Whilst it’s very helpful to view listings of numerous accommodation available at hotels and villas within one booking portal, which also allows you to see reviews, ratings and easy to read pricing, it would be wise to dig deeper for more exacting information of what you will really get and the real cost of it. Whether it’s either a short or long holiday planned, it’s worth getting the accommodation right, thus avoiding any disappointment when you arrive to your destination accommodation.
Most booking portal listings do not readily reveal the extra charges, unless you dig deeper into the fine print. For example, there may be extra charges for local or national taxes, bed linen, fuel use or even cleaning of the villa itself. If you went direct to the advertiser themselves, then you would find such extra charges more clearly shown on their website, or on their booking form. This applies to refundable damage deposits also.
There is limited space on the results page of booking portals, so what you see is a low price and little in the way of extras. The programming is geared to get a conversion as quickly as possible, so you see short notices that refer to only one left or 3 people looking at the accommodation or 2 people just booked this. Do not be fooled into having to make a fast decision and book quickly, but get to the small print of the listing and then copy it, just in case the terms & conditions change or extras are changed between your booking and final payment is taken. It has been reported in the media that whilst you see, for example, no cancellation fee is charged on a hotel booking, but then find it was charged when a cancellation was made.
Helpful advice and saving money;
1. Such multi listing booking portals who offer hotel and villa accommodation tend to be listed in the top 3 of Google advertised search results, so it can pay you to look further down the search result page or pages to see what smaller niche firms can offer, whereby you can then view considerably more details and photos.
2. Booking portals tend to charge their hotel or villa client accommodation providers a 15% commission fee, so by doing some research yourself you may well find a Promotional Code that gives you a discount on the very same accommodation, thus saving you money on your booking. Booking direct with the accommodation provider enables you to possibly secure a discount or upgrade, simply as the 15% commission charged does then not have to be expended by the provider. If you simply type in the name of the hotel or villa, with location, which the booking portals show into search bar, you can then locate more readily the same accommodation and book direct with the provider.
3. Some booking portals merely pass your credit card details onto the hotel or villa operator, so it is important to liaise directly with the accommodation provider and ensure you have the reservation number, secured dates, contact details and directions to the accommodation. It is very important to link directly with the provider, not just the booking portal.
4. If you are looking for a longer stay at a villa then you can negotiate a better price than that listed, which is not something you can do with the major booking portals.
5. You would wish to ensure that your accommodation villa is not substituted because of any double booking, so by going direct to the hotel or villa operator you can be sure that this possibility is avoided.
6. Any questions you have about the accommodation are best directed to the accommodation provider, simply as the booking portals do not know the accommodation itself.
7. Do not show your booking form to the hotel, as a hotel receptionist can log into your portal account and leave incorrect reviews. Certainly show the booking reference number.