Is It Worth The Extra Money To Book A Room Directly From The Hotel Website?

The hotel chains have spent a lot of money on marketing to try to get you to book a hotel room directly with them by using their website or app and have gone with the “carrot and stick” approach to achieve that goal. On one hand, they’ve gone out of their way to market special low “Member Exclusive Rates” that are only available to members of their loyalty program and “Best Rate Guarantees” that tell you if you find a cheaper rate after booking with them, they’ll match it and lower the rate even further. At the same time, the hotel chains penalize you for booking anywhere except directly with them. Some of these “sticks” are they don’t give you any recognition of your loyalty status or let you earn any points in their program when staying on externally booked stays. They’ll also only give perks like free Wi-Fi if you’ve booked directly with them.

When I say you need to book direct with the hotel, I mean you use the hotel’s website, the hotel chain’s website, the smartphone app for the hotel chain, or by calling the hotel to make a reservation.

When I mention using an “external” website, that is basically everything else. Websites like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Priceline, Hotels Tonight, Hotwire and Booking.com are just some of them. If you’re completing the booking anywhere but with the hotel, it’s an external website.

Hotel search engines like Trivago, Kayak and TripAdvisor show you prices directly from the hotel as well as from external sites, so it’s best to use something like that to see who has the cheapest price.

So, should you only book your hotel rooms directly with the hotel even if an external site is less expensive?  Continue reading “Is It Worth The Extra Money To Book A Room Directly From The Hotel Website?”

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The Case Of The Mysterious MiniBar Charge – Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen To You

I admit, this sounds like the title of some Hardy Boys Mystery. However, it’s a story that I’m sure plays out endless times in hotels around the world. If you’ve stayed in a moderate to high end hotel, I have no doubt you’ve come across an in-room minibar that looks much like this:

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We’ve Reached Platinum! (Well, Almost)

I know that bragging about achieving status is one of the last things you’d expect to hear from me. I’m the one who goes on and on about how I’m a free agent and how great it is to not worry about being loyal to one particular brand of car rental, airline or hotel. As it turns out, there are some times where you end up in a situation and you just have to play the role you’re in. In this story, I’m a Platinum Guest. Smell me! LOLOL!

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The Five Easy Things I Want In A Hotel Room

Hotels spend time and money to figure out what their guests want the most. To find this information, they send surveys asking how was the stay and asking their guests to rate everything from the front desk, to the room cleanliness, and even the fitness room. Hotels also have their employees watch over sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp! to spot bad reviews so they can try to resolve the problems (in public, so everyone can see they care).

I’m going to save the hotels a bunch of money in market research. In no specific order, here are the FIVE things I want from my hotel room.

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Hotels Removing Parking Fees, The Flight That Left With No One’s Luggage, & More

Happy Sunday, friends! Hope you’ve had a good week! Here are the travel articles we’ve recently seen that we think you may enjoy.

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