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Stevesan

?How can I prebook a London Hotel and lock in the current exchange rate?

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Anyone know a method of locking in the current exchange rate prebooking a London Hotel?

 

I tried thru Expedia which books in USD, but they precharge your cc for the total amount, and they're about the same rate as direct booking.

 

I certainly don't want to do that. I plan to stay for a week precruise in August.

 

Is there another source to book in USD with only a first night's deposit?:confused:

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I'm sorry but how can only paying the first night lock in the exchange rate? The balance will be charged in local currency, at the prevaliing rate, upon checkout. All you can do is lock in the room rate.

 

If you want the current exchange rate, pre-pay the entire thing right now. Or roll the dice and see where the rates go.

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I tried thru Expedia which books in USD, but they precharge your cc for the total amount, and they're about the same rate as direct booking.

 

I certainly don't want to do that. I plan to stay for a week precruise in August.

Just ask yourself this: If you don't pre-pay the entire stay in your foreign currency, who do you expect to absorb the exchange rate risk in the meantime?

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If you are staying at the same hotel then pre-pay is the only way to get the exchange rate locked in, plus you save $ by doing so. If you have to cancel trip for any reason, travel ins. should reimburse. We decided to just pre-pay our hotels and rental car at what we thought was a good rate and not worry w/the exchange rate going up or down.:)

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Just ask yourself this: If you don't pre-pay the entire stay in your foreign currency, who do you expect to absorb the exchange rate risk in the meantime?

 

Globaliser,

Thanks for your postings on seeing Paris and exchange rates. You seem to be very knowledgeable and I must say as a first time visitor, I will be following much of your advise.

 

Blessings,

Pinkie

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Paying the total amount in advance in USD does "lock" in the rate.

The problem with that is in the event you have to cancel the reservation you forfeit the total deposit.

 

I don't think I like those odds.:p

 

It would be ok for one night, but I'm planning a week precruise.

 

I thought there might be a way to prebook in USD, but I guess there's no way to do that.

 

Gracee, I've never used Priceline before. This may be a good time to get my feet wet.

 

Thank you all for the replies.

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Paying the total amount in advance in USD does "lock" in the rate.

The problem with that is in the event you have to cancel the reservation you forfeit the total deposit.

 

I don't think I like those odds.:p

 

It would be ok for one night, but I'm planning a week precruise.

 

I thought there might be a way to prebook in USD, but I guess there's no way to do that.

 

Gracee, I've never used Priceline before. This may be a good time to get my feet wet.

 

Thank you all for the replies.

 

priceline will do the same... ie cancel you will lose all. There are websites, such as OTEL where you prepay, but you can cancel the hotel with some limitations. I have used them a lot in Europe and currently have my hotel in Bruges, Belgium for 3 nights with them. I have never actually cancelled a booking with them, so in a real sense their cancellation policy is still theoretical to me. Of course, I have bought plane tickets and expect to be on the vacation, so I don't expect to cancel. They will not offer as many hotels as Expedia, etc.

 

My experience with Priceline and Europe has not been as good as with the USA hotels.

 

JMHO and YMMV

 

jc

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The problem with that is in the event you have to cancel the reservation you forfeit the total deposit.
This is not necessarily the case. It'll depend on the rate rules and the hotel's policies, but if you book a fully flexible rate you should get a full refund of the money that you've paid if you need to cancel. You do, of course, retain the exchange rate risk in the interim - the refund would almost certainly be in local currency at the time of the refund, converted back to foreign currency at that time - but then you could just as easily gain from that as lose.

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I booked my stay at a hotel in London on expedia last week when the exchange rate got too tempting for me to stick with my original reservation through the hotel.

 

Check the cancellation policy, I don't know if it varies depending on the hotel, with mine I have up until 24 hours before the check in date to cancel - the penalty would be $24 which is pretty cheap. To me that's a safer gamble than counting on the pound to stay as low as it is now.

 

Since I was charged in dollars, the refund should be in dollars too, not affected by any future changes in the exchange rate.

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This is not necessarily the case. It'll depend on the rate rules and the hotel's policies, but if you book a fully flexible rate you should get a full refund of the money that you've paid if you need to cancel. You do, of course, retain the exchange rate risk in the interim - the refund would almost certainly be in local currency at the time of the refund, converted back to foreign currency at that time - but then you could just as easily gain from that as lose.

 

My reference was to booking thru a second party agency such as Expedia.

Naturally, booking direct has more liberal cancellation rules, but it's necessary to prebook in local currency, not USD. I was trying to find a way to "lock in" the exchange rate.

Apparently the system is impenetrable, darn it.

 

Originally Posted by Stevesan viewpost.gif

The problem with that is in the event you have to cancel the reservation you forfeit the total deposit.

 

BTW - in reply to your question:

Just ask yourself this: If you don't pre-pay the entire stay in your foreign currency, who do you expect to absorb the exchange rate risk in the meantime?

My answer:

The hotel or agency, of course. What's so offensive about that? I often ask for a discount, don't you?

Beating the exchange rate is a time honored game. And there's nothing wrong with that. :p

 

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I was trying to find a way to "lock in" the exchange rate. Apparently the system is impenetrable, darn it.

...

My answer:

The hotel or agency, of course. What's so offensive about that? ... Beating the exchange rate is a time honored game. And there's nothing wrong with that.

You're missing the point here. There's nothing offensive about it, but you're asking for something that makes no commercial sense. That's why it's not offered.

 

If you book and pre-pay the entire amount in foreign currency, the suppliers can easily and cheaply hedge the currency risk against cash that they actually hold - starting with simply converting it at that time.

 

But if you were to make a cancellable booking at a guaranteed rate expressed in foreign currency but not prepay, it is much more difficult and expensive for the suppliers to hedge the risk when not holding your cash, especially as there is no guarantee that you will actually use the booking and pay the rest of the amount for the stay that you have booked. No supplier is going to hedge the risk (or absorb it themselves) for free. It could be commercial suicide - as demonstrated by the events of the last three months.

I often ask for a discount, don't you?
Only if appropriate, and then not necessarily. But then, business is two-way street, and good suppliers aren't merely tricks to be taken advantage of.

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I'm suprised at seeing Expedia offer a more liberal cancellation policy than I've seen elsewhere. I'll also bet that, even though that poster is happier with the Expedia rate than with the direct rate from the hotel, it's not the best rate out there. There will be a premium paid for the flexibility. There always is.

 

But getting back to thinking about the OP's situation some more, there is an ever so slight possibility that you might be able to find a US based tour operator with a land only package. This will allow you to pay only a deposit for the tour and have the balance be due something like 30 or 60 days out. You'll also be able to hedge the currency because you'll be paying a fixed rate in USD on hotel rates that have been pre-negotiated by the tour operator.

 

However, it'll be tough finding a package that doesn't include flights, and you'll raise your chances of being successful greatly if you still need flights and are willing to book them as part of your package with the same operator.

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I'm suprised at seeing Expedia offer a more liberal cancellation policy than I've seen elsewhere. I'll also bet that, even though that poster is happier with the Expedia rate than with the direct rate from the hotel, it's not the best rate out there. There will be a premium paid for the flexibility. There always is.

 

But getting back to thinking about the OP's situation some more, there is an ever so slight possibility that you might be able to find a US based tour operator with a land only package. This will allow you to pay only a deposit for the tour and have the balance be due something like 30 or 60 days out. You'll also be able to hedge the currency because you'll be paying a fixed rate in USD on hotel rates that have been pre-negotiated by the tour operator.

 

However, it'll be tough finding a package that doesn't include flights, and you'll raise your chances of being successful greatly if you still need flights and are willing to book them as part of your package with the same operator.

 

Gee, a helpful reply without any snarky comments.

Thank you for that. Your package idea might be a fit. I'll look into it as an alternative.

 

I'm really not into "tricks", just looking for the best price with the least risk.

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Try the following sites , which you can prepay in dollars , but get a refund in most cases-

 

gtahotels.com (some very good prices)

expedia.com

venere.com (although the rates here are in Euros or Pounds)

booking,com

otel.com

hotels.com

londontown.com(prices in pounds but good deals , good cancellation policy)

 

Be sure to do your homework , there can be big differences.

Sometimes the best deals are on the hotels official websites-big chains like Marriotts , Hyatt , Hilton have best rates.

 

Hope this helps.

kim

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Be wary of gtahotels.com, do some research before booking with them.

 

hotels.com has some great rates. Watch what you are booking though. For each rate there will be a link containing the booking conditions. Read them carefully before committing. I still don't remember seeing rates where the entire stay can be pre-paid without it being a non-refundable/non-changable. But I am willing to accept that I could be wrong.

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I'm suprised at seeing Expedia offer a more liberal cancellation policy than I've seen elsewhere. I'll also bet that, even though that poster is happier with the Expedia rate than with the direct rate from the hotel, it's not the best rate out there. There will be a premium paid for the flexibility. There always is.

 

I payed the same through expedia as I would with the hotel, and the hotel advertises if you find a lower rate elsewhere they will beat that price by 25%. The reason I was pleased is I was able to pay the booking & hotel taxes in dollars when the pound was at a 24 year low.

 

Don't know if expedia has the same low penalty with all hotels, first time in a long time I've booked through them instead of reserving directly with a hotel.

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Bigwally-

 

Did you have a bad experience with gtahotels? I booked a Best Western Paris hotel with them and pre-paid. I just cancelled it (an easy enough process )and was told I´d get a full refund .My credit card statement hasn´t come yet....I hope I get my money.

 

The rate i booked with them was very good-much better than with other sites. I ended up cancelling because of hotel location (found better one elsewhere)

 

Kim

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I payed the same through expedia as I would with the hotel, and the hotel advertises if you find a lower rate elsewhere they will beat that price by 25%.

 

oops, no, that came out wrong. Hotel site guarantees they will meet that price & reduce the difference by 25%.

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Well, I finally solved my problem. instead of a hotel room, I booked seven nights in a studio apartment !!:p

 

The agency took the deposit in GBPs and, believe it or not, offer a full refund if canceled four weeks before arrival. That works for me.

 

The apt is in a great location: Across from Harrod's and very near Knightsbridge tube stop.

 

Life is good.

 

Thank to everyone for your replies.

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The agency took the deposit in GBPs and, believe it or not, offer a full refund if canceled four weeks before arrival. That works for me.
I'm glad that works for you.

 

But it's no different from the options you didn't like before. You're pre-paying part now at the fixed exchange rate, and you will pay the rest in local currency at the time of your stay at the exchange rate then. If you cancel, you'll get a refund in local currency, converted back to USD at the exchange rate at the time of cancellation.

 

So you are still taking all the exchange rate risk, and locking in nothing except for what you have pre-paid now.

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I'm with G. You've accomplished nothing you were originally looking for. Except, I suppose, that you now have some kind of lodging where before you didn't. :rolleyes:

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Bigwally-

 

Did you have a bad experience with gtahotels?

 

Not personally, Kim, no. But if you do a Google search on gtahotels.com, it doesn't look all that rosy.

 

I'm sure you'll be fine on your refund. But all the same, I would make sure to keep an eye on your credit card statement to make sure it's credited promptly.

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There are travel companies that only deal with travel agents that will give you great rates in London with a $100 per person deposit in USD and final payment in USD (Credit card) about 60 - 90 days out. Rate is guaranteed and refund is given in full up to 72 hours before arrival. The companies are reputable and unless the travel agent charges you for their time in booking and cancelling this is the best deal you will find. We booked rooms in London for $104/nt at a 4 star hotel in Westminster area near Tate museum for August. Ask your travel agent for Travel Bound (which actually works with GTA but is more flexible and easier to work with.) I don't think Travel Bound works directly with clients.

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