Author Topic: Hotel bookings  (Read 1949 times)

chicklets123

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Hotel bookings
« on: October 22, 2019, 11:22:48 AM »
Do you usually pay up front from sites like Expedia/booking, or do you refer to pay at the hotel when you are given the two options upon booking and with free cancellation.




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dandarc

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 11:28:26 AM »
Depends on the timing and the price difference. I once had one that was only $0.50 / day more for free cancellation - took that in a heartbeat. Sometimes it is $50 / day more for the same privilege - then it would depend more on the timing - if it is for tonight, then obviously prepay. If it is for 10 months out, book the free cancellation room and keep looking for a better price.

ketchup

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2019, 11:31:24 AM »
Same deal as rental cars.  Never, ever pre-pay.  You have almost no chance of getting your money back if something stupid happens or you need to change your schedule.  I don't care how good a discount they give for pre-payment.  Also, never book through Expedia or Hotels.com or RentalCars.com or any of that.  Same reason.  Always book directly with the hotel.

dcheesi

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2019, 11:35:01 AM »
I generally prefer the flexibility, if the price difference isn't extreme. We take a lot of smaller, driving trips, and we both have family entanglements that sometimes come up, so we tend to make tentative plans and only commit when we get closer to the date.

Plus, too many things can go wrong when prepaying through a third party. I've had occasional issues with prepayments (or even reservations!) not being recognized initially by the hotel, problems trying to modify a reservation (even when allowed), etc.

BikingEngineer

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2019, 11:55:27 AM »
I always book through the hotel these days. I've been burned by the fine print using third party booking sites during peak times, I specifically booked a non-smoking room and was put in a smoking room due to some fine print 6 pages in. After the worst sleep I've ever had I decided to book through the hotel's booking portal from then on. The price is usually equal to the lowest advertised price on the third party site, I get points/miles/etc without incident, and I usually get some perk/upgrade going that route.

Xlar

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2019, 09:50:23 AM »
I always book through the hotel these days. I've been burned by the fine print using third party booking sites during peak times, I specifically booked a non-smoking room and was put in a smoking room due to some fine print 6 pages in. After the worst sleep I've ever had I decided to book through the hotel's booking portal from then on. The price is usually equal to the lowest advertised price on the third party site, I get points/miles/etc without incident, and I usually get some perk/upgrade going that route.

I also find that the price on the hotel's website is the same or lower than the advertised price on the 3rd party website. I might use Expedia or what not to find a good hotel in a good location but then I go directly to that hotel's website to book.

chouchouu

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2019, 12:45:56 AM »
I also book direct and will ask them to price match. I'm a big fan of pre paying as I've only ever missed one night in ten or more years, the discount is worth it for me. I tend to look for ibis hotels close to transport as they tend to be well priced with all the basics. Recently booked for February in Nairobi after waiting for one of their promotions. So got 30% off plus breakfast. The promotion only comes about twice a year so I will wait until then to book any future trips I'm aware of, which means I've sometimes made a booking many months in advance. I'm happy with that and book flights in a similar way, the cheapest fares might not offer the flexibility but are worth the discount in my experience.

Zikoris

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2019, 12:47:16 PM »
I normally book AirBnBs, but even once in awhile with hotels I prefer to pay upfront. When I travel I actually prefer to pay as much upfront as possible. It means we can bring a lot less of the local currency with us. So we always book our accommodations and flights ahead of time, as well as other transportation if possible (trains, buses, boats), and sometimes tours if we're doing any and if the price will be the same. In some places it's WAY cheaper to book day trips in person once you get there - Mexico we paid maybe 1/2 price by booking in person for a day trip to Coba and some villages, and in Guatemala we paid like 1/10th of the price for a volcano hiking tour by booking it in person day-of.

But yeah, generally when I go on vacation I want as much paid for ahead of time as humanly possible. I have never once cancelled anything. Our trips are almost exclusively overseas adventures that are booked well in advance.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2019, 01:09:29 PM »
I do a combination. Have just booked some nights for our next vacation, the first nights I have pre-paid, same with the last ones. For those dates we know where we will be due to flights already booked. For the in-betweens I have taken a flexible option to have the possibility to change plans en route and have some flexibility. I also factor in how much discount I get if prepaying. Book wherever it's cheapest which is commonly the hotel's own web site. I also look at with/without breakfast, it varies wildly how much they charge for it. I generally prefer to have breakfast at the hotel for convenience but if it's bang in the center of a city there will be cafes etc galore just outside anyway. Also, I'm not a big eater at breakfast anyway so the buffet doesn't really have a lot of value. And the coffee tends do be shit anyway.

I have never ended up paying for a night I didn't use - at least not that I can remember so I consider that risk fairly low. If the entire trips gets cancelled for some reason it will be a travel insurance issue anyway, but that has never happened to us so don't quite know how that would play out. I have at least 2 travel insurances when going anywhere so hopefully one of them would fork up if that issue should ever come up...

EricEng

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2019, 03:32:04 PM »
Same deal as rental cars.  Never, ever pre-pay.  You have almost no chance of getting your money back if something stupid happens or you need to change your schedule.  I don't care how good a discount they give for pre-payment.  Also, never book through Expedia or Hotels.com or RentalCars.com or any of that.  Same reason.  Always book directly with the hotel.
If you don't prepay for a rental car, you don't have a car.  I'm to the point I never make car rental reservations without prepay.  Every time I do no prepay, they have no car when I show up for my reservation and they don't care either.

As for hotels on personal travel I use google maps to quickly find and compare hotel rates at the last minute.  Usually get me the best deal.  I book and then drive directly there.  For work, everything is prebooked and we can cancel last minute with no penalty.

NotJen

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2019, 05:40:06 PM »
If you don't prepay for a rental car, you don't have a car.  I'm to the point I never make car rental reservations without prepay.  Every time I do no prepay, they have no car when I show up for my reservation and they don't care either.

I never pre-pay, and this has never happened to me!  Always have a car to pick up when I arrive.  Where are you renting from that this happens?

ketchup

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2019, 09:17:42 AM »
If you don't prepay for a rental car, you don't have a car.  I'm to the point I never make car rental reservations without prepay.  Every time I do no prepay, they have no car when I show up for my reservation and they don't care either.

I never pre-pay, and this has never happened to me!  Always have a car to pick up when I arrive.  Where are you renting from that this happens?
The one time I did pre-pay to save a few bucks, I wanted to change my reservation to pick up the car two hours later (this was still days in advance) and they wouldn't do it without making me pay twice (I restructured my plans around it instead).  Fuck that.

mathlete

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2019, 09:41:55 AM »
I almost always pre-pay if they offer a discount. Maybe I should change my thinking though.

EricEng

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2019, 10:59:48 AM »
If you don't prepay for a rental car, you don't have a car.  I'm to the point I never make car rental reservations without prepay.  Every time I do no prepay, they have no car when I show up for my reservation and they don't care either.

I never pre-pay, and this has never happened to me!  Always have a car to pick up when I arrive.  Where are you renting from that this happens?
Avis, Budget, Nationwide, Alamo, and some discount ones I forget the name of.  It is probably 85% of the time when I have no prepay.

NotJen

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2019, 11:04:54 AM »
If you don't prepay for a rental car, you don't have a car.  I'm to the point I never make car rental reservations without prepay.  Every time I do no prepay, they have no car when I show up for my reservation and they don't care either.

I never pre-pay, and this has never happened to me!  Always have a car to pick up when I arrive.  Where are you renting from that this happens?

Avis, Budget, Nationwide, Alamo, and some discount ones I forget the name of.  It is probably 85% of the time when I have no prepay.

But what city?  Iíve rented from all of those but Nationwide multiple times over the years, never had an issue with a reservation that not only did I not prepay, but didnít even have a credit card number on file.  I assume you are renting from a very high-demand location or something?

EricEng

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2019, 07:40:45 AM »
But what city?  Iíve rented from all of those but Nationwide multiple times over the years, never had an issue with a reservation that not only did I not prepay, but didnít even have a credit card number on file.  I assume you are renting from a very high-demand location or something?
Las Vegas, Seattle, Denver, Norfolk, Orlando, Alexandria (Reagan airport) to name a few.  I am also a member of their frequent user programs, but still didn't matter.  If I didn't prepay, my reservation was totally up to chance if they had my car there and usually not the right one.  I usually book through discount companies like priceline or anything else I can find and a lot of those book via no prepay.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2019, 02:53:12 PM »
I rarely ever pre-pay a hotel booking.  Generally we are traveling domestically, and we like to have our itinerary planned out pretty well.  That requires booking early to make sure we don't end up not being able to find a hotel at one of our stops.  I don't want to pre-pay for reservations months in advance - who knows what might happen that would require cancelling the entire trip?  I'll usually check again a few weeks before the trip to see if I can find cheaper rates for any of my lodging nights - if so, re-book and cancel the original reservation.

Also, my experience has been that the third party sites generally offer the same rate as the hotel website, so it's just easier to use the third party to search and then book directly from their website.  I often use booking.com, and after a certain number of bookings, I'm eligible for their "genius" discounts on certain hotels, which gets me a slightly lower rate than the hotel website.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2019, 05:23:51 AM »
But what city?  Iíve rented from all of those but Nationwide multiple times over the years, never had an issue with a reservation that not only did I not prepay, but didnít even have a credit card number on file.  I assume you are renting from a very high-demand location or something?
Las Vegas, Seattle, Denver, Norfolk, Orlando, Alexandria (Reagan airport) to name a few.  I am also a member of their frequent user programs, but still didn't matter.  If I didn't prepay, my reservation was totally up to chance if they had my car there and usually not the right one.  I usually book through discount companies like priceline or anything else I can find and a lot of those book via no prepay.

Did you book these problem cars with the 3rd party sites.  Trying to figure this out as I too have never had an issue.

NotJen

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2019, 06:20:46 AM »
But what city?  Iíve rented from all of those but Nationwide multiple times over the years, never had an issue with a reservation that not only did I not prepay, but didnít even have a credit card number on file.  I assume you are renting from a very high-demand location or something?
Las Vegas, Seattle, Denver, Norfolk, Orlando, Alexandria (Reagan airport) to name a few.  I am also a member of their frequent user programs, but still didn't matter.  If I didn't prepay, my reservation was totally up to chance if they had my car there and usually not the right one.  I usually book through discount companies like priceline or anything else I can find and a lot of those book via no prepay.

Did you book these problem cars with the 3rd party sites.  Trying to figure this out as I too have never had an issue.

Yeah, I rent cars from DCA several times a year when I visit my family and never had a problem with no cars available.  I used to book direct with the companies, but now I exclusively use Autoslash (which results in a Priceline pay-at-counter reservation).  Actually, DCA is where I almost always get the car size I actually reserved.  When I travel west for vacation I frequently get stuck with something larger.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Hotel bookings
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2019, 06:40:53 PM »
But what city?  Iíve rented from all of those but Nationwide multiple times over the years, never had an issue with a reservation that not only did I not prepay, but didnít even have a credit card number on file.  I assume you are renting from a very high-demand location or something?
Las Vegas, Seattle, Denver, Norfolk, Orlando, Alexandria (Reagan airport) to name a few.  I am also a member of their frequent user programs, but still didn't matter.  If I didn't prepay, my reservation was totally up to chance if they had my car there and usually not the right one.  I usually book through discount companies like priceline or anything else I can find and a lot of those book via no prepay.

Did you book these problem cars with the 3rd party sites.  Trying to figure this out as I too have never had an issue.

Yeah, I rent cars from DCA several times a year when I visit my family and never had a problem with no cars available.  I used to book direct with the companies, but now I exclusively use Autoslash (which results in a Priceline pay-at-counter reservation).  Actually, DCA is where I almost always get the car size I actually reserved.  When I travel west for vacation I frequently get stuck with something larger.

I had this problem about a year ago with Budget at the Salt Lake airport.  I made my reservation through a third party website, but I don't think that was the problem as there were a couple dozen other people there who also had made "reservations" but were told no cars were available when they showed up at the appointed time.  We all ended up waiting around for a couple of hours while they waited on cars to be returned and scrounged cars from other rental companies.  I finally ended up with a full size SUV with worn out tires (I had reserved a midsize sedan).  One guy ended up getting a two-seat sports car with a manual transmission.  I'm pretty sure that's not what he reserved, LOL.