Planning a trip to unknown territory- to book online or just wing it?

Planning a trip to unknown territory- to book online or just wing it?

Editor’s Note: This was contributed by Tolulope Olaifa

Stepping into the lobby of this “luxury” hotel I’d stopped at, I immediately started congratulating myself on finding such a beautiful hotel at such a great price- little did I know that I’d come to regret my decision. I stayed in this blissful happiness till about 6pm when I was lounging with a drink in hand and the TV remote in the other, the power suddenly tripped off. Thinking it was a routine power changeover, I stayed in semi-darkness for about ten minutes, before heading to the reception to ask what was wrong. See chaos at the reception! Apparently the receptionist was tired of telling guests that the hotel only put on their generator at 10 o’clock in the night, and she lost her cool when a guest came at her hot and angry. Eventually, things calmed down after a few blows, and the hotel manager informed us that we would have to pay extra if we wanted them to run the generator overnight. This experience left me wishing I’d done more research before flying 400km away from home and assuming I could rely on good luck to get me a good hotel.

Generally, Nigerians tend to wait for things to reach the eleventh hour before handling them; unfortunately, this is also the case with arranging for accommodation when going on a trip. Most people think, “What’s the use of booking a hotel online when I can get there and get a room immediately?” This mentality usually leads to booking less-than-standard hotels which can invariably ruin the entire trip. Another strong Nigerian train of thought is that booking online is too stressful. The funniest reason I got for why people don’t book online was that the hotel booking site might be a scam and run with their money.

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Now, all these excuses may have been true a few years back, but because everything in the world is becoming digital, it has become extremely easy to book hotels online. Making reservations on hotel booking sites gives you the opportunity to thoroughly review several hotels and their facilities in minutes and make sure the price is within your range. It also gives you the opportunity to choose a hotel that is close to where you want to be, instead of managing one hotel 50km from where you are actually going. Also, booking online entitles you to perks you won’t normally receive when you check into a hotel physically. For example, a hotel booking platform like goes beyond the normal ‘pay and stay’ approach- they actually work to get customers some of the deepest personalised discounts, as well as super deals on select hotels and locations. Come on, there’s no plausible excuse for you to take a trip and end up in a “yeye” hotel ever again – go digital and book online today.

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