Escape the Third Wave Blues: Book your next holiday direct and save!

Selborne Golf Estate Hotel and SPA
Selborne Golf Estate Hotel and SPA

Five reasons why you get so much more when you book directly with your hotel or resort of choice

Has the thought of a third wave of COVID-19 got you down in the dumps? Well, there’s no better way to cheer yourself up than to start planning your next holiday. In fact, according to a recent study by the Institute for Applied Positive Research, simply planning a holiday will leave you feeling happier and more energised.

So stop wishing and start planning! According to Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, if you are working on a tighter-than-usual budget, when planning your next getaway you should consider booking directly with your hotel or resort of choice. “Gone are the days where Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s) offer the best deals. Worldwide, the perks of dealing directly with hotels and resorts far outweigh any other savings you may find. Most leading hotel groups have sweetened the deal for travellers to book directly so that they can deliver better overall customer experience from booking right through to check out,” Shaun explains.

If price and convenience don’t whet your appetite, Shaun has five more reasons why you should be booking your COVID-break direct:

1. Seeing is believing
Everything you need to know about a hotel or resort is on their website. Not only can you find the best prices for stays but you’ll also be able to look at the full range of facilities, from their rooms to their atmosphere, their amenities to their value-adds. You’ll be able to see what you can do with your family, as a couple or even on your own. Plus, you can also check out the health and safety protocols they’ve put in place so that you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind knowing that you and your family are in safe hands.

2. Additional savings
Many hotels offer discounts, special seasonal rates and even early-bird specials to guests who book directly. Prices are also 100% transparent, meaning that when you book, you’ll avoid availability issues and know exactly how much your entire stay will cost. No hidden taxes, commissions or booking fees.

3. Holidays with benefits
Most hotels and resorts now offer loyalty and rewards programmes and if you want to stretch your hard-earned Rand’s, loyalty programmes such as the one offered by First Group are the way to do it. Generally free, loyalty programmes usually include a host of exclusive benefits such as qualifying for further discounts on accommodation, access to express check-in’s and later check-outs. As a loyalty programme member, you’ll also be the first to know about any special offers.

4. What’s on the Menu?
From sumptuous dining options that offer crave-worthy creations to wholesome family fare, restaurants are a wonderful part of the hotel experience. Whatever your preference or dietary requirements, when booking online you’ll be able to check out your destination’s restaurant menu as well as its opening and closing times. Just another convenience that will make your holiday an unforgettable experience.

5. Changes and amendments to bookings
There will be occasions when you have to change guest names or postpone your stay. If you have booked directly on the destination’s website, you should be able to make these changes without any additional charges, hassles or difficulties. If however, you’ve booked through an OTA, these changes may incur penalties or you may be charged a higher rate for the new date.

“Planning a holiday and looking forward to making magical lasting memories with friends and family is something that we all need right now,” says Shaun. “And the best option to ensure that your COVID getaway is an exciting and seamless process is to book your holiday directly with your hotel or resort of choice online.”