Whether you want to find the most luxurious suite in your hotel of choice or the cheapest deal for your upcoming vacation, there are many advantages of booking directly with hotels.
The truth is that while some of the best hotel booking sites such as Booking.com have their advantages, often the best hotel booking sites are the websites of the hotels themselves. Check our list of frequently asked questions about hotel direct booking strategies to see if booking directly with the hotel is the right choice for you.
One of the advantages of booking directly with hotels is that the hotel will usually display a lower price than booking sites, which charge a commission fee for each booking.
Commission fees vary depending on the location, type of accommodation, and season, but some commission rates can be as high as 20-25%, guaranteeing that you will pay significantly more if you book through a site such as Booking, Expedia, or Airbnb.
Many hotels save their best suites for their walk-in guests or guests who book directly through their website, meaning that the best rooms that a hotel has are sometimes inaccessible through online travel agencies and search engines.
If you have certain preferences for your room’s amenities, the direction it faces, or even the floor it is on, one of the advantages of booking directly with hotels is that you can negotiate with the staff and make particular requests. Especially if you have special needs or concerns, the best option is to book a hotel in person or by phone.
According to travel analysts and data from numerous travel agencies, the best day to book a hotel is during the weekdays when most people are busy working or not searching for deals. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to book a hotel more than three months in advance if you want to get the cheapest prices. However, this general advice cannot account for all hotels, especially as the rules change throughout each season and depending on the type of accommodation you are seeking out.
Keep in mind that the best day to book a hotel for the days that you actually plan on staying there is usually on weekdays, during low season, and not during a holiday break such as winter or spring vacation.
While travel agency sites do offer travel insurance and user friendly booking techniques such as a booking calendar, booking directly with hotels will ultimately offer more flexibility because when you make a hotel direct booking you are not locking yourself into a contract with a third-party. Speaking directly with the hotel staff to move dates or ask for a refund if necessary will prove to be more successful than going through a travel agency which will keep booking fees no matter how your plans change.