When on vacation, many people will grapple with decisions regarding choice of motel accommodations. Those on a budget might want to get a five-star experience by stretching their budgets. Savings made could be used to enjoy your vacation without necessarily having to cut it short. However, shrewd holidaymakers know that getting the best value for their money depends on several factors such as booking period, cancellation policy and extraneous fees, among others. This article examines some tips that could help holidaymakers when booking motels.
Cancellation Policy — Many people ignore the fine print of a motel's cancellation policy because they assume that such policies are standard. However, cancellation policies vary depending on the season of stay and type of property. For instance, during peak season, motels might have a stringent policy that requires you to notify the motel management within 24 hours when you intend to cancel a reservation. The duration might extend to a couple of days or a week in off-peak season. Also, note that some motels will charge you a flat cancellation fee irrespective of the notification period. Sometimes, visitors prefer using third-party agents to book motel rooms. In this case, you should inquire about the cancellation policy since it might differ from that of the motel. Motels that allow free cancellation can help you save money when you get a better offer.
Book the Motel in the Shoulder Season — The shoulder season is the period between high and low booking seasons. During high season, forces of demand and supply favour motels concerning increased bookings. Conversely, during low seasons when the weather is unfavourable, booking prices decline. In the shoulder season, popular destinations have fewer crowds while the weather is still perfect. Therefore, the cost of accommodation is marginally lower compared to the peak season. Furthermore, many motels offer discounts and special packages at the time. Therefore, remember to inquire about such packages when booking.
Extraneous Fees and Incidental Purchases — When you check in to a motel and pay using a credit card, some funds are temporarily held by the management to take care of any incidental purchases such as room service, Wi-Fi, towel fees, parking, and gym access fees. Also, if you plan on using the minibar, the temporary hold placed on the credit card can increase significantly. Moreover, any damages made would also be charged in advance. Ideally, a motel should tell you the amount that they would authorise when you check-in. If you did not use any of the billed services or damage any property, then the money is returned to your account when you check out. While these charges will be indicated in motel brochures and on the website, consider asking them when checking in.