When booking your vacation, a simple silly mistake can cost you a vacation. For the last 9 years, I have been in this industry and booking hotels mistakes in Kenya has been rampant.
It should stop, it is the simplest things that matter the most. The overlooked details like the check-in or check-out dates, time can ruin your vacation or Safari. So, you don’t get befuddled. Check different Hotel Vocabulary.
What happens when you miss the flight, Train, SGR or Bus? What can you do to avoid such simple but costly mistakes?
Why is it important to use an agent to book your Vacation or Safari? What is the ultimate solution for curbing booking hotels mistakes in Kenya?
Without much ado, let us dive in and sample these booking hotels mistakes in Kenya one by one and the possible solution so that you can enjoy your vacation or Safari in Kenya.
1.) Meal Plan.
You may decide to book a hotel online and you happen to spot one and be carried away by the amazing prices only for you to rush and book the hotel since on top of the amazing offers they have pop-ups warning you only 2 slots remaining.
Yet in most cases at that particular time, the Hotel being advertised is actually empty. Anyway, we understand it is a marketing gimmick.
So, what do you do? You rush and book this crazy offer without even confirming what is included in your Booking. The days rush and finally, the day to check-in is here with you.
It is now when you will realize you are booked on Bed Only and that you have to dig deeper in your pocket to pay more for meals. Of course, you will be pissed and the vacation may just end with a frowned face.
How to Avoid these booking hotels mistakes in Kenya?
Never book a hotel in hurry? Don’t rush, study what you`re paying for and if it is worth your cash.
Let no marketing pop-ups influence your booking. If they are warning you of only a few slots remaining, it is fine after all there are many Hotels.
2.) Cancellation Policy.
Especially with this pandemic you never know what can happen the next minute. Before you click the booking button.
Study the hotel or Apartment cancellation policy. Most of the hotels lately adjusted their cancellation policy due to the pandemic.
It is highly advisable to prioritize hotels with 24 hours of the free cancellation policy. You may overlook this and end up being costly to you especially with online booking machines.
How to avoid this costly booking hotel mistake?
Do a thorough check-up with the hotel, Apartment or villa cancellation policy. Be adamant with the policy more than anything else.
I know you rarely plan to cancel your booking but it doesn`t hurt to be on the safe side.
3.) Use Travel Agent/Tour Operator.
Support tour agents and operators, did you know at no extra cost to you they can book you a hotel?
Don`t only use them when you need a Safari. Even in City hotels, the operators can still book good hotels for you.
Why should I use a tour operator when I can book it myself?
Be considerate, you are denying someone somewhere commission they could have used to buy them a meal.
If you use a Tour Operator, all these booking hotels mistakes in Kenya will be avoided since all you have to do is give your details, make your payment and just wait for your travel dates.
Some will even remind you days before travel. Isn`t that a bossy helpful move? Attention, human interaction and straight contacts in case of anything you don`t have to deal with the hotel but your Tour Operator.
4.) Ask for an upgrade.
This is me, whenever I am at the reception am always nice and not bossy unlike most of the people I meet at the reception. Talking in loud and commanding voices.
Don`t be part of this bullshit, be calm and nice to the receptionist. Now once I have made friends with them.
I always ask for an upgrade if at all the hotel is not fully booked of which you will rarely get a fully booked hotel.
If I was booked in a standard room, I nicely request and most of the time I always end up in an upgraded room.
Even if the upgradable rooms are full, the receptionist will always end up giving me the best room in that hotel. Why is that? simple, just be nice and human enough
Being rude, cranky or moody is one of the costly booking hotels mistakes in Kenya you can easily avoid.
5.) Check Hotel Facilities.
Don’t assume there`s a swimming pool in Hotel c or d. Always double check your hotel facilities and the activities they offer.
I once made this silly mistake, booking a certain hotel in Naivasha, Kenya. I assumed the hotel had a swimming pool since all the surrounding hotels had one.
Probably you are wondering what drew me to this particular hotel? Price, yes, they had crazy offers compared to the neighbouring hotels. Little did I know I was going to miss some facilities and activities.
I ended up paying extra for the swimming pool in the nearby Hotels and at the end of the day. I paid almost the same if I had booked elsewhere.
6.) Prices Fluctuate with Seasons.
Just because, you looked at prices in February and it was $100 it is not a guarantee, 3 months from Feb the price will remain the same. It depends on the seasons.
There are four seasons, Namely.
Low Season: this is the period of the year I encourage everyone to travel since hotels are usually at the lowest prices. This is from 1ST April through June 30th. Here you will get all types of crazy offers and deals.
Mid or High Season: Just like the name suggests, the prices are fair in this period of the year and if for unknown reasons you didn`t make to travel during the low season then this is the time. This is from 3rd January through 30th March and November through December 22nd.
Peak Season: This is the best time to travel in Kenya if you are capable and don`t mind the budget. Time for Wildebeest Migration, the weather is favourable and it is usually a Safari win. This is from, 1st July through 30th October.
Festive Season: Probably these are the obvious dates but up to date I have never known why people travel during the festive season. I know it is holiday time but all the crowding in destinations and hotels tripling prices? Why is it hard to travel in favourable seasons?
Don`t get me wrong if this works for you then fine but if it was for me I wouldn`t advice holidaying or travelling on these dates. Anyway, this is where the phrase we are all different comes in.
This is through 24th Dec – 2nd January.
Someone calls a hotel, asks for the price and they are given a figure. Well, some may not bother bargaining but if you would like to save a few coins. The starting price is not always the ending price.
How to avoid these booking hotels mistakes in Kenya?
Ask for a discount, not only in hotels even when buying souvenirs at curio shops. There is always room for bargaining and saving a few coins.
8.) Check Reviews but be careful.
As much as reviews are concerned, a great mistake you can make booking a hotel in Kenya is to believe every online review from Trip Advisor to Booking. Com.
Am not saying you disregard the reviews; no, they are very important and you get to know the experience of the past guests.
However, be wary of fake reviews, with the technology anyone can fabricate 5-star reviews.
How to know fabricated reviews?
I could be wrong but how possibly do you have a total review of like 70 and all of them are 5 Stars with wow Headings?
As much as you could be that perfect. I believe you can never satisfy everyone at equal measures. There will always be someone no matter what you do they will just never be satisfied.
After a bad review, the ensuing ones have catchier and heart-melting headings than the others. In most cases, it is a cover-up of the bad review. Try to avoid such hotels, again I could be wrong but I hope you get my sense?
Another important, aspect in terms of Reviews especially Trip advisor. Whenever you spot a facility that responds to reviews, that is an indication they care about their image and most probably you will get a good service because they care about their brand.
9.) Make use of Booking. Com and Airbnb.
I know I said to make use of Tour Operators but sometimes for unknown reasons you prefer booking it yourself.
Afterall some Hotels, Villas, cottages and Apartments mostly in Cities rely on these booking sites. Check out these Nairobi CBD Hotels, Budget to Luxury.
And were it not for these sites, they wouldn`t be in business. Support them where you can.
10.) Confirm your booking.
Many people tend to overlook this common booking hotel mistake whether you have booked online directly or with a travel agent. Always double-check to avoid unnecessary surprises.
You may have booked for a 1 big bed (Double Room) only to find twin beds. I know you can call reception for a change but it can be draining or worse still the rooms can be full forcing you to sleep in different beds yet you`re a couple. I know you can join the beds but this is not the case always.
Confirm everything thing days before.
Meal Plan, Room Type, if you have children check all their needs are catered for if you are sharing or they are in a separate room. Let the communication be clear.
11.) Hotel Adress
I think this is one of the most overlooked booking hotels mistakes in Kenya. You book a hotel, let us say you booked earlier and forgot. What else after all you paid and all you care about is the travel dates.
You`re happy because you can`t wait to fly to your destination. Upon landing at your booked country, city or town.
It is already dark and your phone is off to check your emails to confirm the hotel address and boom! It downs on you. You`re literally stuck.
How to Avoid this Mistake?
Always remember the address of your hotel, don`t assume. Have at least a manual back up. Don`t rely on your digital world too much. Have a written note somewhere.
12.) Book in Advance.
Some online sites like booking. Com have a discount when you book early enough. You can also apply this to tour Agents to bargain for you in Hotels.
Avoid last-minute bookings at all cost. You are prone to make mistakes while booking. Your desired accommodation facility maybe full making you look for an alternative you probably didn`t desire.
Booking early comes with perks like claiming the best room. What are you waiting for? Grab that laptop and book now and safe yourself the last-minute rush.
13.) Why should I use Booking.Com over Airbnb and Vice versa?
Well, this is a tricky one but I will try to give facts for you to judge and avoid booking hotels mistakes in Kenya with this Online “Machines’.
Booking .com, you don`t need to pay anything when booking your hotel, apartment, villa or homestay.
While at Airbnb you will have to part with some cash for your booking to go through.
If you need to book accommodation and you don`t have cash with you at that very moment then Booking. Com is the way to go.
Some hotels even allow you to pay upon arrival. So, giving you an edge advantage over Airbnb.
Both allow cancellation up to 24 hours, but this depends on the facility cancellation policy, please check before booking.
Airbnb tends to be more affordable and has more options for accommodation in a destination compared to Booking. Com.