The holiday travel season is upon us all. Millions of Americans will hop on planes or get behind the wheel to spend the season with family and friends. This can be a joyous and stressful time of the year. For some, the expenses that come with traveling can be difficult to overcome, which makes it important to find every option to cut costs. The allure of using popular booking platforms exists, but going directly to the hotel of choice often serves as the better option for those looking to get the most out of their time away.
Booking sites like Expedia, Priceline, and Hotwire are popular with travelers as a way to save some money when attempting to find a room. Hotel businesses can leverage these platforms to reach more potential customers, but at the same time, they are required to pay a commission fee when someone books through those systems. It’s understandable why that relationship is a challenging option for hotel chains.
This is why many are starting to find ways to offer customers more incentives to book directly with them, rather than use these platforms. Many locations are now offering discounts to customers who book directly through their system, either on the website or the mobile app for example. There are also additional incentives for joining customer loyalty programs. Other benefits include such things as free Wi-Fi and room preferences if you need to adjust during your stay.
There are also specific customer service perks to booking directly with the hotel. Booking platforms usually have hidden fees that are revealed at the final confirmation point, often creating frustration with customers. While customers using the platform will have a reservation and confirmation number, there are frequent stories about customers arriving at the location of choice to learn that their reservation was not relayed to the hotel. That’s a nightmare scenario no one wants to face when planning a trip. This is a big reason why booking directly through the hotel is the best way to go.
As you look for opportunities to travel while saving money, reconsider using a booking platform as there are good chances you will get more value by reaching out directly to the hotel itself.