It’s easy to overlook confirming all the details of any upcoming hotel reservations you may have, especially if they’re far off in the future. Once we start traveling again, it’s understandable if we assume everything will be okay because it’s “in the computer” and that our hotel rooms will be ready and waiting for our arrival.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
No one likes to make it to the hotel and find out that instead of having a room with two beds, you were booked a one-bedder. Next to the elevator and ice machine. Or how about when you thought you have booked for two nights, the hotel system says it is just for one night and you cannot extend because the hotel is fully committed the next night?
Discrepancies with hotel reservations happen all the time, even the ones that are several months away. They can happen to you, your travel agent, or even at the hotel itself, but they’re avoidable if you know what to plan for and the kinds of details you need to have available. Here are some tips to make sure you get what you originally reserved:
1. ALWAYS HAVE YOUR DETAILS REPEATED BACK TO YOU.
You want to make sure that the details are clearly laid out between you and the one booking your stay, so whether you’re making the reservation with your travel agent or directly with the hotel, ask them to repeat it. If you make it online, the details are right there, but take a screenshot and save it to your phone.
If the other person on the phone or behind the desk does not start to repeat the details, ask them what has been recorded for your reservation.
2. ASK FOR A VERBAL AND E-MAILED CONFIRMATION NUMBER.
In most cases, it is easy for an agent or reservationist to give you the confirmation number for your stay. Having that number enables you to look up the details of your reservation anytime. Just like with an airline confirmation, you can find your reservation via confirmation number on your hotel’s website more than likely. If anything, you can always call to have your reservation confirmed with the confirmation number.
For the most part, the booking agent will always give you a confirmation number, but if they don’t, ask them for it right then. Save it in a note somewhere, even if you email it to yourself. Another option is to block off the approximate arrival time in your calendar and paste the confirmation number in there. That way, you don’t have to try to find it in your email inbox.
3. MAKE SURE YOUR STAY IS ATTACHED TO YOUR LOYALTY NUMBER.
If you’re part of the hotel’s loyalty program, make sure your rewards member number is attached to your reservation. Rewards programs typically provide convenient access for members to retrieve any valuable information about their future stays and even past stays. If nothing else, you can always find information about the stay by looking at the online website. But making sure they have your number attached to your stay also means you’re going to receive the points for staying there.
4. CALL TO CONFIRM A FEW DAYS BEFORE YOUR STAY.
Whether or not you’ve booked through a third party, did it directly online, even if it was several months ago, it’s very important that you confirm your stay with the hotel directly and within a certain window before your arrival date.
So many times, guests show up to the hotel and find that their reservation was not as they thought they would be. The dates are wrong, the number of beds is wrong, the preferred location of the room is wrong, or many other problems. Many of these problems can be avoided by one simple phone call made just two weeks before your arrival date.
One common practice of hotels is that they’ll overbook their rooms to ensure they have 100% capacity because of cancellations. This is good for them, but it could be bad for you. Even if you made a legitimate reservation, they may tell you there’s something wrong with your room reservation, but they won’t necessarily admit this was a problem of their own making.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, call your hotel two weeks before your arrival and confirm the reservation. Be sure to write down the person’s name in case you need to reference the call later.
How do you deal with issues with your hotel reservations How do you confirm them to prevent problems? Tell us about it on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: Hermann (Pixabay.com, Creative Commons 0)