The 19 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Booking Hotel Rooms

Hotel reception with bell _mistakes when booking hotel— Stock Photo, Image Hotel reception with bell

With so many travel mistakes to avoid, it can be hard to figure out where to start. There are many things to think about when booking a hotel room, different types of hotels that provide different amenities and rates.  As a result, if you are not careful and do not do some research, you could end up paying more than you should or not getting the desired amenities.


We created this guide with the most common 19 travel mistakes people make when booking hotel rooms and how to avoid them.


Mistake #1 – Making a Price Compromise without Checking Reviews First

It’s important for travellers to check reviews before deciding on their hotel rooms, but sometimes it’s not possible because of time or budget constraints.

Social media has made it easier to find both the good and the bad. While booking your room or place, did you check the reviews list under the website name? So many people ignore checking the reviews and it’s one of the common mistakes when booking a hotel.

That’s bad! You can check reviews on Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, or booking platforms. I would spend some time on it and read carefully what other travellers say. On some occasions, feedback is not really relevant to the hotel or some people are really nasty.

Always check how the hotel responded to feedback. This is because customers feel more confident buying from providers that have been around for a while and have good reviews.


Mistake #2 – Skipping rates Comparison

The internet is full of online accommodation retailers. Before you agree to any purchase, make sure that you take a look at the better deals first and compare prices.

By buying online, you can save money like never before. We make it easier than ever before by offering discounted prices for longer stays or when you bundle another service, such as flights or car rental.

You can also use price comparison websites like Travelsupermarket to find the best deals on products from a variety of different online accommodation stores.


Mistake #3 – Forgetting to Check Booking Conditions

One of the frequent mistakes when booking a hotel is to forget to check booking conditions. When booking your next stay, it’s important to carefully read the terms and conditions for it. If you feel uncomfortable about any clauses, don’t hesitate to contact customer service before proceeding.

Some of the most common things that people forget to check are cancellation policies, extra charges for children, pet policy, check-in and checkout times, maximum occupancy per room type.

If you are not sure about any of these things or any other aspect of your booking then it is best to contact the property directly before proceeding.


Mistake # 4 Assuming You’re Getting the Best Deal

For longer stays, talk to the hotel directly and ask about any special rates. Wi-Fi may be limited to 1 hour per day, so if you use more internet you’ll have to pay for it.

Then compare the rates on other booking platforms like Expedia, Agoda, Trivago, and Hotels Combined. Make sure you compare the same room type and T & C of the booking (i.e refundable).

Be careful when you see the term “best rate” offered by any accommodations you are looking for. This usually means the cheapest hotel with no refund and no breakfast included.



Mistake #5 Ignoring location aspects

Whenever you are thinking of visiting somewhere, the first thing you should do is visit Google Maps for clear directions to the place you want to visit and its surrounding areas. This will help you find and reach your destination. A usual mistake when booking a hotel is to book a hotel in the city centre without realising you need to park their car. And this is expensive.

City centre hotels tend to be overpriced, so sometimes walking 10 minutes more can save you a good amount of money. So stay location-wise, explore more than just the city centre, and engage with the locals. Use public transport instead of the car.


Mistake #6 Judging accommodation by its price alone

So often we are blurred by the cheap hotel price that we do not see our mistake when booking a hotel. Is a common misconception that lower price means lower quality of accommodation. However, this is not always true. We should be more considerate about what we are paying for and not just judge accommodation by its price alone.

Some hotels use unfair practices and hide fees like cleaning fees, Wifi extra charges, rooms with a window or breakfast, or the most common non-refundable rates.


Mistake # 7 Making a reservation at the wrong hotel

Making a reservation at the wrong hotel is one of the frequent mistakes when booking a hotel. It is now very common for some hotels to steal the name of an already established one. So check the details like address, reviews and photos before booking! 


Mistake # 8 Not asking for a discounts

If you are booking a hotel room and want to ask for a discount, there are some conditions under which it is appropriate to do so.

For example, if the hotel has just undergone renovation or if the hotel is hosting an event that will make it difficult for them to accommodate guests.

Sometimes, when you ask for the “friends and family rate”, it works. Usually, central reservations do not check if you really know someone.


Mistake # 9 Not budgeting for taxes and other fees

Budgeting for taxes and other fees is difficult to manage. This can be because the rates will vary from hotel to hotel depending on your own circumstances, and this can be troublesome.

The best way to avoid any unpleasant surprises is by checking with the hotel about their policies on taxes and other fees before booking a room.

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Mistake # 10 Choosing a non-refundable rate

The hotel industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. With many competitors, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is by offering better rates for the customer. 

One of the common mistakes when booking a hotel is to go with the cheapest option, which usually means no refund when you cancel your reservation. There are two types of bookings that you need to consider: refundable or non-refundable. A refundable rate is when you can cancel your reservation and get a full refund if you decide not to stay at the hotel. A non-refundable rate is when you pay in full for the reservation, even if you don’t stay at your hotel.

Sometimes you get attracted by the price and don’t check the T&C of the booking, which can result in losing money.


Mistake # 11 Not taking advantage of professional help

One of the mistakes when booking a hotel is not using the professional help of travel agents, travel consultants or hoteliers. There are many reasons behind this, but one good example is that the hotel will be able to provide you with a one-of-a-kind personal service that can’t be matched by an online search.

In addition, they can give you access to exclusive deals and discounts that might not be available on other sites. Travel agents can be a lifesaver!

Travel consultants know everything about the destination and can match your demands without ever having to search for hours. They’ll save you time and money in the process, too, as often they have access to lower prices



Mistake # 12 Not bundling your vacation bookings.

When making a hotel reservation, many travellers forget to add their holiday packages. This is because they wrongly think it will be more expensive. The truth is that by not booking the two together and opting for just the hotel itself, travellers are missing out on extras like spa services or breakfast in bed.

A major benefit of bundling your holiday package with your hotel reservation is that you will have access to all the amenities that come with the resort. For example, if you stay at an all-inclusive resort, you will have access to food and drinks from any of the restaurants as well as all the bars.

You’ll save money and hassle by making your hotel and car rental booking together. It’s a win-win.


Mistake # 13 Neglecting to sign up for a hotel rewards program.

It is important to sign up for a hotel rewards program when booking a hotel room. People who don’t sign up for a hotel rewards program are missing out on perks that they could have received if they had signed up.

These benefits include earning points and getting discounts on future stays at the hotel


Mistake # 14 Forgetting to check the currency you’re booking in. 

Don’t forget to check the currency of the country you’re booking a hotel room in. The currency exchange rate can be confusing, so it’s better to check the exchange rate and any extra fees


Mistake # 15 Not booking with a credit card.

Always prefer to use credit cards for purchases instead of any debit card or bank transfer. It will help to get discounts on many things that are important. 

The best option is to use a credit card. Some hotels require credit card information to book a room. This ensures that if there is any fraudulent activity on the credit card, the customer can take care of it immediately and not be held responsible for any damages.

Your transactions are also insured, not just because of the fraud mentioned before. But also you can get a refund for your missed flight, or lost passport. Check with your credit card provider for more details.


Mistake # 16 Booking too early or too late.

The first thing to do is to find the best time to book the hotel room. This is because the prices of booking a hotel room can fluctuate depending on the time of day or night that you are booking it.

If you are looking for a cheaper price, try booking it at night when there is less demand.

A lot of people think they should book as soon as they know their travel dates so they can get the best deal possible. However, this might not be true.

Room rates are very dynamic and depend on demand, so the rate is available only on a specific day or a few days more. If you make a booking more than a month in advance, I would check the rates and repeat the process a few days before you travel.

And see if the hotel runs any promotions, and you can lower the rate.


Mistake # 17 Not double-checking your arrival and departure dates.

This is one of the mistakes when booking a hotel. Double-checking the arrival and departure dates are crucial for hotel bookings. This will help you avoid any confusion or disappointment with your stay.

If the hotel has an early check-in or late check-out, then you can go directly to your room after arriving from the airport.


Mistake # 18 Not reading the fine print.

Please note the important information below when booking your accommodation. It will ensure you pay the cheapest price and get what you want. Different websites/websites may offer different price options, so be sure you are comfortable with their terms before making your booking.

  • Fully refundable – make a note of the date when your stay is fully refundable until
  • Partially refundable – usually the hotel charges you for the first night 
  • Non-refundable – no money will be refunded
  • Free cancellation – 24 hour, 72 hours, 1 week etc
  • Prepayment/ deposit – you have to prepay some money to secure the room

The most common mistakes when booking a hotel is the wrong room type (cheapest option = basic room) and not checking cancellation terms and conditions (again cheapest room = not refundable, often without breakfast). 


Mistake # 19 Expecting requests to be guaranteed

As the world becomes more globalised and connected, the need for hotel accommodation is increasing. With the increasing demand, it is no surprise that people are now expecting more from their stay. They want to be guaranteed a request when they book a hotel room.

A recent survey found that nearly one-third of travellers are demanding a guaranteed request when they book a hotel room. The survey was conducted by, and it found that this trend has been growing in popularity over time.

Not all requests are easy to approve. For instance, if you need a spare bed because you have your father with you on the trip, we might not have one available. Check before if the hotel actually has twin beds in the room.

Some people have trouble walking or are unable to walk steps. Some older buildings also don’t have elevators and rooms are not easy-accessible for someone with limited mobility.


About me
Scotland Itinerary planning

My name is Kate and I created Scotland Itinerary Planning to give you those life-changing experiences right in the beautiful country I call home.

I’m proud to live in Edinburgh, Scotland, one of the world’s most beautiful capital cities. Living in Edinburgh has provided me a base to explore extensively around this magical little country.

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