Computers have made it increasingly easy to "shop" for properties and then ultimately book your hotel room with a few clicks of a mouse. Once you've been through the process a couple of times, it is fairly simple. But there are two common booking mistakes that you can avoid.
Booking the Wrong Dates
This happens more often than you think. Most of the time, it's because clients are going through several time zones or are booked on a red-eye flight. For example, if you are flying to Australia from the United States, you'll be crossing the International Date Line about half-way through the flight. If you leave the USA on Saturday, it's already Sunday down under. You have to remember to book your hotel for the arrival date.
The red-eye scenario also causes confusion. As an example, if you fly out at 11:30 pm on the 14th of May, you will likely arrive at your destination on the 15th. The other issue with red-eye flights is that sometimes you get to your destination in the wee hours of the morning. Check-in times at most hotels are between 1 pm and 3 pm. Using the above scenario, if you wanted to go directly to your hotel on arrival, you'd want to book your stay beginning on the 14th of May. Some properties will allow early check-in, but it is best to call ahead and verify this directly with the front desk, even if you book online. If early check-in is not a factor, then you'd book your stay for the arrival date.
The best way to avoid booking the wrong dates is to have your flight itinerary in hand when you book your online hotel stay. Read it beforehand and if there is something you don't understand, contact the airline or your booking agency to verify the flight information.
Booking the Wrong Hotel
Sometimes clients book a hotel without checking out the exact location. For example, you're planning on spending a couple of days in Sydney after your cruise, and you want to be near the cruise ship terminal. That means you want a property in or around The Rocks neighbourhood. Without research you could accidentally book a property in North Sydney, which is on the other side of the harbour.
The best way to find out if your targeted hotel is in the right location is to get the exact address and find it on Google Maps. While you're there, check out how close the property is to restaurants, popular attractions and public transportation.
Booking the wrong hotel sometimes happens when two or more properties in an area are run by the same chain. By doing a bit of research you'll figure out which property, like at Windsor Lodge Como, is closest to your preferred location.