Here are 12 tips that are important to remember when making your hotel reservations so you won't be disappointed when you arrive for your business meeting or vacation.
1) When you make reservations, call directly to the hotel for personalized attention. This also allows you to ask if they have special discount rates for which you qualify. In addition, you can find out specific details of the hotel or vicinity.
2) Spell correctly the guest's name. You don't want your reservation to be lost in the computer because of a misspelling especially when the hotel is sold out for the night.
3) State how many adults and children are in each room. Sometimes if a third party such as a travel agent makes the reservation for you, the extra persons may not be known to them.
4) Ask for the room rate and tax before you actually corfirm the reservation. Use a valid credit card to guarantee the room. You definitely don't want any surprises especially if you travel during peak season when the rates are sky high. Also, the credit card will guarantee that your room will not be given to another person if you are delayed unexpectedly. If you lack sufficient available credit on your card, the hotel may cancel your reservation before you arrive. Make sure the expiration date is current.
5) Specify your room type preference (such as one king bed or two queen beds) and smoking preference. You don't want to be grouchy during your vacation if the room or smoking preference does not meet with your approval. This is particularly crucial for those people who are unable to tolerate smoke or have a respiratory ailment such as asthma. Although most hotels try to accommodate your preferences, the room is guaranteed and not the preferences in many instances.
6) Remember to request a rollaway or a crib when needed. Don't assume that one will be available especially if the hotel is at full occupancy. Some fire code regulations will not permit a rollaway in a room that already has two beds.
7) Verify the arrival and departure dates. You don't want to hear that the hotel was expecting you for the previous night and the hotel is totally booked when you arrive a day late. Also, if the departure date is sooner than you thought, you may be asked to vacate the room for another confirmed reservation.
8) Always ask for a confirmation number for each room reserved. This helps to minimize misunderstandings at arrival time.
9) If more than one room is reserved, assign the specific occupant's name to each room.
10) Ask for check in time and check out time. If you absolutely have to have an early check in because you need to get ready for a special function such as a wedding, clarify the policy beforehand. You are certainly permitted to ask for a late check out time or possibly a half-day rate if you need some extra time.
11) Always ask for the cancellation policy to prevent your credit card from being charged as a "No Show". You want to make sure that you notify the hotel prior to their cut off time so you won't be charged for the room if your plans change. The hotel could lose room revenue if they hold the room for you, but you fail to show up on a night that they sell out.
12) If paying by credit card, the cardholder must present a valid credit card and sign at check in. If another person besides the guest will be paying and that person is not present, generally a request for a fax is made. The fax will include the signature of the cardholder who authorizes the payment and also a photocopy of the credit card. Some people think that they are charged when the room is actually booked, but in fact, this usually occurs at check out unless the balance is high. This may vary though, especially if you booked the room on an online discount reservation site unrelated to the hotel's ownership. Because policies may vary in this regard, always ask for clarification.
Have a memorable and enjoyable trip.