Hotel and Rental Car Rules
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
Generally, making travel arrangements is easy, and if you're making them for a vacation, it can be fun. But sometimes, booking a hotel or renting a car can be stressful. Hotels occasionally overbook, resulting in a lack of available rooms when you're checking in. Additionally, hotel reservations are frequently expensive and may represent a major portion of a person's travel budget. FindLaw's Hotel and Rental Car Rules section provides information about how to book a hotel room, whether or not to buy additional insurance through the car rental company, and common travel scams.
Tips for Booking a Room
A hotel room can often make or break your vacation. For this reason, it's important to do some research before selecting and booking a hotel room. It's important find a hotel that fits both your needs and your budget. Luckily, with the invention of the Internet, researching hotels can be very easy in this day and age.
Travel websites can be a great resource to compare prices for hotels. The hotel website can also provide its own deals, so it's important to compare the price on commercial travel websites to the hotel website. It's also important to read the reviews of previous travelers because they can speak to the particular attributes you’re looking for in a hotel. If you're going to a remote or exotic destination, you may want the help of a travel agent who would know the area, the culture, and the businesses in that location.
Hotel Policies and Practices
Each hotel has its own rules, but there are some policies and practices that are common to most, if not all, hotels. These policies and practices range from how a room is booked to the amount of privacy you have in your hotel room. It's important to check the specific policies of the hotel you've booked to learn its particular policies.
When you book a hotel room, you'll usually have a guaranteed reservation or a confirmed reservation. The difference between these two types of reservations is that a guaranteed reservation is prepaid, while a confirmed reservation is one that the hotel agrees to hold for you. If it's a confirmed reservation, it's important to check if there are any conditions in which the hotel can give up your room. For example, if the hotel confirms that they will hold the room until 8:00 pm, it can legally give up your room if you are not checked in by that time.
Typically, hotels try to accommodate requests in regards to hotel rooms, but make no guarantee that they will be met. For example, while a traveler might request a room on a particular floor, the hotel is not contractually obligated to accommodate that request. Of course, if you choose a specific room, such as the penthouse suite, the hotel's failure to honor your request will likely mean that the hotel broke its contract with you. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit against the hotel, you may be able to recover limited damages.
Hiring an Attorney
Making travel arrangements, such as booking a hotel or renting a car, doesn't require the help of an attorney. However, if you feel your rights have been violated or that you've been the victim of a travel scam, you may want to contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.
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