Top 10 Tips for Booking a Hotel Online in South Africa
There are many reasons why you might want to book a hotel online in South Africa, whether it’s to make the most of limited vacation time or because you’re new to the area and don’t know which hotels are in your price range and convenient to your main destinations.
However, it can be difficult to know where to begin when looking through all the information available on sites like booking.com, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor , and Priceline .
The following list of ten tips will help you sift through this information and find the best Booking a Hotel Online deals online!
Booking a Hotel Online: Did you know?
In an average year, a traveller spends $52 per night in fees when booking directly through a hotel’s website.
Fees for online booking include resort fees, service charges and taxes that can add up quickly. That’s why it’s smart to shop around before making your final decision.
And don’t forget to visit hotel websites themselves; sometimes you’ll find lower rates there than on third-party sites like Expedia or Priceline.
However, be careful—third-party sites may still have the best deals out there, even if they aren’t as cheap as advertised on hotels’ official websites!
Booking a Hotel Online: Hotels use Expedia
When booking hotels online, be sure to visit Expedia. Hotels use Expedia, so if you can’t find your hotel there, it doesn’t mean it isn’t available.
It just means that you might be able to save money by shopping around and booking directly with them. As a general rule of thumb, try Expedia first and then check for other sites later on.
There are tons of reasons for hotel websites that aren’t always clear, but generally speaking they’ll offer more discounts or incentives than other sites do.
Plus, booking directly with them will typically help cut down on cancellation fees (which can sometimes be substantial).
Price per night vs Price per room
Many hotels have gotten savvy about consumers searching for hotels near me and will raise their prices knowing that most consumers won’t even bother checking to price.
Instead, enter in hotels near me into your search bar and see what comes up first. If it’s not an option you like, you’ll have time to compare with other results before booking.
You should also pay attention to price per night vs price per room; hotels know that people often think they can get a better deal by booking two separate rooms (vs one big room), but really it all depends on how many people are staying there and whether or not they can fit in those rooms!
Booking a Hotel Online: Credit card points
There are many hotel points credit cards on the market, but there are few that offer bonuses for hotels online.
If you’re trying to collect hotel points, it may be worth it to shop around for cards and deals instead of using one exclusively—especially if you plan on making several reservations over time.
It may seem daunting at first, but don’t be fooled: You can always find an available hotel when booking online and sometimes even at bargain prices. Follow these 10 tips and tricks so that you can book a room when you need one in no time!
Booking a Hotel Online: Cancellation policy
A safe way to find out cancellation policies is by calling, emailing or even visiting a hotel before booking your stay. Many hotels will offer what’s called free cancellation for a certain amount of time after booking.
That doesn’t mean you can cancel your stay at any time without penalty; it just means that if you cancel within that window of time, no fees will be applied.
Other hotels have strict cancellation policies and charge fees—even those made far in advance of your stay—if you don’t show up. If there’s one thing we’ve learned while booking hotels online, it’s that finding out these kinds of details is important before reserving any room anywhere!
Do you want an upgrade?
First, know your way around your favorite travel sites. Some have tools that can help you find available hotel rooms based on cost or location.
You may also be able to score an upgrade at check-in. Most hotels will charge a fee for extras such as room service, but at some properties it’s free if you tip your server well enough.
Keep in mind that you are not obligated to take advantage of upgrades: There’s nothing wrong with having high standards when it comes to accommodation and just because you’re paying less than other guests doesn’t mean they should get something you don’t want or need. If you feel like taking advantage of an upgrade, great!
Travel offseason to get better rates
Yes, rates are lower during peak travel seasons, but hotels make up for that by raising prices in smaller increments throughout off-peak times.
Do your research and be sure to shop around before you book. It’s possible you could save 20% or more by avoiding popular times and travelling during non-peak seasons.
Using tools like Google Flights or Kayak’s Price Alerts can also help you score deals on future flights and hotels.
Even if you’re not planning a trip soon, checking sale prices on hotel booking sites can help get you familiar with options so when it does come time to book, you know where best to look for deals—and how much money is at stake.
Where will you stay?
There are many variables that factor into where you stay while travelling. Obviously, the cost is key; you’ll want to find hotel deals (also known as last-minute deals) or discounted rates that offer affordable rates without sacrificing quality.
You should also consider the distance from your travel destination, especially if you’re travelling by plane; not only will airport proximity affect transportation costs and commute time, but depending on your flight schedule, close proximity may also mean less downtime before or after your flight.
If you can’t afford more than one night at a hotel (or simply don’t want to), short-term rental apartments may be an option; many of these come with kitchen facilities and laundry services, which will save money spent on dining out and cleaning fees.
Can I pay with PayPal?
Many hotels will accept PayPal for payment when booking online, which is great because it means you can use your credit card even if you don’t have any money on it. However, not all sites that claim to accept PayPal actually do.
Be sure to check before hitting Pay Now. Not only will you avoid an embarrassing situation at checkout, but also you’ll save yourself some hassle and possibly additional fees—many of these alternative payment sites tack on a percentage or fee just for using them.
Also remember that most credit cards have no foreign transaction fees, so always use them if possible.
Know your dates and times
Before you start searching for your ideal hotel, make sure you know when and where you’ll be traveling. Different sites have different room prices, depending on which dates and times they are checking availability.
A simple change of just one day can sometimes mean hundreds of dollars more or less! And not all rates are based on standard days and times: at last-minute hotels (like Priceline and Hotwire), travelers will often see higher rates during peak periods—this could be weekdays or any other time or date that doesn’t usually see big demand.
It’s a good idea to set up alerts for your dates so that if something does come up, you’ll be among those first notified about it.