When you’re finding accommodation, you can sometimes get confused about which is the best way to pay. I’m going to explore some of the different options we have when we’re booking and paying for a room. There may even be a payment method here that you never even knew about!
Some accommodation websites charge you in advance, some, like LateRooms for example, will take your card details and only charge you after you have checked into your room, this gives you extra peace of mind that you won’t waste money on a dud reservation.
You can often get great deals making reservations online, but it sometimes works both ways and you could get an even better deal walking in and out of accommodation, and asking if they have any cheap rooms available. Taking a look at the room before you agree to spend the night is also a good way to make sure you get a room that you’re happy with, make sure to have your passport or some ID on you when you check into any accommodation anywhere, most places require it.
Paying by Credit Card
When you pay by credit card, in addition to the room cost, often the accommodation will take a refundable deposit from your account and pay it back in after you check out, sometimes this can take a few days.
Almost all reputable establishments will use a trusted company that set up high quality merchant services for hotels, so you won’t need to worry too much about mis-charges or card fraud. If you traveling abroad, always make sure to tell your bank that you’re going, or else they might block it because of suspect activity.
Working for a Room
A lot of backpacker hostels employ backpackers to work for a couple of hours a day and get a bed for free. This is a great way to save money on accommodation, especially if you’re traveling on a tight budget.
If you’re interested in doing this, just ask at the reception desk, if you’re in an area with a lot of hostels, you can walk in and out asking if there’s work available.
Paying by Cash
Sometimes, especially in third-world or developing countries, cash is your only option of paying for your room. If you’re travelling around Indonesia for example, you should always keep some cash on you.
In the western world in countries such as the United States for example, there’s a lot of companies providing easy credit card processing for motels and other accommodation types, but in some parts of the world these companies don’t exist and it can be very expensive for a basic guesthouse to set up a card processing system.