Travel is among one of the pandemic’s hardest-hit industries, independently owned hotels have had a rough few months. While hotels have never been more appreciative to welcome guests, there are a lot of things we can do to help them through these difficult times.
Hotel owners around the world, from Mexico to Vietnam, share how guests can do their part—because creating a safe environment for everyone should be a two-way effort.
#1. Book directly
While booking via the booking engine easily score you better deals and perks, booking via email or through the hotel’s own website instead of an online booking engine will ensure that the hotel receives the full amount of your bill and this option is the safest.
Besides securing the booking, in case you need to cancel or change your date of stay, it just a matter of one call or maybe one email away. If you booked through the booking engine, you might end up never get a full refund and don't have the option to make a change to your travelling date. #2. Share as much information as you can
An additional benefit of booking directly is the ability to communicate your preferences and check-in details prior to arrival.
This can be helpful if you want a smoking room, away from the lift or any other arrangement and it will also help hotels offer an experience tailored to your liking, for example, you might want to skip the breakfast - since all hotel doesn't provide breakfast buffet at the moment (in Malaysia).
#3. Take it easy on housekeeping
Only request housekeeping every second day, or specifically ask for a shampoo refill or a change of towels. As virus transmission is still a worry for housekeeping staff or the other way around, you might want to consider requesting services that you really need.
This will ensure that the housekeeping staff will not have to enter the room every day and spend less time inside, minimizing the risk of potential COVID-19 exposure for both parties
#4. Let the little things go
Well, it's the hardest part, but do keep in mind that they have been out of business for months, and these hotels will likely face some maintenance issues (considering its not major and doesn't endanger any guests or yourself). Learn to let it go.
If there are any issues, let them know using a proper channel (email or directly ask to meet the manager or someone related to the issue). Don't hold back and unload through external channels, but give the hotel a chance to correct any mishaps on the spot.
#5. Extend your stay
Theoretically, hopping from hotel to hotel sounds like a great way to support multiple business owners during your trip. However, the reality is these one-night stays are often the least profitable for hotel owners due to the high cost of making a room guest-ready.
Staying longer at the same property also means your contact bubble will be smaller since you’re interacting with the same staff and guests, so the risk of potentially spreading or catching the virus decreases significantly.