Search Smarter for Travel

I received product/compensation in exchange for sharing my honest opinion and this information.

Did you know that 2017 research from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shows consumers spend $5.2 billion annually in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking transactions? That is crazy when you think about all that wasted money, unhappy customers and shady deals that have been placed. Travel planning can be stressful as it is and then to have to worry that your plans are not what you had envisioned can really put a downer on the whole vacation.

My family has stayed at so many hotels and honestly, we have had issues multiple times. From a promised pool that turned out to have been under construction for the past six months to a resort that failed to mention anywhere on the booking about a $25 a night resort fee – being mislead with travel plans sucks.

To encourage consumers to Avoid Shady Deals and Have a Sunny Stay by searching smarter for the hotel, the AHLA has launched the “Search Smarter” education and awareness campaign.

With 23% of consumers reporting being misled by third-party traveler resellers on the phone or online and 39% of travelers reporting that they most often book their hotel rooms through a third party website – the AHLA wants consumers to be cautious when booking travel.

Look before you book.

Read all the fine print. Take note of extra fees you may incur. Make sure the URL is the real hotel’s booking site and secure.

Slow down.

Take notes and compare! It can be easy to just book the first hotel you find but search around on other sites as well and read reviews. Keep in mind too that many hotels offer loyalty programs but only if you book directly through them.

Search smarter!

Print out confirmations and carry with you when you check in. Call the hotel directly to confirm any special room requests or ask questions. For my family, if I would have called to confirm pool was in service and told it was not available, I would have booked another hotel instead of being stuck there with no options.

Don’t assume you are speaking directly with the hotel either, ask if you are! Find out as well when you will be charged and what the refund policy is.

Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA, says that by spending a few extra seconds to book directly with a hotel or a trusted travel agent can save time and money in the long run, and in turn will hopefully be a better travel experience overall.

When booking travel online, AHLA encourages consumers to book directly through the hotel website or mobile app. In addition to helping consumers avoid scams, direct booking often results in the best deal and more travel perks and benefits. AHLA is a national partner of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which offers a travel tips page to educate consumers on how to avoid costly and painful scams when booking hotels online.

Speak Your Mind



  1. Julie Waldron says

    When we travel, I prefer to call the hotel directly to make reservations.

  2. vickie couturier says

    great information,,i hadnt thought of much of this but it is good to know all about the details and any hidden fees

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