There are endless travel booking myths out there that can cloud your judgement or negatively impact your travel planning. This can be frustrating when traveling in your home country, but imagine traveling internationally and running into snags because you were not properly informed. We here at Dohop want to help you understand what is true or false about travel booking for Flights, hotels and car rentals.
Flight Booking Myths
1. Buying a ticket at the last minute means a better deal. FALSE-ish. Many airlines have moved away from last minute booking sales. You’ll more often find flight deals or “flash sales” for flights either well in the future or within +/- three months of intended travel, depending on the destination’s high and low seasons. The usual rule of thumb for international travel however is the farther in advance you buy your tickets, the better the fare will be.
2. You can book tickets more than a year in advance. FALSE. Most airlines release their seats up to 11 months in advance only.
TIP: There is no better time than the present to book flights for the fall and your next international holiday travels. This time of year is a peak time for best pricing on flights for the fall and early 2017. See the best-priced destinations and dates, from where you are, with Dohop Go.
3. You always have the choice of booking a one-way ticket, instead of round trip. TRUE. Airlines let you book one-way tickets. But some countries will not allow travelers to visit the country if they don’t have a round trip ticket booked, or a proper visitor or work visa in place. It’s important to gather this info in advance.
4. Train travel is cheaper than air travel. FALSE. It’s a common myth that flights are more expensive than train tickets. But the truth is that air travel quite frequently is cheaper than train travel, especially since the introduction of low cost airlines like WOW air, Ryanair and easyJet.
5. You can change the name on a ticket. Somewhat FALSE. It really depends on the airline. Some will force you to buy a new ticket, while others will charge a fee to make any changes. It’s important to check an airline’s rules before buying a ticket.
6. Non-Refundable airfares are always non-Refundable. FALSE. In addition to being refundable without penalty within 24 hours of booking on most airlines, non-refundable fares are fully refundable if the flight is canceled, significantly delayed, or if the airline makes a significant schedule change before you depart. Many airlines also make special exceptions on a case by case basis for extenuating circumstances.
7. You can book bereavement fares, senior and child discounts. Mostly FALSE. Most airlines have stopped offering bereavement fares and senior discounts. Many airlines have special fares for children under 2 years old who will be sitting on a guardian’s lap. However, kids 3+ years generally have to pay full fare. It’s important to review each airline’s child travel policies and pricing and also ask for assistance in advance if needed.
Hotel Booking Myths
8. Your electronic room key card stores all of your personal and credit card info. FALSE. It doesn’t.
9. When a hotel says all of our rooms are the same, they mean it. FALSE. Every floor of every floor has structural differences. Room sizes and layouts may vary, popularity of different views change, and yet many times these rooms are listed under the same price category– identical in the eyes of the hotel inventory system. No one wants the bad rooms. But, what is bad for one might be ideal for another! Read guest reviews and browse photos from review sites and contact the hotel if you have specific room preferences.
10. Mid-week prices are the cheapest. Partially TRUE and partially FALSE. Unlike mid-week airfares, larger hotels in larger cities such as Berlin, Warsaw, London and Barcelona, host many business meetings and conferences during the workweek, which lessens the number of rooms available and increases pricing. Smaller hotels or those in predominantly vacation destinations may have better rates for mid-week stays.
Car Rental Myths
11. Car rental companies are open 24 hours per day. FALSE. This is a common misconception and definitely worth looking into before selecting which rental car office from which to rent a car. If you’re car rental office is at a major airport, it is more likely to service customers 24 hours per day. However, smaller airports or rental offices in other non-airport locations may have restricted hours for pick-ups and drop-offs.
12. Rental cars charge full-day for an hour if you book at 23:00 Hours. FALSE. In fact, the booking timer only starts ticking from the moment your car arrives at the venue. So if you book the car at 11 PM on a Sunday, you pay three days rent only when you leave the car at 11 PM on Wednesday. Packaged rental deals, like those that have a flat rate for weekends, may have different rules, so it’s important to confirm the rental car office’s rental rules before booking.