There are some big oversights you could be making when it comes to reservations. From booking on the wrong location to forgetting to check some key information like the amenities, reviews and policies and these mistakes could easily make or break your trip. Here are some useful tips to help you choose your next perfect stay.
1. Always Know Your Rights
T&C? I mean, who has time for that! But at least know some basic policies of the place you’re staying at, doesn’t matter if it’s a hotel, hostel, apartment, airbnb or even couchsurfing. People tend to overlook at the important rules and this is when some of us like to play victim because “we didn’t know that” or owners/staffs taking advantage of your lack of awareness on the rules they have set. It is best to read through the overview, reviews and most importantly the guest policies before you book the place. I once booked an apartment on airbnb without reading the T&C and I was charged a cleaning fee by the tenant upon checkout even though on the website he didn’t mention there was any charge. When I questioned him, he said it was in the T&C and he bet I didn’t read them (which I didn’t so I just paid him).
2. Always Check Your Payment, Deposit & Receipt
Some websites offer a book-now-pay-later system which is useful to some who can’t confirm their stay, who has insufficient fund or who simply wants to pay at the front desk. Always be aware of the price you have booked for because you might get charged differently. It rarely happens but it’s better to make sure you don’t end up paying more than you intended to because one of the reasons people use booking sites is to get the best deal. Some hostels have these “additional charges” or charge a deposit for example on an access card. Be sure to get your money back when you checkout. I had an experience in London where I handed back my access card during checkout and the staff just smiled and said “Thank You”. I had to ask for my deposit back – I was pretty sure he didn’t forget it, he just pretended like he did.
3. Stay Near Any Public Transportation
Traveling is all about location and if you don’t know where your hotel is located exactly, in relation to where you want to be in the city, you aren’t going to be happy when you arrive. You probably shouldn’t trust the hotel’s own description of their location – that’s why it’s very important to read reviews but some are still skeptical on trusting the reviews because “what if those are still fake reviews?“. Well, the best solution is to look for a place near a public transport. Before booking a hotel, check a map to determine the location of the hotel and be sure to see how long it would take you to reach attractions and other points of interest on foot or the closest metro and bus stop. When you stay near a station, there’s no reason for any taxi to charge you ridiculously because your place is accessible.
4. Request for Upgrades
Whether it’s your honeymoon, birthday or you’re just trying your luck to squeeze in some perks, you can always email the hotel’s customer service and request for any complimentary upgrade. I’ve tried it before and it worked most of the time! Make sure you request for something that makes sense, like complimentary drinks, snacks, decoration or a room upgrade – anything that is possible and doable by the hotel’s management. The hotel will always try to please their customers by providing good service and it doesn’t kill to ask them nicely for an upgrade.
5. Complimentary Breakfast
I never knew how important hotel breakfast was until a few years ago after experiencing the best breakfast buffet spread. This can make a real difference in your budget and should be factored into the overall rate of the hotel. A satisfying breakfast adds ease and comfort to the stay, making it a far more pleasant experience overall. Hotels or even hostels that weigh on the importance of breakfast for the guests often provide great and varied buffet spread.