Sometimes it’s not as easy as you may think. There could be unwanted surprises that could pop up later like hidden fees, incidental deposits and a complicated cancellation process accompanied with certain fees. These kinds of surprises can put a bitter taste to your holiday even if it hasn’t yet started and here are a few tips that you should know before you make the payment on your next hotel stay.
- Thoroughly read through the hotel’s cancellation policy
It’s very simple to click on the Book reservation button on your computer c, but a word of advice would be to read through the cancellation policy thoroughly. Read each line carefully and then read it all over again. This is because many hotels have a similar cancellation policy but certain conditions may vary depending upon your location and even the dates of your stay.
You will find that the cancellation policies are strictly enforced or are slightly amended during public holidays and when major events are taking place in the area. Some hotels may require only a 24 hour notice before cancellation without charging you whereas other s may want a 48 – 72 hour notice. Some hotels may charge you a cancellation fee regardless of when you cancel your reservation. This is something that you will have to keep in mind to safeguard your own interests. Keep in mind that third party hotel booking websites may have their own cancellation policies, so you should add those costs into your final reckoning. These small incidentals could add up later.
- Use Credit Cards
We would suggest that you avoid using your debit card for making your online hotel bookings. This is because when you make a payment for your hotel with your credit card, the hotel only puts a hold on that particular amount for the incidentals deposit which is then released at a later stage. However, in the case of using your debit card, the money is actually removed from your account and is then deposited back later. This means that you will be strapped for cash as you are not only paying for your room but also for any incidental charges in advance. Seeing how banks operate and that you will in most likelihood be vacationing or staying in a hotel out of your locality, it may take time for the money to be realized back into your account. Credit cards also have a lot of protective measures in place to prevent fraud. With a debit card, you could find that your entire savings has been wiped out without any recourse.
- Check out any incidental charges at check in
A reputable hotel will inform you of all the incidentals that will charged to you before handing over the key or even at the time of booking so that you are always aware of it. These incidental charges could include any purchases you may make during your stay like utilizing the contents of the mini bar, room service, wifi etc.
- Booking Fees go to the hotel, not your booking site
Don’t be alarmed when the hotel requests for you to produce the credit card used when booking your room. This is because any booking fees charged to your card whilst booking needs to be verified. Also, the hotel may have resort fees as well as other incidentals that may have to be charged to your room. These charges are immediately reversed after you vacate your room and if there are no utilities that have been used. So don’t worry, they’re not charging you twice.