What can be more horrifying than receiving the news that the accommodation you have booked… actually does not exist. There have been cases in which travellers do not realise this till they arrive at the country itself. With more people relying on Internet sites to do their travel bookings these days, such scams are becoming more frequent.
With multiple platforms all promising you the best prices to book your accommodations, how do you make sure that you avoid such unwanted scenarios?
1. Find a .com that you can trust
With many accommodation websites available, it is difficult to make a choice. Most of the scams that travellers face arise from listing platforms where anyone, regardless of whether they truly own a property or not, is given the rights to list their properties at minimal or no charge.
When booking through listing websites, one key point to note is to always keep in mind that you should make the effort to do cross reference check on the accommodation that you are booking.
Google the name of the owner to find out more about him or her, as well as to make phone calls to the owners to ensure that they truly exist, and not merely a fake online persona.
Alternatively, opt for a trusted travel agency that has regularly inspected and selected all the properties listed on its website.
2. Pick the one that people are talking about
It’s the same reason why you would queue up at food stall that has a long queue – “The chicken rice must be really good”.
Word of mouth reviews can be regarded as a trusted resource, and in this case, it proves (at the very least) the existence of the property because no one would be queuing up for a stall that does not open.
Relying on reviews is a good way to judge if a property is able to deliver what you have in mind, or simply, exists.
3. Too good to be true
It’s a steal if you are able to book a holiday accommodation at a low rate – but it is also a warning sign when you are offered extensive discounts. There are no free lunches in the world. Beware of cases where the owner promises you a good deal with the condition that you pay upfront or to a personal bank account.
To ensure that the promotion is not something that is too good to be true, travellers should either take note of verified listings on the websites, or make their bookings through a reputable and trustable company that has best price guarantee (you don’t have to worry about finding cheaper deals out there) and conducts regular checks on the properties listed in their portfolio.
Enjoy your holidays!
This article was contributed to us by Villa Bali