The debate of whether to book a hotel directly or through an online travel agency (OTA) is ongoing. The truth is that while there are many advantages to booking directly with a hotel, there are also many for using an OTA.
Hotels used to have the monopoly on offering the best deals, but OTAs have changed that. Now, you have more options to book your hotel.
Booking With an OTA
For some travelers, booking through an OTA may be a better option. This is just a short list of why an OTA may be a more advantageous alternative in some situations:
- Travel packages: These days, it’s possible to book your flight, hotel and even car together. Some OTAs offer a discount on your flight if you bundle it with a hotel, or vice versa.
- Mystery deals: For travelers intent on saving money, there is the option of booking cheaper hotels that meet your search criteria. The catch is that you don’t know the name of the hotel until after you have booked it. For example, Priceline claims you can save up to 60 percent when you choose its Express Deals.
- Late bookings: OTAs help you make last-minute bookings. If you have an unexpected trip come up or you change your itinerary to include another stop, an OTA can help you find a hotel with rooms available.
Booking a Hotel Directly
However, there are other beneficial reasons a direct booking may be the best option for you and may even save you money:
- Exclusive rates: There are instances when hotels offer special rates on rooms that do not carry over to third-party sites like Hotels.com or Expedia.com.
- Earn points: Some hotels offer loyalty programs in which you earn points by booking directly with the hotel. You can save these points and then spend them at a future date.
- Upgrades and amenities: Special packages like the inclusion of breakfast may be offered on an OTA, but they may also be more expensive than booking directly with the hotel. Other possible amenities include room upgrades, local attractions tickets and parking.
Book the Way That Works for You
When you consider how to book your hotel, it comes down to the type of traveler you are. There are different situations in which you may want to book directly with a hotel and other times you may want to book through an OTA. Contact Bold Tourist today to learn more travel tips or for help planning your next trip.