Travel agencies and discount travel websites are always advertising that they have the best deals. Is that true? Not always. There are many reasons why booking your hotel directly is preferable over using an online travel agency.
Skip booking fees
Travel agencies earn their money from sales commissions paid by the hotel. If you work with the hotel directly, they don’t have to pay those fees. Often, the best deal you can get is by calling the hotel directly and asking if they offer any discounts.
Amenities for Your Special Day
Hotels love to accommodate your special day, but travel agencies aren’t great at communicating details about your stay. If you book with the hotel directly, you can ask if they offer any special amenities for a special occasion like a wedding, birthday, or group event.
Easier to Amend or Change Booking
Online travel agencies are often unable or unwilling to change reservations once they have been made. Since it’s working through a third party, everything takes a bit longer. If you need to make changes or cancel your reservation last minute, booking directly with the hotel is the way to go. You’ll skip the cancellation fees travel agencies often add to reservations.
Are you particular about what floor you stay on or which direction your room faces? Online travel agencies don’t have the option to make special requests in the booking. Work with the hotel directly, and the staff will do their best to accommodate your special requests.
Booking directly with the hotel starts a real relationship with the staff that you can’t get with an online travel agency. Build a good rapport, and you might be able to make even more special requests or find that the staff throws in some extra goodies.
Last Minute Bookings
Because the online travel agencies are a third party, they don’t always have up-to-date records about hotel vacancy. If you need a last minute room, calling the hotel directly is the best way to ensure you find a place to stay. Sometimes hotels will even offer a discount to last minute bookings, to ensure they have the maximum capacity possible. Same day bookings that fill in cancellations can be a great steal.