We take care of comparing what is best for you: booking through an online travel agency or directly on the website of a hotel.
Book your hotel with an online travel agency
You can use several reputable online travel agency websites. A quick search on the Internet will offer you several options to choose from.
- Online travel agencies often include reviews made by customers in their ads.
- Most sites also include photos and a list of attractions and dining options nearby.
- An online agency rarely asks for deposits. Usually, she only requests a credit card number to secure the reservation, but nothing is charged before arriving at the hotel.
- They also offer exclusive offers that are not available anywhere else, especially when you associate your hotel with tickets to local attractions, car rental and/or airline tickets.
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- Some guests found out when they arrived at their hotel that their room was not actually available or booked.
- As you have booked through an agency, it may be that customer service issues should be addressed to that third party and not directly to the hotel.
- Online travel agencies often have complex booking mechanisms that increase or decrease the price of hotels according to your online activity or even the time of day for your booking.
Booking directly on the hotel website
All major hotel chains have websites that you can check for prices, availability, and reservations. What are the advantages and risks of booking directly?
- By contacting the hotel directly, you will be sure that room availability is up to date.
- Most hotels offer rates corresponding to those specified on an online travel agency website (see below).
- Often when you book a hotel directly, it offers discrete additional benefits that are not listed online, such as discounts and room upgrades.
- You can always call the hotel in case of concern. The person taking care of the booking will usually be able to inform you about tourist attractions and restaurants nearby with more precision than an online agency.
- Customer service will be processed directly by the hotel to reduce the many possible conflicts.
- If you are looking for a last minute booking in high season, the hotels will not have a great availability.
- Some hotels require deposits when booking a room.
- A hotel cannot offer most “bundles”, such as rental cars, tickets to tourist attractions and airline tickets.
- Unless you research the hotel in advance, you may wonder if the reviews about the hotel and the services are authentic.
Whether you book by an online travel agency, or directly with the hotel, do not forget to make the comparison. If you do not feel comfortable with the person or online agency you are dealing with, trust your instincts. Have a nice trip!