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Old 03-15-2010, 08:15 AM
 
946 posts, read 2,523,165 times
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Up until now the only way I've booked a hotel was by making a reservation online with my mom's credit card. Is there any other way? Could I possibly just arrive at the hotel and ask if there are any spare rooms, or is this a bad idea? Would it cost me more? Do I absolutely need a credit card? Thanks,
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:32 AM
 
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You can always arrive at hotel without a prior reservation and see if they have any rooms available. But if they don't you are out of luck.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:35 AM
 
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Not a good idea. Why don't you have a debit card?

Regardless, I am pretty sure a card is mandatory, as hotels need to cover their arse for damage. Unless you find one that rents by the hour.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrEarth View Post
Not a good idea. Why don't you have a debit card?

Regardless, I am pretty sure a card is mandatory, as hotels need to cover their arse for damage. Unless you find one that rents by the hour.
No, cards aren't mandatory. Of course, what caliber of the motel may determine this.

I have showed up at one once with no cards, only cash (an accident...long, stupid story) and it was fine.

To echo the earlier poster---sure, you can always show up with no reservation, but then, you may or may not get a room. The cost can often depend then upon what discounts you can prove you qualify for...but it never, ever hurts to ask for a price lower than the one quoted. Sometimes all it takes is asking and you get a discounted price.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,246 posts, read 11,107,651 times
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Have to say I HAVE found them to be mandatory, and not in fleabag hotels,either. Talk to your folks about getting a $300 limit card. A lot of places don't run the charge until you check in any way. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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Re-reading, I just want to be clear that yeah, in my experience cards are necessary to book one ahead of time.
But, I have found them not necessary at all to pay, or just walk in and get a room.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,939,455 times
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No, it's not necessary. I've shown up at many a motel, paid cash for the night, and left the key in the drop box in the morning. I doubt you can do this at the Hilton, but there are plenty of independent operators out there who will take cash on arrival.

While travelling in Europe and Asia, we would rarely book ahead. We always negotiated better deals by showing up and making cash offers or playing touts off one another until we got the price we wanted. Unless it's a one-horse burg and the circus is in town, there's usually more than one hotel and one of them will have some rooms empty.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:48 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,229,152 times
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I've found credit cards necessary not only for booking a reservation, but for checking in. Usually they swipe your card when you check in, and 'hold' a minimum amount (usually one night). When you check out they total up whatever additional charges you incurred (room service, mini bar, pay per view, etc) and you can either opt to have them added to your credit card, or have the 'hold' removed and pay it all in cash.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,560,598 times
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You can always show up to a hotel and if they have rooms, they will be glad to give you one...... at the rack rate. The benefit of booking ahead of time is you almost always get a lower price and you dont have to worry about showing up and its at capacity. I almost always book ahead of time unless i plan on just exploring and shacking up in a cheap motel.

G Man
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,188 posts, read 13,350,483 times
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When we travel, we ALWAYS just stop and see if a room is avail....since we don't know how far we may get!
Of course, we do pre-book at our destination.

You can pay with cash..they still accept it, but most reservations will want a credit card to "hold" the reservation.
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