You need to book a hotel for your upcoming vacation. Before you start your online search for the right room, you should read these savvy tips.
1. Book Through the Hotel’s Website
You’re likely to find the lowest rates through official hotel websites. Using a hotel’s website is also the best way to receive loyalty points from rewards programs, which you could use to save on future stays.
2. Consider Price Matching
Many hotel chains offer price matching for guests that can find better deals from competitors. If you find a lower offer, the hotel could match it to keep your business.
3. Use Your Credit Card for Deposits
You should also use your credit card to cover the hotel deposit. A hotel deposit is a temporary charge that the hotel uses as insurance in case you incur any additional fees during your stay (for example, room damages). If you haven’t incurred any fees, the deposit will be returned infull. If you incur fees, the deposit will still be returned, but the fees will be deducted from the total.
A hotel can charge you this deposit for every night of your stay. So, a week at the hotel could cost you a lot of money. If you use a debit card, you may not have enough to handle this nightly deposit. You could go into overdraft if you’re not careful. It will also take several business days for the hotel to return your deposit to your bank account.
On the other hand, if you use a credit card, the deposit will be put onto the card as a “pending” transaction. If you incur no fees, that transaction will be canceled and removed from your card quickly.
4. Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is an excellent safety net to set up for yourself any time that you travel. Your travel insurance will come in handy in times when your flight is canceled, your flight is delayed, your luggage is lost or you have a medical emergency abroad.
Travel insurance can also help you cover extended hotel stays when you’re dealing with a travel-related emergency. For instance, if you contract a contagious illness during your trip, you’ll need to extend your hotel stay until you’ve fully recovered. This is a common occurrence for travelers who’ve caught COVID-19 and have to spend extra time in their hotel rooms to make sure they’re safe to board a plane once again.
How can you cover emergency costs without travel insurance? An emergency fund could help you manage these types of urgent expenses. And if you don’t have enough savings, you could consider emergency loans online as a backup plan. As long as you meet all of the qualifications, you can fill out an online application in the span of five minutes. If your application for the online loan is approved, you can use the borrowed funds to cover your urgent expenses in a short amount of time.
Ideally, you should have travel insurance and an emergency fund to help you through travel disasters.
5. Bring Cash for Tips
It’s a general rule of thumb to tip hotel staff (housekeeping, concierges, room service, valets and luggage attendants). Tip with cash. Never tip with food, alcohol or any other gift. You can’t be sure that the recipients will want these gifts, and in many cases, they cannot take them due to strict hotel policies.
6. Beware Hidden Fees
Minibar drinks and snacks aren’t the only extra costs that you need to watch out for during your hotel stay. These are some other hidden fees that could show up on your final bill:
- Resort fees
- Early check-in fees
- Late check-out fees
- WiFi fees
- Parking fees
- Telephone surcharges
- Additional guest fees
- Pet fees
Don’t get caught by surprise by hidden fees, emergencies and other hotel-related costs. Read these tips and get ready for your stay.