The fact that the question is asked sort of hints at the answer being in the affirmative, doesn’t it? For the most part, yes, walk-in deals on accommodation are better than those you’d get via its online search equivalent, especially if that online search equivalent is on a travel-agency type platform. There are quite a few of those, perhaps two or three of the most popular ones of which fall under the same umbrella company.
At the heart of this online accommodation, search platforms are one parent company that’s officially registered as a travel agency. Make no mistake about it, these are convenient ways to search for accommodation, particularly if you’re perhaps visiting someplace you’ve never been and you want to be able to compare the different options available, taking note of the amenities and perhaps quite importantly the reviews other guests who’ve gone before you have completed.
So we’re talking here something like searching for family accommodation, with the walk-in deal you’d get on the same property you found on an online hotel search platform having you in on a nice saving of a few quid. This is often true even if the online platform wasn’t necessarily one of those popular hotel search ones, but rather the information site or direct online booking platform of the property you’d be looking to stay at.
What it comes down to is the consideration of the business model of the booking agency type platform, which naturally needs to make some money. These online accommodation search platforms make their money by charging the properties commission for effectively marketing them by listing them on the platform, which of course comes with the operation of the connectivity and tech infrastructure that coordinates parameters such as room vacancies, live pricing structures, discount offers, and booking guarantees. There are also factors such as protection for both the guest and the property management/ownership, like how guests sometimes complain that what they get by way of their room doesn’t quite look like what they thought they’d be getting on account of the pictures furnished on the booking platform.
Now, to be quite fair, the commission charged isn’t all that much, but quite importantly, it’s probably passed on to the guest instead of being fulfilled by the property. It’s simply worked into the price the guest pays, which is why walk-in deals are generally cheaper.
It must also be said that walk-in deals will have you saving only a little bit on what you’d otherwise be paying had you secured your booking via an online accommodation search platform, but it all adds up to quite a significant figure if the dynamics around your travel plans change. For instance, you realise that if you perhaps need to extend by a week, commission-free savings on every one of those seven days adds up to an extra day or two which you can enjoy as part of what becomes an extended stay.
Of course, the other side of the coin is the risk of showing up to find that there are no vacancies; which is a risk you do not really want to run if you are looking for family accomodation.