Before booking a European hotel: 5 pitfalls to avoid

It should be easy to find and book the ideal hotel for your upcoming trip to Europe, right? After all, isn’t the Internet easy to make people research and book with confidence?

Yes, not at all. Obtaining global hotel information has never been easier, but it is also easy to fall into the trap of hotel marketers, tricky websites and even other travelers.

Here are five tips that will make your hotel research more efficient and travel more affordable.

Tip 1: Be wary of online hotel reviews!

Many travel websites provide hotel reviews submitted by readers. Although most of these comments may be legitimate, we always recommend that you treat them with healthy skepticism. You never know who is posting the comment, or why they are posting it.

For example, many returning visitors only bother to write a review when they are bored with something. They often blame the hotel for frustrating experiences, and it is not the hotel’s fault.

In addition, the hotel owner may “burn” a competitor’s hotel through annoying anonymous reviews to make it escape. On the contrary, the hotel owner may give himself a glorious comment. You just never know who these comments come from.

Tip 2: Do not confuse hotel “discounts” with discounts!

On some booking websites, you may be very pleasantly surprised to find that there are a large number of hotels with special offers (sometimes as high as 50%)! Skeptical.

When hotels cooperate with certain websites, they must compete with other hotels to get your attention. One way to get to the top of the list is to offer the largest discount.

Guess what will happen? The hotel first raises its normal prices, and then turns around to “lower” these prices to provide “50% discounted rooms!!!” But no one will pay the “normal” price! This is a scam, but that hotel is at the top of the list.

When you see requests for significant discounts, shop around and see the reasonable prices for the type of hotel you are looking for and compare.

Tip 3: Unlock yourself!

By searching for smaller independent hotels, you will often find more interesting, better-located and cheaper hotels!

Large booking sites usually prefer to deal with large chain stores because they are easier to register and manage. If you only search on large websites, you won’t even know the smaller hotels!

In many ancient European cities, strict zoning laws prohibit modern construction in their historic centers. Therefore, large chain hotels (not luxury) are often located on the edge of town, and many cheap small hotels are located in old buildings in the middle of the action.

Take the time to find independent hotels there! Small European-centric websites, such as,, and (edited by me), list small, non-chain and family-run hotels.

Tip 4: Check hotel prices carefully!

Before booking online, please call the hotel to confirm the price, as you may find a cheaper price.

The booking website charges the hotel a booking commission. To solve this problem, many hotels add extra fees to the “online” room rate, thereby driving up prices.

Try to find the phone number of the hotel and double check the price! This can be very difficult because most websites will not provide you with the phone number of the hotel. After all, they want you to book through them!

And don’t worry about not speaking this language! Almost all hotel receptionists in Europe can speak at least English and can check prices for you.

Tip 5: Please pay more attention when booking.

When researching hotel prices, we often come across some well-known booking websites that initially display a hotel price, but then display a higher total price when you are ready to enter your credit card information.

What should they do? Here are some of their favorite techniques:

They waited until the last minute to reveal the local taxes (it may be high in Europe and is always part of the price!).

Although they already charge up to 10% commission from the hotel, another strategy is to increase the “service fee”!

More shamelessly, they invented some businesses related to “security fees.” Profiteering, anyone?

We recommend booking only through a booking website that shows all fees.

Next step: book with confidence.

Now that we have spent time researching some trading techniques, you will be more confident to research and book. Don’t forget to have fun! After all, you are going to adventure in Europe! Bon Voyage!


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