If you’re a savvy traveller planning a trip away, you would of course shop around for the best deal. In the age of online booking, finding price comparison sites is easier than ever. But can you be sure that you’re getting the best holiday deals? The answer is not always as clear-cut as it seems. Sometimes it’s better to go straight to the source. It’s why we’ve put together 5 reasons why booking direct is guaranteed to get you the best deal.
Your Time Saves You Money
While it’s easy to leave your accommodation arrangements to the whims of a travel agent or online comparison site, most hotels have secure, easy-to-use online booking engines. A few clicks and you’re booked. By taking matters into your own hands and booking direct from the hotel, you can ensure your accommodation is tailored to your needs and not the other way around. And by cutting out the middle man, you can save a pretty penny too. Which brings us to our next point.
Cut Out the Middle Man
Online travel operators and comparison sites like Expedia and Booking.com are great tools to shop around and see what accommodation is available for your chosen destination. But don’t be fooled by the attraction of cheap rates on third-party sites. Keep in mind that these companies aren’t providing this fantastic service entirely for altruistic reasons. At the end of the day, they are still a business and their goal is to make money.
But when you cut out the middle man, you cut out the commission which is typically somewhere in the region of 18%! That saving can be passed on direct to the customer (or at least some of it, hotels are businesses too after all). Many hotels have a “best price guarantee” for booking direct, so it’s always worth having a look to see if there’s a better deal available from the hotel.
Perks and Upgrades
Not everything in life, or in holidays, comes down to brass tacks. There are a whole host of other benefits to booking direct that can’t be summed up on a receipt. A direct exchange between buyer and seller inevitably results in a closer connection. Hotels place great value in their direct bookers. This usually manifests in great special offers or deals not available to everyone else. For example, breakfast is often included in the price for a direct booking. And by communicating directly with the hotel staff, who know all about their own wares, room upgrades and transfers are more common as they are better placed to accommodate your needs.
Rewarding Your Loyalty
Hotels love to have return guests. Many offer loyalty schemes to encourage guests to come back again and again. If you do find that perfect home away from home, the only way for the hotel to reward your loyalty is if you let them know it’s you again. The simplest way to do this is by booking direct. Most modern online booking engines, even for the smallest independent hotel, will be able to save your details. This not only speeds up the booking process for you, it lets the hotel keep track of how often you visit which can lead to some really juicy rewards.
Accommodating Your Travel Needs
If your trip doesn’t turn out exactly as you planned and you need to change dates or even cancel your accommodation outright, you will often find that hotels are far more accommodating with direct bookers. Booking through a comparison site may leave you at the mercy of their terms and conditions, which are designed to protect their commission. Whereas booking direct with the hotel can often have far more favourable conditions, especially if you’re a valued loyal customer. Date changes are often free, provided rooms are available. Outright cancelations may incur a fee, but it is unlikely to be as high as the penalties from comparison sites. At the end of the day, the hotel wants you to book again when you are able to. They don’t want to part ways indefinitely because of an unfair cancelation fee that could ruin any chance of repeat business.