A step-by-step process to book the perfect accommodation for your vacation
Finding a hotel online can be a really exhausting and confusing task. Not only is it difficult to sift through all of the choices you are provided with, the huge number of websites from search engine results and all of the countless options you get makes it feel like the world hottest dance club.
Did you know that there are simpler, easier and more comfortable ways to find the right hotel for you?
There are a few things you should know about search engines and mega search engines in general before going about finding the right hotel for your vacation, a little bit of backstory shows why it’s a bit complicated and exposes the politics behind the hotel industry.
Today, there are three main options for booking a hotel online. These include;
• Through a mega search engine– These huge search engines often claim to offer and cover dozens or even hundreds of smaller search engines. This makes it a good fit to find the cheapest results especially when you would like to have a good variety of options.
• Through a regular search engine– Such search engines would have a stock of hotels it partners with and will display the price for each booking according to your search term.
• The private websites of each hotel.
According to a research by “The guardian” on the hotel industry, a large number of these mega search engines are under the same ownership as the regular search engines. This means that the mega search engines will display a clear preference for some websites and hotels over others.
How then can you really trust the validity of results from these “mega” search engines?
Can you be entirely certain that these search engines will always provide you with the best results when you use them to search for accommodations online? (this is also true for the flights and aviation industry but well discuss that at another time).
Another research shows a price difference between the prices gotten on the private websites of hotels and the prices of the same hotels found through a search engine. Typically, the private websites are often more expensive even when searched on the same dates.
More research on this shows that there is not much difference between search engines. When checked at different times, the cheapest results checked was in a different engine every time with absolutely no pattern.
How do you get around this problem?
It’s simple! You have to cross check a few different websites to evaluate what the best options are for you.
The three websites I prefer to work with are:
–Hotelscombined– A mega search engine.
–Agoda- A regular search engine that is considered to be the best in South Asia.
–booking– A regular search engine.
Here’s a simple step-by-step process to book a cheap hotel;
1. Click hotelcombined and search for the dates and the destination you’re looking for. Next, select all the relevant filters and add them to the first search. These could include,
- Number of kids
- Number of rooms you want
- If you want a pool
- The type of hotel you want (3-5) star
- Your budget
- Distance from airport
Simply add all of the filters and leave the tab open. This process is very simple and doesn’t take any of your time.
To help you along, use this search box to get all of the information you want.
2. Open a new tab and click Agoda– search for the same things. Use the filters properly or just fill up your details here for a faster result.
3. Choose two of the best offers you find. Pick two from each website. This will amount to a total of 4 hotels or accommodations.
♥ Don’t forget to read the reviews- pay attention that it’s only the most recent ones and those that match the dates you plan to stay there. As a general rule- always choose those with a higher rating (I never even bother looking at anything with a rating of 7.5 or less.)
4. How then do you ensure that these hotels are the best options?
Simply crosscheck on a third site like booking to compare results and ensure that you don’t get the bad end of the deal. Visit booking and crosscheck each of the 4 hotels you chose one after the other.
5. You’re almost done!
Check through the booking conditions for all 4 hotels and remove all those that do not allow last minute cancellations. Filter these out and leave only those that allow cancellations or even allows you to book now and pay later.
You want to be able to keep your options open to change especially when you are not entirely decided.
6. Now choose the one you like best and book.
♥ The reason for this quick booking is that those websites will save your search history and may raise the price when you use it again or search too much for the same hotels on their listing.
This is because, your search results around the same booking shows interest and would mean a higher profit when you decide to book later. So decide on which one to choose in one sitting and book right away.
7. Now relax and let the websites do the work for you!
After booking, these websites will send you emails with offers for the searches you’ve done with them. Take a few days to evaluate each offers they send. Take your time and see if there is something better, more interesting or cheaper than the option you chose.
Just make sure that you do not get confused by getting into a million tabs with countless options again.
8. Now check your final decision again on all 3 websites before leaving for your trip
We recommend making your reservations 2 weeks-2 days before the travel date. Cross-check all 4 hotels on all three websites hotelcombined, Agoda, booking.
9. Make sure nothing’s changed
If you find that the prices changed or got lowered- you can cancel (because you made sure of that option in the original booking) the original booking, and book again.
10. You’re all set to go!
If nothing changed, you’re already set and ready for a great vacation.