Whether you’re planning a family vacation, business trip, reunion, or just a weekend getaway, the reservation precess at hotels and B & B’s can seem overwhelming. Online travel agencies (OTA’s) claim that they can improve your reservation experience by comparing rates of hotels in your area and directing you to the best option fit to your search criteria. Although, what most people don’t realize is these third party booking companies are actually not on your side as much as you think. Here are the top 5 reasons why booking directly through the hotel or B & B website is simpler, faster, and more effective:
1. Better room assignments
Third party travel agencies such as Expedia or Travelocity offer a limited selection of rooms. Based on availability, rooms with better amenities are prioritized for guests who book direct. Also, direct bookers have the upper hand by speaking with knowledgable employees who are informative on accommodating needs such as first or second level, wheelchair accessibility, private entry, which room has the best view, etc.
2. Guaranteed lowest booking price
Most hotels and B & B’s (including us at Bears Inn) have a “lowest price guarantee” in place where they will price match any valid offer that is found through a booking agency. Online travel agencies are partial to have additional charges and fees for utilizing their services, sneaking up on you at checkout.
3. Know what you're getting into
The best property photos and room descriptions are available at the source, from the B & B website. Photos on OTA’s may be outdated and might not provide a completely accurate vision of your stay. Direct websites typically provide more information on amenities and upgrades in each room, such as an antique clawfoot tub or fireplace.
Also, direct websites can provide local information about the area you are visiting that you otherwise might not come access. After all, locals know best!
4. Your reservation is guaranteed
By eliminating the middle man and booking direct, the policies put in place by the facility you’ll be staying at are guaranteed and secure. When booking through OTA’s, you are subject to additional cancellation policies, reservation requirements, and fees that are not applicable when booking direct. Rest assured that when you arrive to your reservation, there will be no misunderstandings or mishaps.
5. Customize your stay
Talking directly with someone at the B & B or hotel you are booking is beneficial in the way that they can provide you with recommendations and accomodations that are customized to fit your stay. In our case as a B & B, we accommodate breakfast for all dietary needs whether it be gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, you name it. Also, by talking to the B & B directly other accommodations can be made such as an early or late check in, extra pillows and blankets, etc.
When searching for hotel or B & B accommodations, always check the direct website first for the best possible reservation experience!