When planning your vacation, one of the most important and exciting decisions you will make is where to stay! With the rise of online booking platforms available (aka online travel agents, OTAs, metasearch engines, and aggregators), it may seem like booking your vacation rental through a third party is the easiest and most convenient option. But, not if you’re smart!
If you’re still stuck on OTAs, aggregators, and metasearch engines, let us first explain. These refer to any listing sites or third-party sites where you, as a guest, are not dealing directly with a local host or on-site property manager. These platforms are simply an online marketplace to bring guests and vacation rental properties together, for example, Airbnb, Vrbo and HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Booking.com.
While these sites can be a helpful resource when planning your travels, there are several significant benefits to avoiding OTAs and booking directly with a local and professional vacation rental manager. Here are 7 reasons why booking direct and local is the smart way to go, wherever you roam!
When you book through a third-party site or OTA, you are dealing with a faceless corporation more than likely outsourcing all guest communication and support queries. When you book directly with a local property manager, you have the opportunity to communicate with the person responsible for managing the cabin or condo before you open your wallet. You can get travel recommendations and develop a personal relationship that offers peace of mind for your vacation dollars and hours!
Contrary to popular belief, the best vacation rental pricing is not found on the OTAs! Unlike hotels, OTAs and aggregators do not typically have lower prices than booking directly. These third-party sites charge a commission fee added to the rental rate on each booking, which can add up to a significant amount of money – when booking through OTA sites you could be paying up to 20% more in additional fees than booking direct!
When you book directly with a local property manager there is no “middleman” – simply meaning the savings on booking fees are passed directly on to you ensuring the best deal when you book direct. When you book direct, you also have access to great specials not always integrated or available through online platforms.
We mentioned travel recommendations from a local – this is key to experiencing the best of the destination you’re visiting. Book with an OTA and you’re left to research and plan your itinerary alone, book through a local property manager with a local on-site team and you’ll have local knowledge and expertise at your fingertips – insider tips to the best experiences, where to go for a romantic date night or family feast, hidden gems off the beaten path, and guidance on the perfect vacation rental based on your needs and preferences.
It’s virtually impossible to get a human on the line at an OTA to make a change, talk about options for your rental, get tips on where to hike, bike, or ski, or request a personal touch for a special occasion. Communication is key when planning a vacation and having a human connection to get questions answered and resolve any issues efficiently is priceless!
We’ve all heard the horror stories of arriving at a rental that doesn’t exist! Unfortunately, OTAs have become a platform for scammers posting fake listings that can be difficult to spot. Booking direct saves you from falling victim to fraudulent listings, losing money, or having your personal information compromised. You’ll have the peace of mind and protection of a reputable property management company with a vested interest in delivering a five-star stay.
Once your payment is transmitted on an OTA, their job is done, and you’re on your own! When you book directly with a local vacation rental company the guest experience extends way beyond the booking process. At Alta Chalets, we offer guests a local team with knowledge of the Alta-Snowbird area, an online local area guide and travel blog to plan your vacation itinerary, and the best places to stay in Alta-Snowbird with exceptional guest concierge services to enhance your stay.
Alta Chalets is a small family-run business representing some of the most exclusive vacation rentals in the Alta-Snowbird area of Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon. Our rentals range from 1-bedroom ski-in/ski-out condos to 8-bedroom mountain chalets comparable to vacationing in an intimate boutique hotel.
Our local team has been creating unique and personalized vacation experiences for our guests for over 30 years – from finding the perfect vacation home right down to filling the fridge and delivering meals!
Whether you’re planning a spring season ski or snowboard trip to Snowbird Resort or are looking ahead to the spectacular bloom of Albion Basin wildflowers – take advantage of our book direct pricing, last-minute specials, and personalized guest services on your next vacation to Alta-Snowbird.
PS: The Alta Ski Area is closed for the 2022/2023 season, but Snowbird Resort is staying open as long as possible (#SnowbirdSurfSeason)! Snowbird closes on weekdays on May 14, 2023, and remains open on weekends through Memorial Day (from thereon it’s TBD or as long as Mother Nature allows!) Come to Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon and enjoy spring savings on Snowbird lift tickets, free live weekend music and aprés ski on the Plaza Deck, and a cozy place to call home with Alta Chalets.