Are you planning a dream vacation? Even the best of trips can fail miserably without proper organization and care.

People who travel frequently know the biggest mistakes while booking online, but those new to the art of packing their bags may find it challenging to deal with the worst hotel booking mistakes.

Initially, booking a hotel seems pretty straightforward, as you need to pick up a destination, select dates, and then make a payment. But certain blunders like booking from the wrong websites, overlooking vital information, forgetting to check the reviews, etc., could easily make or break your trip.

This article will discuss mistakes to avoid while booking hotels from online platforms.

Worst mistakes to avoid while booking hotels

1. Expecting the best room

Expecting the best room is a common mistake made by many travellers. When you book online, you select whether you want a double or twin room; from here, it is up to the reservation team to determine who gets placed in which room.

Don’t expect to get the room shown in the pictures, as this isn’t always possible. If you have a preference, ensure you note it on your reservation.

Fix: Once you get to the hotel, if you are unhappy and if they aren’t fully booked, they may be able to move you to accommodate your request.

2. Preferring looks over location

It is one of the biggest mistakes while booking a hotel online. The looks, stunning views, and luxurious hotel rooms often tempt customers. But if it is not readily accessible, all its beauty will likely be lost on you.

You should choose a hotel that is well-connected to all major attractions to save time and expenses. If you are travelling for an official purpose, ensure your selected hotel is adjacent to your office.

If you are going for a holiday, select a hotel near the places you have planned to visit.

Fix: Instead of not focusing on the looks only, check with the property in advance about transport arrangements and accessibility.

How do you get the best deals and room inclusions when booking online hotels?

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The company has simplified the search and booking process for everyone so that even a non-tech-savvy person can easily book from this platform.

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 3.Not checking the cancellation policy

While planning for a holiday, cancellation is the least preferred thing you want to consider. But you can’t avoid it completely, as you may need to cancel or postpone your booking under certain untoward situations.

To ensure your worst-case scenario doesn’t end with you losing money, go through the hotel’s cancellation policy thoroughly before making the final call.

Every hotel has its own cancellation policy, so you can’t assume that all hotels will give you a twenty-four-hour cancellation, where they will return your deposit. Check the policy to know what you are liable for if you can’t honor your booking.

Fix: You may not get a full refund from the property, so you prefer a hotel that has a partial refund policy for cancellation of bookings. Refund amounts may vary based on when you cancel the booking.

4. Not comparing rates

It is one of the biggest mistakes while booking a trip. Don’t make any decisions hastily while booking a hotel.

Instead of jumping at the first room rate you encounter online, invest some time in researching. If you book through a third-party website, check similar websites for the best price. Some even embrace you with inclusions at the same price that others don’t.

Talk to the hotel directly for the rates. Sometimes, you may get a better price while directly talking to the booking desk. After receiving quotes from various platforms, compare them, and choose the best one that goes well with your budget.

Fix: Don’t decide in a hurry. Give some time, research, and compare the rates before taking the final call.

5. Not putting the arrival and departure dates correctly

When booking any hotel online, ensure you put down the correct date you arrive at the hotel and the day you leave.

This tiny mistake could leave you without a room for a night, either at the start or end of your holiday.

Fix: Always double-check your booking dates and recheck them when you receive the booking confirmation to ensure they are the exact dates you specified.

6. Not paying attention to check-in and check-out timings

Many hotels allow guests to check in between 12 and 2 pm, while check-out is typically in the morning. There is no standard time for check-in and check-out so different hotels may opt for different times.

To make your hotel booking hassle-free, check the check-in and check-out times during booking. In case of early arrival, you can request early check-in, which is typically offered based on availability.

If there is a gap between your check-out and your flight, you can ask the hotel to drop your baggage at the concierge while you can go outside for quick shopping or sightseeing.

Fix: Never book a hotel without seeing the check-in and check-out timings.

7. Overlooking inclusions and exclusions

Depending on your hotel and the category of room you book, you may be eligible for specific inclusions during your stay. A breakfast buffet is the most common inclusion that hotels used to offer with booking,

Some properties also offer a spa massage or other treatments as complimentary to their guests. If you book beach hotels in tropical destinations like Maldives or Bali, you may have inclusions like snorkelling equipment or other water sports equipment.

If your hotel is far from the city, check whether all meals are included in the rate. In this scenario, finding an outside restaurant could be a challenging task for you.

Also, check what’s (laundry, taxes, evening snacks, etc.) not included in your booking rate so that you can enjoy your holiday to the full extent.

Fix: Before making the payment, carefully check the inclusions and exclusions. If you have any confusion, talk to the hotel directly.

8. Ignoring factors like age and accessibility

Though most hotels welcome guests regardless of age, not all have the same policies for children or seniors.

Some hotels may have certain restrictions in terms of age, as they are not designed for young guests. If you plan to stay at water villas for some destinations like Maldives, Bali, etc., you should know that these villas have some minimum age requirements for guests. Proximity to the water may cause some potential hazards for children.

The same thing is applicable to safari resorts. So, check with the hotel whether they have any kids’ policy.

Some hotels also offer daycare and babysitting facilities, which could be chargeable or free depending on their policy and the child’s age.

If you travel with your elder parents, check the accessibility of the hotel before making any decision. Ask them whether they have ramps and elevators, are their rooms wheelchair-wheelchair accessible, or if there are special provisions in the washrooms.

After checking all this vital information, you can proceed with the booking.

Fix: If you plan for a family vacation, don’t forget to check this information. Though they seem tiny, they can make or break your vacation.

What special benefits do hotels have for senior citizens?

A hotel that used to offer special treatment for senior citizens must have the following facilities.

  • Exceptional room service
  • Special bedding and high-quality mattress
  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • A special provision in washrooms
  • Special medical services for their safety
9. Not using a credit card

The safest way to book any hotel online is to use your credit card to secure your booking. Most hotels are transparent and will only take the deposit amount or hold onto your details so you can pay in full on arrival.

A credit card offers added protection and is safer than a debit card. If you book using your credit card, you may be eligible for cashback, discounts, complimentary amenities, etc.

Moreover, using a credit card can safeguard you against fraud and mischarges. If you travel frequently, select a credit card with numerous travel benefits.

Fix: Prefer your credit card over the debit card while booking a hotel online.

10. Book into the wrong hotel

So you have done all your research, gone through the hotel’s facilities and services and chosen the room that best suits your needs and budget.

You probably have several hotels you have looked at, and booking the wrong hotel is surprisingly a common mistake. When you arrive at the hotel you originally chose, only to find out that you aren’t staying there can be devastating.

11. Not reading online reviews

Never get tempted by the pictures or rates of the hotel. Before booking any hotel, take a few minutes to read reviews from previous guests.

Reviews help you identify if the hotel offers what they say or whether they have photoshopped photographs on its site to make its hotel look better than it is. Don’t ever make the mistake of booking a hotel room without reading the reviews.

Fix: Carefully read all reviews and feedback before making the payment. This way, you can avoid the biggest mistakes while booking a hotel online.

12. Not signing up for the hotel’s reward program

Sometimes, a hotel’s reward program may be more beneficial than you think. Most hotels offer deals, upgrades and special amenities to make happy their customers who are part of their rewards or loyalty programs.

You don’t lose anything by signing up for these programs, as they are free. But if you are a seasoned traveller, you can get points or rewards with this type of membership. You can redeem those points on your next stay.

Fix: try to sign-up with loyalty or reward programs to make your travel enjoyable and memorable.

This information will help you to combat the biggest mistakes while booking a hotel online for your next vacation. Though you think booking a hotel is a facile job, these pitfalls will spoil your holiday if you can’t pay attention to them.

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FAQs

What questions to ask before booking a hotel?

We have curated some questions that you should ask before booking a hotel.

  • What types of rooms do you have for your guests?
  • What are the prices of the rooms?
  • What is the cancellation policy if I need to cancel my booking?
  • What facilities and amenities do you offer to guests?
  • Does the hotel have a free Wifi connection?

How do you know if a hotel is good or bad?

There are several factors to consider to determine if a hotel is good or bad. Here are some key aspects to evaluate.

Reviews and Ratings: Check online platforms like TripAdvisor, Google, or booking websites to read reviews from previous guests.

Location: Consider the hotel’s proximity to attractions, transportation, and other amenities that are important to you.

Cleanliness: Cleanliness is crucial for a comfortable stay. Look for reviews that mention cleanliness standards and check if the hotel has any cleanliness certifications.

Service: A good hotel should provide friendly, efficient, and responsive service. Read reviews to gauge the staff’s professionalism, helpfulness, and responsiveness to guests’ needs.

Facilities and Amenities: Assess the hotel’s facilities and amenities, such as restaurants, pools, gyms, spas, or business centres. Make sure they align with your preferences and needs.

Safety and Security: A reliable hotel should prioritize the safety and security of its guests. Look for features like secure entry systems, well-lit areas, and in-room safes.

Personal Recommendations: Ask friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations based on their personal experiences.