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Important Questions To Ask When Reserving A Hotel Room


By: Brian Jenkins

Vacation Plans Whether you are booking a hotel room through the hotel clerk, a national toll free number or on the Internet, it is important to have the answers to all of your questions so that when you show up at the hotel, undoubtedly tired and ready for a break, you are not facing any surprises. There are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions, but it is important to know what to expect before finalizing your plans.

How do I know if my room will be there?

Most hotels will provide you with a confirmation number when you reserve your room. This number guarantees that the room will be there when you are arriving. There is a small technicality in this situation, however. If you have not yet paid for your room, and plan on paying cash when you arrive, the hotel may not hold your room if you do not arrive by check-in time, and there are other people wanting rooms. The way to alleviate this concern is to rent the room with a credit card. This way, the room is paid for, and cannot be given away. If you want to pay cash for the room, ask them to hold the room with a credit card number, but when you arrive, pay for the room with cash.

Can I change my reservation?

Someone decides to go with you, or someone decides to stay home. Changes are common in travel. Ask the reservation agent what the procedure is for making changes to your reservation. Reservation clerks are generally more accommodating of changes to the reservation than to canceling the reservation altogether.

What happens if I cancel my room?

Sometimes the early bird does not get the worm. Often, after making plans for a long weekend or vacation, it is necessary to change or cancel them. It is difficult to predict when this may happen, and it is no fun to get stuck paying for a room that you cannot use. While most hotels are not going to like last minute cancellations, each will have a different procedure for cancellations. Even if you have every intention of following through on your trip, ask the person who is taking your reservation what the process is for canceling the room.

What are my payment options?

Credit cards are universally accepted as payments for hotel rooms, but beyond that, you should still ask. Cash is always accepted at the desk, but you can not hold a room with cash. If you make plans far enough in advance, you can mail a check, assuming the hotel accepts checks. Debit cards, which are often treated as credit cards, may not be accepted. If you plan to pay with anything other than credit, you should check with the reservation clerk to make sure it will be accepted.

Do you allow pets?

If you want to bring a pet, make sure you ask what the hotel's pet policy is. Some hotels do not accept pets at all, while others allow small pets or pets that can be crated. If the hotel does accept pets, and you plan on bringing one along, ask if there is an area to walk your pet, as well as any pet friendly areas of town.

Brian Jenkins is a freelance writer who writes about topics and tips involving the travel industry and special deals, often discussing specific subjects such as hotels and cheap flights.
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