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The Travel Detective

Excess Baggage: Hotel Booking Mistakes

When you book a hotel room, do you go online?

I know you do. It’s easy. You can do it at three o’clock in the morning in your bathrobe. You don’t have to talk to anybody. But you may not be doing yourself any favors.
Why? Because you haven’t had the conversation. It’s not just about the rate at the hotel. It’s also about all the value and added extras. And if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Get on the phone. Have a conversation.
Ask questions. Can my kid eat for free? Can you throw in free Wi-Fi? Can you get rid of that resort fee? How about free parking? It all adds up.
What happens when you get to the hotel and the front desk tells you there are no rooms available? Ask for an out of order room. What does that mean? Maybe a lamp is broken or the headboard is missing. As long as the room is working, there’s a bathroom, and there’s a light on, take the room.
What happens when you get to a hotel and the front desk tells you there are no rooms available whatsoever? Do what I do and ask, “If the President of the United States was checking in right now, would you have a room for him?” The person at the front desk would probably say, “Yes.” Respond and say, “I just checked with The White House and he’s not coming so I’ll take the room instead.” When the laughing stops, you might just get the room!
By Peter Greenberg for