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Any way to avoid booking fees??

Portland, Oregon
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86 posts
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Any way to avoid booking fees??

In previous travels, we have always found accommodations on the spot. This being our first trip with young children, we would like to reserve the majority of our accommodations ahead of time.

Looking around, I have been surprised to find booking fees and am wondering if that is a norm I need to accept, or if there is any way to avoid them? We are traveling on somewhat of a budget and an extra $20-30 here and there will add up. For example, I was looking at Apartments Hrabar in Trogir. Airbnb has a $28 service fee and tripadvisor has a $19 booking fee. Is it worth my time to try contact owners directly? Am I missing something? Thoughts??

Thank you!!

Durham
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4,328 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

Try booking.com. If you book directly with the owners you often have to transfer a deposit into their bank account which incurs bank fees.

Brighton and Hove...
Destination Expert
for Trogir, Ciovo Island
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5,612 posts
65 reviews
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2. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

I use booking.com a lot in Croatia - including in Trogir.

Bury, United Kingdom
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331 posts
80 reviews
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3. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

I've used booking.com for most accommodation in Croatia on our last 3 visits. I agree with 'apt22' the bank fees are ridiculous.

Melbourne, Australia
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1,985 posts
23 reviews
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4. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

I've had to deposit funds into an account but the bank charged an exorbitant fee. This was via direct contact with owners. As it was an international transaction I didn't want to do it over the internet, and even then there was still a (smaller) fee. I don't think you can avoid fees. If you're travelling peak season, especially with children, you'll have to reserve accommodation.

Edited: 19 February 2014, 01:19
Tallinn, Estonia
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1,441 posts
25 reviews
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5. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

I'm in the travel business here and 100% www.booking.com for your needs!! There are no fees, only cc number but no money reserved on your credit card with flexible cancelation priveleges! Also the client comments and ratings give you a clear picture of what other travellers think. Please check small hotels and pensions too, you could think than an appartment is cheaper, but of course food and cleaning is your expense, while all small hotels and pensions offer breakfast and maid service in the price. Also for shorter than 1 week stays most appartment owners are not that flexible and not available at all hours as a hotel or pension would be!

Portland, Oregon
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86 posts
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6. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

Thanks, all of you, for your very helpful feedback. Sounds like booking.com is the way to go!

Jojo, we're traveling in early/mid-May, not peak season, so theoretically we could get away without reservations. Because this is our first time taking our young children abroad, though, we think reservations are the way to go. :)

Peter, I appreciate your suggestion to look at smaller hotels and pensions, but I'm confused about your comment regarding food and cleaning being our expense in apartments. Of course I don't expect apartment rentals to include meals, but how much cleaning will we be responsible for??

Philadelphia...
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3,508 posts
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7. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

I use booking.com and have liked it, but a heads up that I booked one apartment in Croatia for this summer and got contacted by the owners who wanted their deposit via wire transfer. It ended up OK after I emailed back to ask for an alternative - and I imagine if push came to shove, you could get Booking.com to intervene - but it seems that wired deposits are common.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

How is it that booking.com is a business but doesn't have any fees? I checked out the same apartment I'm going to be renting this summer in Polace (same one I rented last year) on Booking.com. The price was over DOUBLE what I'll actually be paying. I simply e-mailed the owner and told him that I want to rent it again but for two weeks. He gave me a discount for booking early and a further 10% discount. No fees, only the bank fee for wiring the deposit.

Brighton and Hove...
Destination Expert
for Trogir, Ciovo Island
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5,612 posts
65 reviews
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9. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

I've never sent a deposit for booking accommodation in Croatia - it wouldn't be worth it for the cost of a transfer. I find booking.com reasonable - I use it and other options including direct contact with the accommodation.

Leeds, England
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205 posts
109 reviews
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10. Re: Any way to avoid booking fees??

Booking.com will take a commission from the accommodation. I have just been researching hotels & apartments in Trogir based on Tripadvisor & Booking.com reviews. Contacted hotel direct via email & rate direct was cheaper than via Booking.com as they saved their charge from Booking.com. No need to transfer funds gave credit card details by phone to hold the room, pay when we get there.