Can You Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else – Booking a hotel seems pretty easy, doesn’t it? In most cases, it goes like this: choose your destination, choose your dates, enter your payment information, and voila, happy travels!
However, you can make some serious mistakes when booking hotels. From booking on the wrong sites to forgetting to check some important information, these mistakes can easily make or break your trip. Read on to find out what to avoid when booking a hotel room.
Can You Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else
I recently spoke with a desk agent about how a hotel chain allocates rooms at check-in. I asked what method his staff used to determine who would get the best-located rooms. He told us about this amazing discovery: Those who book through the hotel’s website or are members of the hotel’s loyalty program are usually the first to be assigned rooms with good views and quiet areas. Travelers who book rooms through online travel agencies (OTAs) like Priceline often get rooms “on the spot” (what he calls “ice maker rooms” or whatever). The agent couldn’t tell me how many hotel chains do this, but he said it’s “common practice” and that it makes the deal easier for travelers who book regular rates.
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The Fix: Hotel loyalty programs are often free to join, and members can guarantee better rooms, free nights, or perks like free breakfast or Wi-Fi.
If the best rooms are the key to a happy trip, book directly on the hotel’s website. But when those low, low OTA prices can’t be beat—we know the feeling—you can always request a specific room type or location.
A king bed or two twin beds? High or low floor? Non-smoking rooms? Water view? Three single red M&Ms? When booking a hotel, most reservation systems allow you to make a request or add comments about your stay. However, most hotels will state in fine print that your requests are not guaranteed.
The fix: The old adage “expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed” applies here, but if you really want some comfort, it’s cold comfort. First, note that hotels usually try to accommodate your requests. If you find that your double bed has been converted to a single seat during check-in or you have been placed in a smoking room, please contact the front desk agent and politely request a change. It is also a good idea to call the hotel prior to arrival to confirm your requests, especially if made for medical reasons.
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I am guilty of this travel sin. On a trip abroad a few years ago, I noticed that my flight left on May 14th, so I booked a hotel at my destination from the night of May 14th. Newbie bug. I forgot to check if my flight was a red eye landing early morning on the 15th. This means I paid for an expensive (and non-refundable) number that I didn’t need.
The Fix: Unlike your hapless writer, make sure your flight itinerary is convenient when booking and double check your arrival and departure dates. Also consider time zones. If you are transiting the International Date Line, yes, check-in dates may be different than you expect. It’s also a good idea to ask someone to review your reservation before you click “confirm” or “pay” to make sure you’ve selected the correct dates.
Credit cards are a top priority when booking hotels. Not only do credit cards offer rewards like air miles, free nights, or cash back bonuses, but debit cards and cash also offer certain guarantees that don’t (like fraud protection or instant refunds for mistakes).
Another tip that most travelers don’t know? Many hotels require a security deposit if you use a debit card to protect yourself from overdraft fees if you don’t have enough funds in your account. These extra deposits can add up: I once paid a $100 deposit in Las Vegas that didn’t return to my account for two weeks.
When Is The Best Time To Book A Hotel Room For A Good Deal?
The Fix: If you manage your money wisely and choose the right type of credit card, you can enjoy many benefits when booking a home. NerdWallet rounds up the best credit cards with travel benefits. Also catch SmarterTravel’s weekly Miles and Points column by Tim Winship. It lists current Winship credit card promotions.
Travelers, beware: A misleading hotel name or location description may lead you to book a hotel at the airport if you think your hotel is centrally located. You’d be surprised how often travelers see a hotel name and quickly book it without checking that it’s in the right place. After all, some hotels may claim to be “close to downtown,” but a quick search may reveal that they’re located at the airport…two hours away.
Fix: Check the mailing address and find the exact location of the hotel on Google Maps. Always enter your hotel’s address and see how far it is from popular attractions and restaurants by walking, driving or public transportation. Try typing in the addresses of some of the attractions you want to see at your destination and plot your route. You can also explore your neighborhood using Google Maps Street View. If the city has more than one hotel chain, make sure you book in the right neighborhood — Hyatt Times Square and Hyatt Flashing are really different.
Back in March, editor Ed Perkins reported on one of the resort fees we’ve seen. A hotel in Colorado raised its decent room rate to $170 by adding a $35 cleaning fee, a $40 resort fee, a $10 pool and spa fee, and a $5.10 service charge. O
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The Fix: If you don’t want to use these services, you may struggle with some fees like cleaning or newspaper delivery. Others, such as resort fees, are mandatory, so you should factor in additional costs when booking your hotel. Hotels are expected to clearly state resort fees, but OTAs can’t use vague words like “surcharges may apply.” So call the resort before booking and ask directly about additional resort fees.
If you’ve ever used Oyster’s Photo Fakeout, you know that hotels go to great lengths to make your stay perfect. But when it comes down to it, that infinity pool might actually be the size of a postage stamp, and those luxury mats might feel like sandpaper. Take everything the hotel says about itself with a pinch of salt (or sand).
The fix: Do your research. Reading user reviews is a difficult balancing act. You want to read as many reviews as possible without suffering from information overload. You also want the reviews to be objective and recent. The best way to get an accurate picture of a resort is to choose review sites wisely. TripAdvisor and Oyster (which, like us, are owned by TripAdvisor) offer a clear preview of what a hotel has to offer; Oyster room photos are a great resource if you want to know how your room fits into the hotel’s sophisticated and possibly photoshopped image. Be suspicious of over-complimentary reviewers, and the reverse is also true: if you see Bob Grump giving one star to every hotel he stays in, don’t doubt Bob Grump’s opinion.
As many procrastinators admit, waiting until the last minute to make travel plans can have serious consequences for your credit card balance. Hotel prices can go up a few days before a certain date, and if everything is booked (or there’s nothing left in your budget), you might find yourself without a room. On the other hand, being an advanced planner can have its downsides: sure, you might want to list all your trips as soon as possible, but booking a hotel room too early can cost you money.
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The Fix: There are no easy answers to when is the best time to book a hotel room. Rates depend on many factors: location, seasonality, conference package and even weather. In general, bookings are prohibited more than 21 days before the arrival date for the most popular destinations; You are putting yourself at risk because of the high price. After at least 40 days, it is better to check the price and follow the trend. If prices go up, order.
If you want to make sure you get the lowest price, hotel booking site Tingo (a subsidiary of SmarterTravel) will automatically track your hotel and rebook you at a new, lower price if the price drops. Of course, if you’ve waited until the 11th hour and your hotel options are looking slim, check out Hotel Tonight for some really cool deals.
You’ve seen an ad for a hotel you like at a “great price.” and immediately pulled out a credit card number
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