It’s worked out well for us over the years and we never pay full price. The hotel I prebooked for our holiday travels seemed like a deal too. Until it wasn’t.
Because of frequent travel for work and pleasure I belong to lots of travel award programs for the many airlines, hotel and rental car agencies used. The points add up to a couple of free flights and hotel nights a year.
Two nights of our holiday travel this past Christmas were booked with Marriott points. I was feeling pretty savvy until I checked in.
Before I get to the unexpected cost, let me share why we drove. My husband wanted to take Charger, our spoiled basset, with us instead of having him spend the holidays being boarded.
Most hotels charge a fee for pets due to extra cleaning that may be needed. I forgot about the fee when making the reservation and made an assumption it would be $15-$25.
Upon check-in I learned the hotel charged the pet fee per stay instead of night and it was a whopping $100. Suddenly my free hotel room wasn’t such a good deal!
In fact, the hotel across the street advertised rooms for $20 less plus pets stay free. Since I was going to lose my points whether we stayed or not, we paid the fee.
We had two more hotel stays during the trip and the first question I asked after getting a price quote was about the pet fee. It’s important to consider all costs and fees when making travel arrangements. They can add up to make the “good deal” a bad choice.
After getting burned, I will be extra vigilant about fees, at least in the near future.
Last year I lost money buying airline tickets before getting vacation time approved and then having to cancel the trip. I wonder if I’ll ever stop making costly travel mistakes. Have you made a costly travel decision?
photo by Sarah_Ackerman