This is a sponsored post, all opinions are our own.
It’s time to start booking flights and hotels for summer vacations and you want to book travel safely. My dad is coming up here to Seattle to visit us and needs a hotel. We have plans to go to Hawaii in July and the way we got our hotel stay I’m a little worried about the fact that we will have a room for four when we get there. My husband said he researched it and that this lady actually worked with the hotel but how can you tell for sure?
How to Book Travel Safely
We are also planning on going to Florida for the month and thankfully for there we have a stay with my mom and she’s taking care of our beach stay for a week in a Condo and the rest of the time we are with her. But let’s talk a little bit about how easy it is for something like our week in Hawaii to go terribly wrong because of how we booked it and how easy it is to get scammed when booking a stay with a third party.
Book Travel Directly
In a new survey commissioned by AHLA, in partnership with Morning Consult, 23 percent of consumers report being misled by third-party traveler resellers on the phone or online – translating to 28.5 million hotel stays and $5.2 billion in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking transactions in 2017.
We have a lot of experience booking hotels from third party sites and not all of them have been good. One time we booked, they didn’t have our reservation. Luckily they still had a room available. Another time, they only gave us the rate we booked through for two nights out of the three nights stay, and according to some research we got off easy. Don’t get caught without a room and wondering where to go or what to do next.
Book Travel Through A Trusted Travel Agent
Among the 23 percent of consumers who say they have been misled by third-party traveler resellers, 46 percent say they were charged extra fees on their credit card; 34 percent had their reservation lost and had to book another room, losing the cost of their original reservation; and 44 percent made a special room request that was not relayed to the hotel as we’ve already experienced.
With 39 percent of travelers reporting that they most often book their hotel rooms through a third-party website, AHLA urges consumers to be cautious when booking travel.
“It’s easy and convenient to make travel arrangements online. Unfortunately, as online bookings have surged, so too have scams and deceptive behaviors,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA.
“That’s why we encourage consumers to look before you book, slow down, and search smarter. Taking a few extra seconds to book directly with a hotel or a trusted travel agent can save time and money in the long run, and lead to a better travel experience overall.”
Follow Travel Booking Tips on AHLA
I know that you can even sometimes find a good rate and then call the hotel and tell them the rate you found. They can often explain that rate and then you can either book through that third party site knowing it’s ok, or you might be able to get the same rate through the hotel or a travel agent who knows that they are doing. Not a guarentee though, I’m just talking through our own experience here on MomStart.
To reach consumers booking their travel online, AHLA will be launching an online campaign featuring educational materials and video, which can all be viewed above. AHLA will also be hosting an educational day on Capitol Hill where staff will learn about misleading marketing tactics and fraudulent third-party travel resellers and the benefits of booking direct.
When booking travel online, AHLA encourages consumers to book directly through the hotel website or mobile app. In addition to helping consumers avoid scams, direct booking often results in the best deal and more travel perks and benefits. AHLA is a national partner of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which offers a tips page to educate consumers on how to avoid costly and painful scams when booking hotels online. The travel booking tips page on the BBB website is https://www.bbb.org/en/us/article/tips/14155-bbb-tip-booking-a-hotel-room.