Thanks to the internet, booking a vacation has never been easier. You can book your flight, hotel and even car rental through one convenient portal.
But sometimes it pays to put a bit more effort in.
Next time you go to reserve a hotel room through a third party booking site (also known as an Online Travel Agency-- OTA-- like Priceline.com or Orbitz), try doing it via the hotel instead as you’ll likely end up with a preferable room.
According to travel industry experts, hotels tend to save their best rooms in every price bracket for people who book with them directly.
That’s because they have to pay between 10 and 30 percent commission to booking sites for every reservation that comes through them, which amound to a big chunk of their income.
However, if you book with the hotel through their own website, the property is recouping all of that money sans fee. This means they are far more likely to be generous with upgrades, Wi-Fi and all of the other add-ons that usually make guests happy.
Shane Lambert, a former hotel manager said, “A lot of hotels punish people for booking through third-party sites.
“They don’t like paying the commission and would rather you booked with the hotel directly. The consequence is that you get the worst room within the room category you book a lot of the time."
Additionally, someone who books direct is far more likely to turn into a loyal customer than the person who comes across the hotel by surfing booking websites for the cheapest price.
That's why a lot of hotel loyalty programmes only give you points if you book with them direct.
Not to mention, a lower price isn’t always guaranteed through a booking site. Often, if you call the hotel directly, they will be more than happy to match the price you've found online.