Holiday planning, it’s exciting, but it can also be quite stressful. Even a simple holiday, where you fly/drive to one location and stay at that one place can often be not as simple as it seems.
For instance – if you are flying, who will you fly with? Who is giving the best deals at the moment? Are your flights direct? If you have a stop-over, where will that be? How long will it be for? Before you even get on the plane you have to work out how you are getting to the airport. Will someone drop you off? Will you drive? Do you have to battle peak hour traffic to get there in time for your flight? What if there is an accident on the road and you are delayed? Where will you leave your car?
What if your flight is delayed and you have a connecting flight?
Then you reach your destination – how will you get from the airport to where you are staying? Does your accommodation have a shuttle service? If so, do you have to phone them to come and get you or do their buses constantly circle the airport?
Even though we can just ‘click’ on our choices for flights, accommodation and car hire, it would be much easier if we could just ‘click’ our fingers and be wherever we plan on going – no hassle and no drama.
There are more travel and holiday sites than I can count and most of them make organising your holiday very easy – but – there sometimes these sites, often through no fault of their own, that don’t give ‘all’ the information you should be on the lookout for.
I have used a particular accommodation booking site for years now. Mostly it has been hassle free and I get to look at the imagery of the accommodation, read genuine reviews, choose my room, check in and check out dates, weigh up value for money etc. Once or twice, even though this is a worldwide booking site, I have arrived at my accommodation to find that they have ‘over booked’ or don’t have my reservation. Imagine the stress of this happening when overseas!
I am one of two members of the prodijee team heading over to the USA later this year. This trip is yet another of our wonderful trips of discovery, going to parts of America that aren’t usually known as tourist destinations – we will be driving more than 2560 miles – YES – miles!
As you can imagine, planning a trip like this is no mean feat. Daily driving distances, making sure you are getting to all the places/things you want to see, meetings and interviews you have to attend, road closures, weather conditions, and of course, accommodation.
My favourite accommodation booking site has been a god-send with its ‘Reserve Now – Pay Later – Free Cancellation’ options. I have lost count of the number of times I changed accommodation for this trip as our plans changed and route variations occurred. I have been aware (from past trips) that the ‘Reserve Now – Pay Later – Free Cancellation’ isn’t always exactly what you think. Read the small print in the accommodation’s details and you may find that you will be charged the first nights’ accommodation at the time of booking. I have no issue with this and have found that refunds occur almost immediately when I have had to change the accommodation – until…
One of the places I booked in Reno – a large well-known casino – not some little back of nowhere shack had trouble refunding my money in what anyone would term a ‘reasonable amount of time’. Here is what they had to say to my repeated emails requesting for the cost of first nights’ accommodation fee being refunded to my credit card –
You will receive a full refund of the first night’s deposit: ($111.34) in U.S. Dollars back to your VISA CARD account. For credit card refunds, it takes 5 – 10 business days to exit our system and it depends on how quickly your Credit Card Center & or Bank wants to receive the credit. *Note: If your card is a debit card, it could take longer up to 30 days for a refund, due to the fact that the credit refund goes to your Credit Card Service and then to your Banking Institute. Should you have any questions…
I did receive my reimbursement of funds paid but I do have to wonder about the time it took them to firstly reply to my emails and secondly to refund the money. As stated, the funds take 5-10 days to exit their system! It ‘entered’ their system immediately! How can it take such a large organisation as this one such a long time to reimburse people when others can do it, usually immediately, but definitely within 24 hours?
Note- I did not re-book with this casino when I made other accommodation plans in Reno.
I’m not going to name this establishment, there is no need. I am not writing this to ‘bag out’ anyone but more as a warning to people using these accommodation booking sites.These sites are fantastic and can make trip planning lots of fun but be aware that you MUST ALWAYS read the fine print. If you are working on a set amount of funds in your bank account, be aware that your refund (should you require one) may not happen immediately and that you may not have access to those holiday funds for a while.