Which is more important when booking travel?

Travel Forums General Talk Which is more important when booking travel?

Page
Last Post
1. Posted by 784travel (Budding Member 10 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

When you are booking a hotel or experience..which is more important to you?

A - The ability to book the service, have it confirmed then being allowed to pay for the trip upon arrival to destination
B - The ability to book the service, have it confirmed, but you must pay 100% of cost upfront

I would love to get your feedback on this as I have seen many instances during Covid-19 where people who booked way in advance and paid upfront are having difficulty getting refunds.

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2558 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

"When you are booking a hotel or experience..which is more important to you?"

--

If I book a room ahead of time I always pay on check in. Many cheap hotels do this. Right now during this Wuhan Virus thing I would not pay for anything in advance.

For me, what is within walking distance is important for hotel location along with price.

I choose a hotel for what is available to walk to during my free time during my evenings. You can always use transportation for tourist sites or book tours. I want restaurants, nightlife, malls, Seven Eleven type stores, even supermarkets within walking distance from my hotel. Tourist stuff I can use city transportation if needed. I do not want to use taxis or buses just to get a beer or eat a burger, buy a bottle of water or whatever!

3. Posted by 784travel (Budding Member 10 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting karazyal

"When you are booking a hotel or experience..which is more important to you?"

--

If I book a room ahead of time I always pay on check in. Many cheap hotels do this. Right now during this Wuhan Virus thing I would not pay for anything in advance.

For me, what is within walking distance is important for hotel location along with price.

I choose a hotel for what is available to walk to during my free time during my evenings. You can always use transportation for tourist sites or book tours. I want restaurants, nightlife, malls, Seven Eleven type stores, even supermarkets within walking distance from my hotel. Tourist stuff I can use city transportation if needed. I do not want to use taxis or buses just to get a beer or eat a burger, buy a bottle of water or whatever!

Excellent response karazyal...much thanks for your contribution

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1424 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I never pay in advance for a hotel when booking: I always pay on arrival. There are a myriad of things which might happen to prevent my visit and I'd rather pay a little more than lose the lot.

The vast, vast majority of hotels in Europe don't expect full payment on booking (not just the 'cheap ones') ...nor even a deposit......and they only apply cancellation fees a couple of days beforehand. In my own experience, the same applies to US hotels.

Frankly, I see absolutely no advantage for me in paying a hotel in advance nor in sending a deposit. So I don't do either.

I don't take organised holidays (e.g. package holidays, touring holidays, cruises) but I know they do require full payment in advance and I also know that many people who have booked such holidays are having difficulty getting Covid refunds.

I very, very rarely book 'experiences' in advance. I prefer to do my own explorations using my feet and public transport. Very occasionally I have booked daytours to historical sites which are inaccessible by public transport (e.g. WW1 battlefields in Belgium) and bought tickets for sites which have strictly limited visitor numbers (e.g. the Hypogeum in Malta). I'm happy to pay for both in full on booking because I want to be certain of visiting on the day which suits me. I'm not interested in expensive 'experiences' so if I were unable to attend I'd be happy to accept the small loss.....which, in my case, always benefits a historical site or a small tour operator.....as just my bad luck.

5. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1297 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I much prefer to pay at the hotel and I find that is the norm. But we also sometimes book self-catering accommodation, such as an apartment or cottage, and it seems usual for them to want at least some payment upfront in the form of a deposit, and they usually ask for payment in full about a week beforehand. With all the uncertainty around at the moment, we are focusing on choosing accommodation which can be cancelled at short notice with little or no loss of money.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2558 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I have never booked an organized tour in advance. When overseas I sometimes book a day tour for out of reach locations or convenience. But I do this from a local tour office or travel agency not some place thousands of miles away!

Some hotels I have been in overseas have arrangements with tour companies and have a menu selection of local tours. I do some comparison shopping and see if using the hotel booking for a particular tour or a private company is the best choice for me. Most things I do on my own but there are times when walking out the door of your hotel and into a waiting van is more convenient.

7. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1424 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

>But I do this from a local tour office or travel agency not some place thousands of miles away!

Occasionally it's essential to book well in advance if you really want to see something.

There are some extremely important European sites which have strictly limited daily visitor numbers (with timed entrances) and for which demand is always very high. If you leave it until you arrive tickets for such sites are highly unlikely to be available (unless you're visiting at the quietest time of year) or only available if you're prepared to pay way, way over the odds for a 'guided tour' you don't want or need. Examples include the Hypogeum in Malta, Da Vinci's 'Last Supper' in Milan, the Nasrid Palace in Granada's Alhambra and the interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It's possible to book and pay in advance for a date & time-slot online for all these sites, the only way to be certain you'll see them when you're actually visiting the place. Of course, there's nothing to stop people leaving it until they arrive as long as they understand that they're very likely to be disappointed.

Additionally, in many (all?) European countries, Covid restrictions have resulted in the vast majority of sites, sights and activities actively reducing their daily visitor numbers and thus requiring advance online booking and payment. That's likely to continue until we have an effective vaccine or a definite cure.

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jul-2020, 10:29 GMT by leics2 ]

8. Posted by 784travel (Budding Member 10 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

I never pay in advance for a hotel when booking: I always pay on arrival. There are a myriad of things which might happen to prevent my visit and I'd rather pay a little more than lose the lot.

The vast, vast majority of hotels in Europe don't expect full payment on booking (not just the 'cheap ones') ...nor even a deposit......and they only apply cancellation fees a couple of days beforehand. In my own experience, the same applies to US hotels.

Frankly, I see absolutely no advantage for me in paying a hotel in advance nor in sending a deposit. So I don't do either.

I don't take organised holidays (e.g. package holidays, touring holidays, cruises) but I know they do require full payment in advance and I also know that many people who have booked such holidays are having difficulty getting Covid refunds.

I very, very rarely book 'experiences' in advance. I prefer to do my own explorations using my feet and public transport. Very occasionally I have booked daytours to historical sites which are inaccessible by public transport (e.g. WW1 battlefields in Belgium) and bought tickets for sites which have strictly limited visitor numbers (e.g. the Hypogeum in Malta). I'm happy to pay for both in full on booking because I want to be certain of visiting on the day which suits me. I'm not interested in expensive 'experiences' so if I were unable to attend I'd be happy to accept the small loss.....which, in my case, always benefits a historical site or a small tour operator.....as just my bad luck.

Thanks for your thorough answer

9. Posted by 784travel (Budding Member 10 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToonSarah

I much prefer to pay at the hotel and I find that is the norm. But we also sometimes book self-catering accommodation, such as an apartment or cottage, and it seems usual for them to want at least some payment upfront in the form of a deposit, and they usually ask for payment in full about a week beforehand. With all the uncertainty around at the moment, we are focusing on choosing accommodation which can be cancelled at short notice with little or no loss of money.

Thanks for your response.

10. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1714 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

It depends on where I am going and why and also how far in advance it is.

Sometimes a hotel will have a slightly cheaper rate if I pay in advance and that is usually also non-refundable. I am rarely, if ever, seduced by the slightly cheaper rate.

If I am making reservations along a route in the USA where I am driving from one point to another (that is it is a trip where the journey is not the important thing - I am interested in getting to the destination ASAP and not touring destinations along the way), the most important thing is that I can get to the hotel off the highway quickly, that there is level access (no stairs) and that there is some place to eat nearby. Also that there is a free breakfast, free parking and free internet. I book directly with the hotel of my preferred chain so that I can get points. (That's about the only time I do points.) I don't pay in advance.

If I am going to be at a destination for several days in the US, I still want to be comfortable and have free parking, level access and free internet, but the location is more important - that is I don't want to be near the highway but someplace near the center of the action so I don't have to drive everywhere. I don't pay in advance.

If I am flying to Europe or someplace outside the US, I often book through Booking.com and I normally do not pick the option that involves paying in advance if I have any other option. If I do pick that option, it is only when that hotel is the best place to stay in a longer and expensive trip and I have insured the main part of the trip for cancellation refund. If I can get the major part of my money back I will bag the hotel cost.