Going to a dream country to spend a memorable holiday is not enough without choosing the perfect accomodation for your stay. It is important to choose a hotel which suits your budget, specific requirements and location.
Some of us travellers like to go to their local travel agent and leave the task in his hands to decide for them where to stay. This is kind of risky because your travel agent might not have your same tastes and he may go for a hotel which he likes but that does not necessarily means it is according to your tastes and expectations!
Others, like me, prefer to search for the ideal accomodation online, and even this method involves a different kind of risk. Let me explain more…
Nowadays there exist hundreds (or maybe thousands) of online websites from where you can book your holiday accomodation. It is easy to go search through a search engine, say ‘hotel paris’ and one can find endless results of hotels in paris. If it is the first time you are going in a place or country, you do not know the surroundings, the areas, etc. If I want to go to London and book the first London hotel I find listed online, I may go there and find myself in an abandoned hotel far away from the main city attractions, and even though the hotel might have been relatively cheap, it may result at the end of the day in being more expensive if you have to include transport to arrive at the attractions. So, my advise is to read customers’ reviews and comments before choosing and booking your accomodation. Apart from finding out if the hotel enjoys a good location, one may find out if the hotel is good value for money, or if the breakfast is good, or if the rooms are in a good state and many others, which in my opinion are a very good source since these reviews are from real travellers and not from the hotel, which its main aim is to promote itself and not give true facts.
Another issue when booking online is the price. Since there exist a lot of online travel agents and travel booking companies, you will encounter different prices for the same hotels and the same conditions. It is important to look out for the merchants which offer the best price and read twice or thrice the booking conditions. Some websites try to show online the cheapest price, but then it results that something is missing, most commonly are the taxes, the breakfast supplement and the room type. Beware of merchants which show a relatively very cheap price – a gimmick or online spam is very possible.
Trust online merchants which have a name amongst travellers. Trust large websites – there is no risk that they are fake, or that they do not have good customer service. Due to high competition nowadays, if a customer is not satisfied with the product or service he bought, it may result in negative marketing for the company which sold him the product or service. And large online companies do their best to offer their customers the best service so that by time and word of mouth their clientele will exponentially increase by time.
Coming back to my personal experiences, I have to say that now, after years trying different online merchants from where to book my holiday accomodation I have found a truly reliable online booking engine. They do not charge your credit card at the time of booking and you settle directly with the hotel on check out. Their prices are very competitive and they have a choice of room types available. Now I have been using them for some time and never had any problems. Now I can say I trust 100% www.booking.com.