Tips, deals, and advice on traveling the continent on a budget.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

6 Tips That Will Help Save On Hotel Bills

Many of us have walked away from a hotel desk without checking the hotel bill and paying the bill blindly. According to an administrator of a leading company, " a company could save thousands of dollars by reconciling hotel bills." For both the business traveler and personal traveler an aspect of travel that is becoming a growing problem is hotel over billing. Corporate management consultants found that people over pay hotels in excess of USD 1.8 million everyday. The billing error rates are known to be as high as 25 %.

To save on hotel bills you the business or personal traveler must know:

1. Always find out what the room rate should be. Do a comparison of rates. Many hotel directories on the internet encourage travelers to find out what actual rates are. And, get the rate in writing at the time of booking a room.

2. If you are booking on a corporate rate or a package find out what the package includes. When paying the bill ensure that items that were supposed to be free are not billed for, like a free meal or use of the spa.If the booking included one night free ensure that it is actuality free and not charged.

3. Find out before you check in what the nonnegotiable surcharges are. Many charge for use of the phone, room safe, and resort pool.

4. Many large hotels add a service charge to your bill. This means the tip is included in the bill and you do not have to tip for service separately if you don't wish to.

5. Know whether or not the food and drink kept in the room is free or will be billed to you. While some hotels offer a fruit basket or welcome drink free others charge the customer for whatever is used.

6. Many hotels charge greater amounts for room service. For example breakfast eaten in the coffee shop may be cheaper than if it is served in your room. Some do mention this fact on the room service menu.

Many hotels bill clients for facilities they may never use or don't know of. Many travelers have been forced to pay larger bills because of the presence of an Olympic size pool, gym, or internet connection.

It is to your advantage if you insist that the hotel disclose upfront all charges and costs including taxes and surcharge before you check in. This way you will not be in for any surprises when you settle the bill.

And unlike other fields where consumer protection is in place the hotel and travel industry do not have any watchdogs that guide hapless consumers. Most travel articles do not address the "dark side" of travel as the incentives and sops offered by the industry are great temptations. To set right wrongs a concerted effort must be made by travelers—they can writ forums, blog posts, and more all over the World Wide Web and create a consortium that will wage a war against unfair practices and over billing.

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