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5 Reasons Why Booking Direct Pays Off

n theIf 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.

5) 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.

Piles of pound coins

4) 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.

Finger pointing to a list of booking direct benefits

3) 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.

Breakfast with a croissant and fruit, juice and tea

2) 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, then 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.

1) 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 cancellations may incur a fee, but it is unlikely to be as high as the penalties from comparison sites. So 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 cancellation fee that could ruin any chance of repeat business.

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Post-Christmas January Sales You Need To Know About

When Christmas is over, we all feel the blues. But a sombre January is so last year. This year, we wait and hope for the January sales, the style and the bargains. When the January sales have us all rushing around, it’s sometimes best to know when and where to go. What is the ultimate sale? Because at the ultimate sale, we find the ultimate bargain. With the ultimate bargain, we have the ultimate start to the year.

The London Eye for Bargains

Whether it be venturing to another city or finding the best deals in your doorstep, we have it covered. For clothes and accessories, the be all and end all of the January sales to grace is Selfridges. Whether you’re hitting the Trafford Centre, or luckily strolling down the streets of London, Selfridges is the place to be. With its vibrant mix of both designer and high street fashions, you’re on track to find yourself a barrage of steals or the perfect designer splurge that you convince yourself is really a saving.

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The Scottish Saver Spree

Here’s another convincing sale to pull you from the PJs and throw you into January. The Edinburgh sales will turn that crisp cold nose into a freezing but infectious grin. When strolling through Edinburgh, Princes Street is the place to be. For your January Sales, what better place is there to go than that still decorated with the Christmas feel, although it seems like Christmas has been reduced. With all its accompanying bars and restaurants, there is plenty of excuses to stop off, have a gossip and toast a wee dram to that stylish new trend you’ve picked up for less.

And finally, Highland Heaven

Of course, with every sale there is always those extra special bargains. Why not forget the accessories and look for the even more indulgent bargains. Turn your bargain find into a bargain stay. Take a luxurious break into the Scottish Highlands. Let the January blues melt away and get yourself back to the natural, beautiful wonder you are, with the help of the idyllic highlands.

At Ness Walk in Inverness, kick-start the year with a stay in a five-star luxury hotel and enjoy all the pleasures this riverside hotel has to offer. With their beautiful wines, foods and views, this hotel offers luxury stays for everyone.

If you’re looking for a hotel that offers spa facilities in Inverness, then Kingsmills is just the ticket. Take advantage of their regular special offers and treat yourself to a relaxing time in the hands of an expert.

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Don’t let the post-Christmas blues get you down. Get smart with the January sales and stay one step ahead of the game!

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A classic hotel lobby bell, next to a set of keys and a sign that reads, 'Check in'.

Why You Should Book Direct with UK Hotels

It’s always tempting to go the online route and book your trip away through an agent – it’s easy, it’s quick and they’re always ready to suggest the ‘cheapest prices’ online to really reel you in. As a matter of fact, that’s probably their only real draw beyond convenience. So why should you book direct when searching for UK hotels? Well, read on and you might just learn something.

Why Would I Book Direct?

It’s a given that booking through a third party might lead to some sort of fuss. After all, you’re not the one in control of your reservation. All sorts of troubles could arise, from reservations not being processed to your room being changed entirely and at that point you’re forced to wonder: who is to blame here? Finger pointing can lead to even more trouble that could have easy been avoided by cutting out the middle man.

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One on one, you build up a rapport with your hotel. It’s no longer just a faceless stepping-stone in the way of your holiday: there’s a voice at the end of the line and more often than not, hotels are more willing to help you out if you’re the one calling.

Price Match

On top of that, there’s always the question of price. That tempting ‘cheapest prices here!’ banner might be seductive, but it’s usually not all that true. Most hotels are willing to match prices with online hotel finder sites over the phone – or even go lower. Usually, the cost difference is negligible.

Of course, there’s also the simple fact that hotels pay commission fees to the agents that advertise their rooms and wares. This can inflate costs by up to 18% of what they should be. Clever hotels take advantage of that and give guests the chance to make savings: but only if they book direct.

There you have it! Booking a hotel room online via a third party might be easier but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be cheaper.  It might not even be the more convenient option should a problem arise. To really get to know UK hotels (and snag the best prices) you’ll want to book direct. If you really want to avoid the hustle and bustle, then there are always alternate holiday ideas that might just catch your eye!

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