Booking a Hotel? Read This First

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Pay Off 10 Years From NowCollege

Here's how to avoid common hotel booking mistakes that could be costing you big bucks.

If your typical routine for booking a hotel stay goes something like this: Find and book a room on Expedia, then confirm and pay for your nonrefundable two-night stay with a debit card, you’re doing it wrong.

According to Airfarewatchdog, you just made three hotel booking mistakes, which could potentially be remedied by booking directly through the hotel, paying a little extra for a refundable room, and using a credit card.

If you want to ensure that you enjoy your next hotel stay and avoid common booking blunders that could ruin your trip, here are some of Airfarewatchdog’s tips:

  • It pays to be loyal (at least when it comes to the best rooms). If room location is important to you, avoid booking your stay through an online travel agency like Priceline or Expedia. Airfarewatchdog said travelers who book their room on the hotel website or are hotel loyalty members often get better rooms. “[B]eing a member can guarantee better room placement, free nights, or helpful amenities like complimentary breakfast or Wi-Fi,” Airfarewatchdog said.
  • Check the reviews. A hotel that looks amazing online may actually be a dump with unclean rooms. You may be able to avoid picking a subpar hotel if you check the reviews. Airfarewatchdog recommends using sites like TripAdvisor and Oyster to see how people who have actually stayed at the hotel would rate it. You’ll also find out if it’s really in the heart of downtown, as the ad claims, or actually miles away.
  • Use a credit card. “Not only do credit cards offer rewards like airline miles, free night stays, or cash-back bonuses, but they also offer certain guarantees that debit cards and cash do not (such as fraud protection or immediate refunds for mischarges),” Airfarewatchdog says. Also, many hotels require an incidental deposit if you use a debit card, instead of a credit card, to book your stay.
  • Nonrefundable? Sure, booking a nonrefundable room is a little cheaper. But if there’s any chance (even a slim one) that you’re going to have to cancel your reservation, then opt for a refundable room rate. It could save you money if anything were to happen.

Click here for Airfarewatchdog’s list of 10 common hotel booking mistakes and how you can avoid them.

I always book through an online travel agency and, more often than not, I pay with a debit card. So I’m making two of Airfarewatchdog’s common booking blunders.

Here’s a video we recently did on saving 30 percent on your next hotel stay. You can read about it here.

Do you have any tips on booking a hotel stay? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 10 Ways to Get Free Lodging on Your Summer Vacation

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,797 more deals!