Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (https://www.fodors.com/community/)
-   Travel Tips & Trip Ideas (https://www.fodors.com/community/travel-tips-and-trip-ideas/)
-   -   US $ or local currency when booking hotel online? (https://www.fodors.com/community/travel-tips-and-trip-ideas/us-or-local-currency-when-booking-hotel-online-1004224/)

mamamia2 Jan 28th, 2014 09:27 AM

US $ or local currency when booking hotel online?
 
We plan a trip to Europe late Summer. When booking a hotel thru one of those online services ("reserve now, pay when you arrive") the rates are quoted in US Dollars, but when I go to the hotels websites they quote in their own currency (in this case, Euros).

Is there a difference between making the reservations using the online services, vs. the hotel's website? This can be significant because by the time we arrive at the hotel, the exchange rate might be significantly different....

Thanks.

thursdaysd Jan 28th, 2014 11:04 AM

Sometimes you get a better deal booking directly with the hotel, sometimes not. There are booking sites where you can pay now in USD, although they may not offer the hotel(s) you're interested in. You will certainly pay in local currency if you pay in-country. Only you can decide whether you think exchange rates will go up or down (lol), the USD shown on the booking sites is just a convenience, not a price guarantee.

BTW, you also need to worry about foreign conversion fees on your credit and ATM cards.

dulciusexasperis Jan 29th, 2014 10:24 AM

I never book with a website that requires me to pay up front. I expect to pay on departure from any hotel and in the local currency.

If I am booking a hotel in Europe, I book with the hotel, give my credit card info (they are in the right to charge me if I cancel too late)and that's it. On arrival I give them my card to register just like you would with any hotel at home.

I don't see why anyone would expect anything different from home just because they are going to Europe. Hotels work in the same way everywhere.

As for exchange rate, you cannot predict that so forget it.

hetismij2 Jan 29th, 2014 12:08 PM

Most websites like booking.com give you a choice of currency when looking for a hotel. If you want a hotel in Europe, the prices quoted in dollars are merely an indication. You must check the rate in local currency to be certain of what you will be paying.

mamamia2 Jan 29th, 2014 04:18 PM

Thanks for the info, guys. All the booking I've made were with a 24hr (some, mostly B&B might require couple days, even 7 days) free cancellations.

So all we have to hope is that the USD will keep its value.... Almost 3 years ago, early May 2011, we traveled to Europe and I remember the rate was close to 1€ = $1.6....

janisj Jan 29th, 2014 05:29 PM

Saying one never pre-pays ignores the fact that many hotels offer significant discounts for fully-prepaid on-line bookings. The last 4 star hotel I stayed in London saved me nearly $100 a night by pre-paying (the savings was £50/$82 but when factoring in the savings on VAT it was close to $100)

Bamaman Feb 1st, 2014 05:52 PM

I too prefer to pay after my arrival. And most often that's in the local currency (Euro.) My accommodations are usually made through Booking.com, and I check TripAdvisor.com for customer recommendations/comments on the hotels.

Last time I booked on Hotel.com and AirBnB.com, they charged me on the front end. And it was about 5 months until I left.

I try to pay for all rooms on a credit card, whenever available.

mamamia2 Feb 2nd, 2014 11:44 AM

To each his own, I don't see what's there to argue about... I chose free cancellation, KNOWING IT WILL COST ME MORE, 'cause the trip is planned for late August, and by then lots of things might change, or I might find a better accommodation... But it's a personal/logistical thing that involves schedules and planning.

AnuSarma Feb 10th, 2014 06:35 AM

I don’t think the exchange rate is really the issue – you can’t predict whether it will go up or down so save yourself the stress and don’t think about it. The main issue is the convenience of booking on an online service where you can look at a variety of hotels on the same page, compare prices and facilities, and then book, versus going to each individual hotel’s website and booking direct through them. Sometimes you save money using an online service, sometimes you save by booking direct. If you have the time, do a little research. If you don’t, I would book through the online service after checking out recommendations and ratings on another site like TripAdvisor or this forum.

mamamia2 Feb 10th, 2014 03:58 PM

Of course... But the one thing worth doing sometime is, check directly with the hotel about the availability of certain rooms, especially if it looks "too good to be true".

Couple years ago I made a reservation to an airport hotel in Frankfurt, Germany thru Travelocity, which allowed me to reserve a room for a family of FOUR — at the price of a DOUBLE ROOM... While other sites would not accept such a reservation for that hotel, this one did. To be on the safe side, and before making the online reservation I picked up the phone, talked to the site's agent. She said if she makes the reservation and it goes thru, we're safe. She did, and it went thru.

Next day I CALL THE HOTEL IN GERMANY.... Well, they DON'T have a room for four. The reservation they see on the screen is for a double room.... We must reserve another room.

Of course, Travelocity had to reserve another room for us — and they had to pay for it.

Nice.

Not very reliable.

benstuart2519 Sep 23rd, 2014 09:03 PM

Hello Dear,
I want to tell you There is difference b/w booking for rooms on hotel's site and any other site. The third party site you used can be fraud. Booking with the hotel site is always a safe zone. They ensure you about the price and the availability of rooms.

So I always advice while booking for rooms for holidays always uses the hotel's official site rather than using a third party site.

Thanks Regards.......

mamamia2 Sep 24th, 2014 08:28 AM

Not always, Ben. We got back from 3 weeks in Spain, made 90% of our reservations at Booking.com and whenever we arrived at the place, whether a large or small hotel, or B&B — our reservation was there expecting us.

So maybe Booking.com is more reliable than some others, not sure. But whenever what one sees on those sites seems "fishy" (a room for 4 may be common in the USA, but not in Europe), one may want to double check, as we did....

clevelandbrown Sep 30th, 2014 02:33 PM

Three thoughts:

I never expect a foreign hotel to accept US currency. It is a complication for them, and they may raise the rate to cover the extra work you cause them.

An ATM is almost always where you get the best exchange rate, and then you have the local currency to pay them.

Many of us don't realize that when a merchant accepts payment with a credit card, the credit card company charges him a fee; often a very substantial fee. So when a hotelier accepts 200 local currency on your credit card, he will end up with a bit less, often 5% or more less. This means that if you offer them 190 or 195 local currency for the 200 bill, they very well may accept it and both sides benefit.

I usually pay when leaving, but if someone is seeking the absolutely lowest cost, there are often places that offer a special deal if you prepay.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:10 AM.