Vigilance, when making online hotel reservation – just like patience – is a virtue and has its own rewards.
How would you react to an online hotel reservation gone wrong that could cause you to wait in the lobby of a hotel, later into the office of the manager, anxiously pass the time for any favorable developments, otherwise you would have no other option but to hail a taxicab that would transport you to yet another hotel? Worse, this could happen to you overseas – 45,000 miles away from home!
Jimmy Craig, a young Computer Engineer from Minnesota, was a frequent flyer and about 80% of his travel arrangements were done online. His job was, without doubt, financially rewarding as his salary and the perks that went with it were the highest in the industry, but his frequent travels, away from his young family were just too much to bear. Worse, not only once, but twice, Jimmy found himself in precarious situations because of his travels. At least one of these misadventures was due to an erroneous online hotel reservation.
How then would you ensure your own hotel reservation, done online, safe from the most common mistakes that Jimmy could have avoided, had he been more vigilant?
Here are top 5 mistakes you should avoid, not only when making hotel reservation online, but every time you prepare for travel:
· Failure to comparison-shop. Unless you deal with a reliable company that has proven track record, you should investigate and compare at least 2-3, or even more options before you send in your details for a hotel reservation.
Compare not just hotel rates, although most frequently, travelers focus on these. Check out hotel amenities as well, including special deals or discounts. Be wary of “hidden costs”, such as penalties and taxes.
Most importantly, find out more about the company that provides online hotel reservation service. You may find similar companies on the internet and compare their services, as well as the benefits they provide their online clients.
· Failure to ask details about your hotel accommodation. It is often ironic how simple things can be taken for granted. When you make your hotel reservation online, don’t hesitate to inquire about the amenities and service that go with your hotel of choice, including details of your accommodation, such as type of room, airport pick-up assistance, or the total customer care that you could expect from the management and staff of the hotel.
· Failure to check your travel itineraries yourself. Allow at least a day or two before your actual travel date to check on your itinerary to avoid errors on the last minute, just to make sure that you have everything you need for a safer and a more convenient trip.
When you make online hotel reservation, find out the names and telephone numbers of your contact persons as this information can become handy when emergencies arise, as they sometimes do, when you least expect them.
· Failure to check on cancellation and refund policies. Include also change in reservation policy, should there be last minute changes in your trip. Knowing these before you travel can better equip you in what to expect, and how you would respond to problems when they occur.
· Failure to check on security policy. Check on the privacy statement of the website servicing your online hotel reservation. You would want to make sure that your credit card details are secured; ensure that the company’s website have security software in place that will shun scammers on the internet.
In conclusion, the internet has helped shorten the queues in hotel lobbies, saved time and cut on costs however vigilance should be maintained to ensure that when online hotel reservation is made, it is facilitated by a secured website, backed by an equally reputable and competent company.
Christiene Villanueva is a professional online marketer and copywriter. She has traveled extensively, and has long used the services of Hotels.bz for all her online travel and hotel reservations, at her utmost satisfaction.