A recent survey has found that travellers booking their own hotels online aren’t always getting the bargains they expected.
Hotel price review website CombinedHotels.com surveyed travellers from Australia, UK, US and Canada who had made online hotel bookings, and found over half were frustrated by hidden fees and restrictive conditions.
The number one frustration was booking fees, taxes and other charges which were not disclosed up front.
The second most common complaint was related to cancellation policies which were restrictive and not clearly explained at the time of booking.
Other issues were booking services or hotels that required a full up-front payment and confusion over incorrect currency conversions.
With many airlines currently offering bargain airfares, those snapping them up then have the choice of booking accommodation through a travel agent or organising the accommodation booking themselves.
If you have decided to book your own accommodation through an online booking service you should enquire about all booking fees and conditions before making a transaction.
Also remember that sites based overseas are not subject to Australian regulatory approval and contacting the supplier or requesting compensation can be difficult.
RAC Travel recommends dealing only with well-known and reputable sites.
Your favourite travel agent’s web site is likely to offer an accommodation booking tool and in the event that something goes wrong, you can easily contact them.
Or if you decide to go direct to the hotel’s web site, make sure that the total costs are detailed as well as any cancellation conditions.
Creating a complete holiday package for yourself requires careful planning and attention to detail to ensure your trip runs smoothly.
While grabbing a bargain is certainly irresistible, being stung with hidden costs can turn your cheap getaway into a frustrating experience that simply doesn’t deliver.
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