We are all guilty of it, that obvious second step. First you decide where you are going, then you get on one of the large booking sites like Booking.com or AirBnB to look for accommodation. However I always add a third step and I think you should to. I use the booking sites to find suitable available accommodation then I google the accommodation name, look for their website and place my booking direct.
Read on to find out how booking direct has led to some startling results over the years.
Once I was looking on Booking.com for some basic accommodation in the Italian Lakes. Even the self-catering chalets were expensive but then I noticed a 65% discount on a rather gorgeous looking hotel with a roof garden overlooking the lake. I googled the hotel name, found their website (about 3 pages into the search engine) and sure enough the same discount was available there too. It was exactly the same rate as on Booking.com and a bargain for such a lovely hotel in such a prime position. Of course we were sure to get the most basic rooms at the back of the hotel, but we would be able to use the swimming pool and that amazing roof top garden. The astounding thing was, when we turned up we were given the best rooms in the hotel, with big balconies overlooking the Lake.
During my stay I watched lots of people scurrying into the dark back bedrooms and wondered if they had got the discount and had they booked via Booking.com. I’ll never know for sure, but could it be that because we had booked direct (saving the hotel 20% of our fee) our hosts had chosen to give us those lovely rooms? Whatever the reason, we were welcome and it felt good.
Since then I have often noticed that we get an especially friendly welcome at our accommodation, often better rooms than we have paid for and sometimes little extras that were not included in the description. There is no guarantee of course, but by Booking Direct you save your host 20%, so they are bound to think of you first when free upgrades are available. And if there are no direct benefits on a particular stay, at least you can feel good about yourself as a generous guest. Providing your hosts with more to spend on your stay without effecting your own budget.
All booking placed via the Independent Hostels website use the accommodations own booking systems and link to their websites. So book on this website and you can guarantee you are Booking Direct every time.