Prebooking B&B's

Old May 23rd, 2003, 04:59 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Prebooking B&B's

We are planning a trip to Ireland in August -- a fly/drive/B&B package. I'd like to prebook the B&B's so we can leave an itineray with family and not have to worry about looking for a place to stay in the busy season. I went online to the Town and Country site and made several selections. I wrote to them asking for reservations, but each one wrote back to say they were booked. I find it hard to believe that each and every place was booked and I think it may be becasue we mentioned the voucher. Has anyone else had this experience?
Leesey is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2003, 05:16 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well - you have two problems -

1) it is August which is the busiest month for travel.

and 2) You have a package so the options are limited.

I am not surprised things are booked up -

You will just have to keep looking - the vouchers are very common and they are not "scamming" you. August is just a VERY popular time to go to Ireland.

Good Luck
janis is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2003, 07:12 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 899
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm curious about whether or not you corresponded directly with the B&Bs or just tried to book through the online service. If the latter, it's really worth a phone call (or direct email) to the B&B.
I do think that B&B owners prefer cash to vouchers...and with good reason.
MaryZ is offline  
Old May 24th, 2003, 10:16 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,898
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The BnB's do NOT lose any money with the vouchers- it is like cash to them.

As the previous poster said, it is due to high season--and lots of places are already booked....

Best advice- keep trying-BY PHONE or FAX .....

And do NOT mention the voucher- as you have already PAID for the rooms with your own money and gotten the voucher for that purpose- just BOOK the room period....
andy is offline  
Old May 24th, 2003, 01:19 PM
  #5  
sss
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 108
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Andy, YOU ARE WRONG! When I was in Ireland I had discussions with a few B&B owners about vouchers. I was using them and wanted to know more about them.

Vouchers are a piece of paper that the B&B owner must redeem for cash. They must send them in and wait for cash to be sent or credited to their bank account. They are more like a promissory note but not like cash in any way. The B&B owner can not go to the local supermarket and spend a voucher for food or to the pub for Guiness.

The issuing company and travel agency take a cut. Why would they issue vouchers if they did not get something in return? Because there are others taking a cut the B&B hosts do not get the full cost of their rooms. If their room costs 30 euro for bed and breakfast the owners might get 20 or maybe even less. It depends on different factors.

When prebooking a B&B with vouchers you will probably need to confirm it with a credit card or a deposit. Even though you will be later using vouchers the B&B owners will need this to know you are legit. There are many people now that reserve a B&B and do not show up. These homes are not hotels with 300 rooms that can eat the cost if someone does not show up. Maybe they have 3 rooms or 6. So if someone does not show up it really hurts their income.

Vouchers help fill up B&Bs when they need it but if the B&B will be full anyway in August do you think there is an incentive to take vouchers? I think that most B&Bs would like cash paying customers instead. Andy, if you were a B&B owner what would you preffer?

Leesey, I agree that you should keep trying but you should not expect to find the best B&Bs available to voucher using people in August. Settle for waht you can get. I understand that vouchers are best used during the less busy times of the year. You will have to be persistent to get your reservations in August.

sss is offline  
Old May 24th, 2003, 04:59 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Actually, sss, it isn't really true that "vouchers are best used during the less busy times of the year". Vouchers are not a particularly good idea at ANY time of the year. Unless one is getting an AMAZING deal combining air/car/vouchers, they are more trouble than they are worth. Remember - all the B&Bs that accept vouchers also rent to anyone who walks in the door. So you do not get anything "exclusive" using them.

I much prefer to arrange my lodging independently (w/o vouchers)
janis is offline  
Old May 24th, 2003, 06:18 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,038
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
that makes a lot of sense about the vouchers -- I've seen that kind of a system in some company doing that in France, and the vouchers don't guarantee you a room, you still have to ask. I think they take a cut, also, of course, or there would be no point at all to the vouchers -- you would just make a reservation and pay when there. The voucher system I've seen in France is for a budget hotel network (Minotel) but is sort of the same thing, and the hotel owners get a discounted rate on the room, as I understand it. I think an owner probably could limit the rooms available for that use if they wanted, especially in high season.
Christina is offline  
Old May 24th, 2003, 08:45 PM
  #8  
sss
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 108
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Janis, Having used vouchers once I would not use them again. A friend of mine who went in January got such an incredible deal that the company he used practically paid him to get the vouchers. In his case the vouchers as part of his package deal were a fantastic buy.

I still believe that "vouchers are best used during the less busy times of the year". There will probably be no problems getting a reservation and using a voucher in the off months when less people are travelling to Ireland. People who try to use vouchers in the summer when the B&Bs are full will have a more difficult time using them. There is more competition for the rooms in the B&Bs. They will have to work harder to find B&Bs. They may not get to stay in their 1st or 2nd choices or even in the cities that they wanted to. They need to be more flexable.

I would rather arrange for my B&Bs myself also. But Leesey already has the vouchers and is just trying to figure things out. We who have used vouchers in Ireland should give her the truth about them.

sss is offline  
Old May 24th, 2003, 08:56 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sss: I think we are saying the same things, really. My other point was that in the off season vouchers are even less needed because there are so many fewer travelers and many B&Bs discount their rates. So, the advantages of pre-paid vouchers, if any, are even less in the offseason.
janis is offline  
Old May 25th, 2003, 03:58 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Leesey, have you already booked the trip - ie paid for the vouchers? If not I agree with the others that it's better to not use them. But assuming you are already stuck - can you use a listing other than town and country? I just finished booking my trip in August and found only one or two ( out of 8 total) were already full. Most mentioned that August was very busy so if I wanted the room to send the credit card number immediately, which I did. Besides town and country the two other sites I used were familyhomes.ie and southeastireland.travel.ie (has b and bs in all of ireland, not just the southeast). Other sites you could also try are bedandbreakfastireland.net and stayinireland.com. Since I didn't need to use vouchers I wasn't really paying attention but it seems a fair number were accepting them. Good luck.
isabel is offline  
Old May 25th, 2003, 06:09 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Unfortunately, I already booked the trip and paid for the vouchers. I tried to back out the next day, but the company would not let me. I did contact the B&B's directly via e-mail and every one but one told me thay had no room. I know this was not really the case for one of the B&B's because their own web site showed availablility. But I do not want to push the issue and start off a relationship with our hosts with an argument (even thought I am told that B&B's with Town and Country cannot refuse the vouchers). We are limited to Town and Country. I'm sorry I ever got into this situation and I need to make the best of it. I usually do all my booking myself and I should have known better. Do you think it might make a difference if I wrote back to those B&B's and offered to back my reservation up with a credit card?
Leesey is offline  
Old May 25th, 2003, 06:11 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 899
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't mean to pile on here, but the advice about not telling a B&B owner that you'll be using vouchers when you book is really, really bad advice! Some B&Bs don't accept vouchers at all, and that's something you want to be clear about up front. Vouchers are NOT the same as cash, and B&B owners may have to wait for significant periods of time before they are reimbursed. This doesn't mean that you won't find B&Bs that will accept them, but I'd want to be up front about it from the start. That way, you'll have no misunderstandings at check-out.
MaryZ is offline  
Old May 25th, 2003, 10:21 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My husband and I returned from an Irish vacation three days ago. We had considered vouchers but having received the Town and country book decided it would be less expensive to pay for B & B's separate from the car rental. We paid an average of 30 Euros each, now with Mr Snow's weak dollar over $70 a night. We paid cash as credit cards weren't accepted. We were only asked to sign the guest book once, so you can see why cash is preferred over vouchers. There are many more B & B's apart from those in the Town and Country book. In some villages every other house was a B. & B. Don't be afraid to decline after viewing the room, we did that twice and found nicer accommodation cheaper.
Anncor is offline  
Old May 25th, 2003, 08:35 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,898
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mary Z- the reason I said NOT to mention the vouchers is because the vouchers come with a GUIDEBOOK of which BnB's accept them.... If you book the room and show up with a voucher,they have to accept you , as you did pay for those vouchers..


I completely agree with everyone that vouchers are a royal pain and hard to use.. that is the reason I said what I said.. Sorry to offend anyone- not meant to ....

However, the vouchers are like cash- or should I say, a check- where the owners do have to turn them in and then get re-imbursed...If these BnB's did not want to sell their rooms, why in the world would they list with TOWN and COUNTRY???

I, too, would use these off season but Leesey has no choice as she/he is stuck..That is why I said book and turn in voucher upon arrival....
andy is offline  
Old May 25th, 2003, 10:03 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 48
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is a very interesting thread for me as my wife and I and another couple will be in Ireland in the last week of August this year (from Australia). We will no doubt be following the usual tourist trail and had planned to wing it as far as accomodation was concerned. i.e. prebook by phone early in the day or just turn up and expect to find a vacancy. Mostly B & Bs with maybe 2 nights in a Dublin hotel.
Will we get away with it or end up sleeping in the car?
Thanks in anticipation.
dougw is offline  
Old May 25th, 2003, 10:26 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
dougw: Whatever you do - do not expect to just turn up in Dublin and find a room. That is like finding a room in London or Edinburgh. Very iffy - so definitely pre-book a place in Dublin.

As for elsewhere - you can find things as you tour around but in August it is MUCH harder. If you are going to major tourist areas you will probably have better luck pre-booking.

Any other month of the year I would advise just finding accomodations as you go - but in August every person in Europe (or at least it seems that way) is on holiday. Things get really crowded.
janis is offline  
Old May 26th, 2003, 03:38 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 48
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Janis.
dougw is offline  
Old May 27th, 2003, 08:26 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,414
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just two chime in here, it is not unusual for a B&B that accepts vouchers in the off season, to not accept them in July and August, They know that they will book up and although they know they will be reimbursed, as it has been pointed out, they will be reimbursed at a rate lower than what they charge. It is true that they lose as much as 30% of the take by accepting vouchers, so if they know they are filling up, they won't accept them.

I guess you could get away with not telling the B&B that you are using vochers and thrust them on them upon your arrival, but I think it's a better policy to be up front about it.

You may need to send quite a few emails, but keep trying.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Old May 27th, 2003, 10:50 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,256
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you can't e-mail the B&Bs, call them. International calls are very cheap, and it would make your planning much easier.
Ann41 is offline  
Old May 28th, 2003, 09:59 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 397
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Vouchers in Ireland actually do serve a purpose. They help B&Bs guarantee to fill some rooms some of the time. In "payment" for this they get less money overall from the visitor and the voucher company (whomever it may be) for the their rooms. Obviously in busier times and places, the voucher is not as needed nor necessary to the owner.

Don't be too believing of web sites for B&Bs in Ireland. Unless they have an update date then it literally could have been years since the site was visited and updated. You'll find the same thing goes with emailing individuals about rooms and such. Many people just don't think or are too busy to check their emails regularly. (Of course I personally cannot imagine such a world but one does exist!) You can find a previous discussion about just this topic further down on this forum...

The CE of the Irish Tourist Board used to run TownandCountry in Ballyshannon (and is a friend of the family -- name drop ;-) ) Their site may be of some help although I'm not sure if the vouchers you bought are accepted for their B&Bs, too, but you can call them to find out. Maybe B&Bs overlap? For more info:

www.taaireland.com

Don't give up with the vouchers/B&Bs though. Keep trying although you may have to call around a bit, especially for the more touristy areas (ie anywhere in Kerry, Dublin, etc).

Good luck! You'll have a gret time once you are there and this is all behind you!

Wendy
waffle18 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
calvo2
Europe
4
Jan 17th, 2008 04:56 AM
HMIreland
Europe
16
Mar 8th, 2007 11:59 PM
Annabellee
Europe
9
Nov 4th, 2006 06:20 PM
rockslide
Europe
20
Jan 7th, 2006 07:18 AM
gemjab
Europe
16
Sep 20th, 2003 01:10 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information