While research has shown online bookings for both tourists and business travelers tend to be influenced by such dynamics as functionality, aesthetic needs, hedonic needs and conventional needs; it’s important to note that the end result of any booking process should be a smooth, enjoyable and satisfying stay whether in a five-star, a camping site or a lodge down the street as featured on the booking website. Below are a few pointers to help you through your online booking this holiday.
Do Your Couch Research
It might sound far-fetched, but there’s lots of information waiting to be discovered a click away. Click on every related link and then, the next. Compare rates as offered on different platforms; for instance hotel booking sites may negotiate partnerships with their listed hotels that allow special rates for customers who book through the site or have resident rates for certain groups of people e.g. the citizens of a certain country. Hotels may also have special group rates and even discounted rates with every second child. Look out for such information and list it out in your ‘research book’ for comparisons.
Read the Fine Print
Sometimes the excitement of an oncoming holiday may roll blinds over your eyes and therefore find yourself missing the fine details in spite of tens of hours spent huddled over the computer. Are there any policies concerning children? Remember some properties do not allow children of certain age in their premises or in certain/ specific areas; if you find yourself in such a dilemma while trying to look for a perfect family vacation, do not be tempted to think you can negotiate. Be fair to your family and move on to the next hotel. Faint disclaimers such as “the restaurant does not serve alcohol, or “this is a non-smoking zone” should not be ignored. As the wise saying goes, every man has his vice-if you are not on a self-rewarding holiday after successful stint in rehab or that you just graduated from the AA, do not ruin your holiday by being too hard on yourself! Master your vice before you entail the long, and somewhat ruthless rule of nature.
The 5Ws of your online Booking
What do you want - a honeymoon suite, or a double room? An extra bed in the room or a cot for your six-month? Where exactly do you want to go-a campsite near the Mara crossing, or a tree house in the banks of the equally awesome Talek River? When do you want to travel? Once you insert the dates of your holiday, check out the specific hotel/rooms availability for that particular period. The last two Ws take into consideration how you want to be served and who you are; do you have any special needs you would like attended to? For instance, nutritional needs, medical supplies, uniformly thick gravy, (like Playboy’s Hugh Heffner) or maybe you carry your thermometer to the bathroom! How possible it to have the hotel service achieve this?
Learn the “rack” or published rate
This may be shocking, but anyone in business knows the power of a good negotiation skills. Check what is listed on the hotel site, or your online hotel booking site and then reach for your phone; ask the cheerful voice on the other end if this is the best rate, ask again like if in amusement… and then counter check just to be sure. This is business, before you hang up; you will not only have grabbed yourself the best offer but will also have left a mark for your negotiation skills. Great service awaits you.
I love reading guest reviews on any source that falls into my html tab; they are absolutely eye opening. If a guest tells you to avoid Room 6 or Cottage XX of a given hotel, do not just dismiss them as OcDs as they may sound. Keep clicking on the responses and find out why. Look out too for Owner responses in the reviews; is the hotel caring enough to spare a few minutes if only for the sake of public relations? Does the thread end with a satisfied customer or does it result to an endless blame game between the host-victim in this case, and the guest-now painted as perpetrator? This should help you mark out a clear picture of the kind of service to expect.
For more information on online hotel booking services and the largest database of hotels visit www.jovago.com