A consolidator can save you a great deal of money, but carefully investigate the "small print" and details to find the best service, price and value in your particular circumstances.
Evaluate the consolidator's web-site's security to assure that your credit card numbers and other private information are not compromised.
Read all the fine print and disclaimers and understand that you will be bound by those terms. Restrictions vary from one consolidator to another, as well as from hotel to hotel. There are sometimes variations from reservation to reservation. It is very important that you read all the terms of purchase and decide whether you can live with the restrictions.
Often, you may not be able to get a refund or make a change to your reservation once you have paid for it. if they do allow a change, most will charge a penalty fee.
Remember, usually you will have to pay for your entire hotel stay at the time of booking.
Be sure that you know what is included and what is extra. Are there processing, booking and/or shipping fees or handling charges ?
Determine whether the rates quoted are "per room" or "per person, based on double occupancy". If it's "per person" the price is twice that of "per room".
Often you can't use frequent guest or other VIP points programs or coupons. These special prices offered through the consolidator are not discounted in any way.
Find out if the consolidator has a Customer Service Department and keep that information with you on your trip. Be sure that they have a customer support system that you are happy with.
How do they confirm your reservation ? Request and record a reservation confirmation number and keep that information available.
It's always a good idea to confirm reservations made by a third party with the hotel that will provide the service. It's a good idea even when you are dealing directly with the hotel. Remember, when you book through a third party, there will probably be a delay in time before the hotel can identify your reservation. Many consolidators hold a block of reservations and may only notify the supplier of your booking a few days before your arrival date.
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