Friday, June 24, 2011

6 Tips to Shopping Online for Hotel Rooms

Have you ever started looking for a hotel room online and the whole exercise turning into an exercise in futility? Online shopping was meant to be easy. When it comes to trying to find the right hotel room at the right price, this is not always the case. This article gives some suggestions and help on looking for the right priced room, without taking all day to find it.

Arranging hotels online always starts of as a relatively easy exercise. The further you get into trying to find the hotel of your choice at the right price, the more complicated the issue becomes. While shopping online for accommodation has become the ‘norm’, most of us struggle with the process. Online shopping was meant to be convenient, and it was meant to be easy. When we are looking for accommodation, this is often not the case. There are always many hundreds of sites that are telling us they have the best deal. There are always these amazing offers that never seem to be available by the time you get to making the purchase. In this article, we look at the best way to navigate the maze of accommodation and offers available online, and get the deal that you are really looking for.

  • Google is Not Enough. Google is great for searching the whole Internet. It is not good at looking at the best deals available in a particular category, for example. This is why there are specific search engines for shopping, sports and other areas that people are often looking for particular information. We will normally use Google when we start searching for something, and in this case it is a hotel, in a particular area. Instead of searching for hotels, for example, look for ‘accommodation sites’. You need to find the sites that are specialised in selling hotel and other accommodation deals. It is only once you have found these sites, can you start digging inside them.
  • Remember the ‘Offers’ are There, to Get Your Attention. All too often, and particularly online, we will see so many offers that are just unbelievable. Remember, this is the Internet, and those amazingly priced deals seem to be everywhere. It is only when you have spent half an hour getting to the bottom of it, do you realise the deal comes with a number of addition requirements. That amazing price of 99 dollars a night, is only available if you book 1 year in advance, have extended membership, and book for a whole 10 days. Try not to get caught up in chasing the amazing deals you will be bombarded with as you begin your search online.
  • Brand Names Count, Even with Websites. Many of us neglect to remember brand names are important even when we are searching online. Do you know the travel company that is offering that deal? Do you recognise this website, does it look credible? These are all things we should be asking ourselves when we are searching online. Above, we mentioned the importance of finding a site that deals with hotels and accommodation. Look for the site you have seen before, or the site you have heard of from others.
  • Social Media. Many people think Facebook and other social media are just about chatting with friends, and sharing pictures of what you did during the day. This could not be further from the truth. Social Media like Facebook can be a great way to ask others, and a great number of others, what they thought of a particular hotel or website that specialises in accommodation deals. Social media’s main purpose is to share ideas, and some of the most important ideas can be the opinions and experience of others who have already been.
  • Plan Ahead. Whether you are using the Internet or not, you will always get a better deal if you plan ahead. All hotels and accommodation want to be fully booked. There is no better way for them to operate their business. What this means is the best deals will be ones that are for at a later date. As the date for booking gets closer, the hotel or accommodation does not need to offer the same kind of great deals.
  • Read the Fine Print. If we were looking at a contract on paper, or we were talking to someone face to face, we would always concern ourselves with the little details. When we are using the internet, there seems there are so many items on the screen that are grabbing our attention, we can get lost in all of that information. Just as you would with any other financial transaction, look for the fine print, and always read it carefully.


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