8 Hotel Booking Mistakes to Avoid on Your Vacation

Picture of guests getting key card in hotel

Did you know that there are over 700,000 hotels and resorts across the globe? That means that when you’re making travel plans, you’ll have plenty of choices, whether you’re visiting a big city or a rural area.

The only problem? Having this many options can feel like a double-edged sword, especially if you aren’t used to making hotel reservations and reading through hotel policies.

Some hotel booking mistakes can cost you comfort and enjoyment while others can cost you thousands of dollars. Fortunately, we’re here to tell you what some of the most common hotel booking mistakes are so that you can learn how to avoid them.

Read on for eight common hotel booking mistakes before you make your next reservation!

1. Not Looking Into the Deposit and Cancellation Policy

Did you know that some hotels and resorts ask for a deposit when you book your reservation? Did you know that only some of them consider that deposit refundable if you cancel your reservation–and that you may need to cancel a certain number of days in advance?

Make sure that you read the fine print when you’re making a reservation in advance. If you know that something might come up that could cause you to cancel your plans, make sure you find a hotel that offers refunds and that you’re familiar with the cancellation policy.

2. Booking Rooms That Don’t Accomodate You

If it’s your first time booking a hotel room, things can seem a little confusing. You might find it tempting to book the available room that offers the lowest rate, but make sure you understand what’s in that room. The last thing you want is to show up with your whole family only to discoverthat you’ve booked a room with a single twin bed.

3. Not Checking for Mandatory Fees

Resorts may charge mandatory fees that aren’t included in the room rates they list online. These fees may cover things like internet access, use of amenities such as the pool and gym, or on-site dining. Most resorts will be very upfront about these mandatory fees, but others may only mention them in the fine print.

If you’re booking a stay at a resort and can’t find anything about mandatory fees, it’s best to call and ask. That way, you don’t accidentally go over budget.

4. Booking a Non-Refundable Rate and Having to Cancel Later

Oftentimes, pre-paying for a hotel room (usually upon making the reservation) is the cheapest option. However, it is also typically a non-refundable option. 

If you’re considering the pre-paid non-refundable option, make sure you really weigh the pros and cons. How will you feel about paying that rate if you do have to cancel and can’t get your money back? Is it worth the lower cost?

5. Not Looking for Rate Decreases

Most of the time, rates for resort and hotel rooms will increase as you get closer to your travel date. However, there is always a chance that rates will decrease after you’ve made your reservation.

In the months leading up to your trip, periodically check the resort or hotel website. If you notice lower rates for rooms that are comparable to the one you’ve booked, see if you can cancel your reservation and re-book at the lower rate. (Do not cancel your original reservation until you know for sure that the resort or hotel has available rooms that properly accommodate you!)

6. Booking an International Room on the Wrong Credit Card

If you’re booking a hotel outside of the US, there’s a good chance that your payment will not be acceptable in US dollars. Many international hotels and resorts will offer to take care of the exchange for you, but this is not ideal. (They tend to charge pretty steep and avoidable fees for this service.)

That being said, some credit cards will take care of that exchange for free–while others will charge their own steep fee. If you’re booking an international room, see if any of your credit cards will take care of the monetary exchange without charging you extra.

7. Looking for Rooms Too Close to a Holiday

Hotel rates fluctuate constantly in response to demand. Holidays mark a high travel-time for most Americans, and hotel rates tend to skyrocket around holidays like New Years and Christmas.

The earlier you can book your room for your holiday travels, the better the rates will be. If you wait until a few weeks before the holidays, you may not only find that rates are horrendously high but also that your options are extremely limited.

8. Looking for Rooms in High-Travel Areas Too Close to Your Trip

Some areas of the world aren’t just busy at certain times of the year. If you’re traveling to a sought-after destination, such as London or New York City or Makkah, make sure that you make accommodations at least a month in advance. That way, you can make sure that you’re getting a room that suits your needs at a rate you can afford.

To help you get started, take a look at the best Makkah hotels. With a little bit of research, you can travel internationally in comfort and in style.

Avoid These Hotel Booking Mistakes and Enjoy Your Next Trip

Booking a room at a hotel or a resort can be daunting, especially if it’s a new experience for you. These eight hotel booking mistakes are some of the most common mistakes we see travelers make. Take care to avoid them and you’re guaranteed to enjoy your next trip!

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