The word is out about Online Travel Agencies – Airbnb, HomeAway, Stayz, Trip Advisor to name but a few OTAs – all charge fees to the consumer. These fees can be significant, anything from 3% to as much as 20%, often equating to hundreds of dollars on top of the nightly rate. So how can travellers and holiday makers bypass the fees and book directly with the owner or property manager?
So here are 5 ways to avoid paying fees when you book your next holiday:
SEARCH GOOGLE LOCAL
Scroll past the paid listings (they say Ad in small letters) and go to the local listings under the map. Click on the search map and up will pop a range of listings for you to choose from based on location. This can be an excellent way to discover local accommodation.
TRY GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH
If you find the perfect property on one of the OTA sites, try copying the image into Google Image Search; this may reveal the original source of the property.
USE TOURIST AND VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES
These centres provide a portfolio of short term and holiday listings, are funded by the local councils therefore the guests can be assured that rental companies and owners are legitimate, licensed and reputable.
SEARCH DESCRIPTION CLUES
Look for clues in the description on the big sites, check the photo captions and the reviews for any information that can lead you to the direct booking source.
LASTLY – SEARCH ON FACEBOOK
Most owners and rental managers have Facebook pages. You will then be able to communicate directly with the owner or manager, saving you both time and money. They also have intimate knowledge of their properties and the local area – use this direct connection to your advantage!
The final twist in the #bookdirect saga. Most of the finest homes are not even listed on the big websites. I encourage every holiday maker or traveller to find ways to book direct. Aside from saving money, you will have an all-round better experience. More and more of the big sites are preventing contact with the guest prior to making a booking. This lack of ability to communicate directly can be a precursor to a bad experience for both the guest and the owner or property manager.
#bookdirect #bypassbookingfees #australianluxurystays