So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and book your dream vacation. Great! The next step is finding the perfect place to stay, and many third-party websites can help with that. But before you hit the “book” button, you should know a few things about the potential pitfalls of using them.
- You might not get the best deal. While third-party travel sites tout their ability to help you save money, that’s not always the case. In fact, sometimes, you can actually end up paying more by booking through a third-party site. And even if you do get a good deal, there’s no guarantee that it will be the best deal possible. If you want to ensure you’re getting the best price, your best bet is to check out the rates directly on the airline or hotel’s website.
- You might not get the room or seat you want. When you book through a third-party travel site, you’re typically not able to choose your specific room or seat assignments ahead of time. If you have specific requests (like being near the elevator or having a crib in your room), you may not be able to guarantee that they’ll be accommodated if you book through a third-party site.
- You might not get the customer service you need. If something goes wrong with your booking or your travel plans change, and you need to cancel or make changes to your reservation, you might find it difficult to get the customer service support you need from a third-party travel site. Oftentimes, these sites have automated systems that can be hard to navigate, and it can be difficult to get ahold of a real person who can help resolve your issue.
- You will likely pay hidden fees. Have you ever been surprised by unexpected fees when booking travel? It’s frustrating, right? Unfortunately, it’s also something that’s all too common when using third-party travel sites. These sites are notorious for tacking on hidden fees at checkout, which can add a significant amount to your total bill. Be sure to read the fine print carefully before booking so that you know exactly what fees and charges apply—and what they will add to the overall cost of your trip.
Booking your vacation on third-party sites can sometimes offer convenience and good deals. However, they also come with their fair share of potential problems—problems that could cost you time, money, and hassle in the long run. So next time you’re planning a trip, take some time to consider all of your options.