trip!

However, you may make some mistakes during the hotel booking process, such as forgetting to check some important things, we will talk about the mistakes you should avoid when booking a hotel.

“Expect” to get the best room

Do you expect the hotel to provide various benefits when you check-in, such as free room upgrades for you, better views, and even complimentary breakfast? Instead of just “expecting,” you can actually do something to increase your odds of getting benefits.

hotel rooms

Do you know? If you book through the hotel’s offical website, you will usually be assigned a better location and room type. If you book through a third-party online platform (OTA) such as Booking or Agoda, you may get the “remaining” room type. This is an unwritten rule in the hotel industry, especially among large hotel chains.

The Solution: Join a Hotel Loyalty Program

Most hotel chains are free to join the membership program, and you have a better chance of getting a better room, free Wi-Fi, and other benefits after becoming a member.

The solution: make your request

In addition, remember to mention your needs when you book hotels. For example, if you want a higher floor, or a non-smoking floor, or need two double beds, etc.

If you want to spend some special days at the hotel, you can also make a note, such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc.

Hotels will usually try to accommodate your requests, especially if you are a member of the hotel. Alternatively, you can call the hotel to confirm your needs before arrival, and politely ask them to make arrangements in advance.

Using the wrong arrival or departure date

This is a mistake I made during an overseas trip more than ten years ago. At that time, I saw that the flight took off on March 5th, so the hotel I booked was to stay on March 5th,  and Non-refundable (big mistake).

Later I found out that my flight was actually a red-eye flight that landed on the morning of March 6th, which meant that I had booked a night that I don’t need.

Solution: Confirm arrival time and time difference

After that, the itinerary I prepared for each trip would mark the date and time of the flight’s arrival in the local area, especially in destinations with jet lag.

Book without a credit card

When booking hotels, credit cards are king. Not only do credit cards offer rewards like airline miles, free nights, or cashback, but they also offer benefits that debit cards and cash don’t, such as the ability to request an immediate refund for a wrong charge.

The fix: book with the credit card that works for you

If you often stay in a large chain brand hotel, you can apply for a credit card related to this brand, so that you can not only earn points for each stay but also may quickly upgrade to get more benefits.

Only see the hotel name and profile to book a hotel

There are many people who book only by looking at the hotel name or hotel introduction. You must know that sometimes you may be misled by the hotel name. For example, when you see “XX Lake Hotel”, you think that it must be next to XX Lake. Or the hotel profile says “the hotel is located near XX Lake”, but in fact, the hotel maybe half an hour’s drive from the lake.

Solution: Check the hotel’s location on the map

Before booking, copy the address into Google Maps to check the exact location. See how far you can walk, drive, or take public transportation to popular attractions and restaurants.

Solution: read the comments

Third-party platforms may not be the preferred platform for hotel reservations, but they are very useful for checking reviews, seeing what people said who have stayed at the hotel, and seeing the real photos they have shared.

Don’t compare hotel prices

Do you book as soon as you see your favorite hotel advertising “the lowest price in history” ?

It’s very likely that you’re booking a more expensive price, after all the hotel’s advertising dollars are expected to be earned back from you.

The solution: Compare prices on price comparison sites

There are many hotel price comparison websites. Just enter the hotel name and check-in time, and they will arrange the prices of multiple booking platforms at the same time so that you can quickly find which platform is cheaper.

You can check Priceline, Expedia, etc.

I recommend checking at least 3 different websites before booking, including OTA platforms, hotel websites, and price comparison sites.

To sum up

Before your next book, confirm the actual arrival time of your flight or train, compare prices on sites, OTA sites, and hotel official websites, Don’t forget to check reviews. If you decide to book on the hotel’s official website, remember to register for a free hotel membership first.


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