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Booking your next holiday or weekend break online can save you some serious coin if you’re careful. Here’s how to do it like a pro!

Fourteen years ago, before most people had heard of the internet, Matthew Lawson registered a domain name on a whim, thinking he might one day be able to sell it. Instead, it spawned Hotel.com.au, an online hotel booking site.

Hotel.com.au makes it simple to gather the best information and deals from more than 100,000 properties in 180 countries worldwide.

The Hotel.com.au team are passionate about all things travel – some might say borderline obsessive – but they’ll happily divulge all the best kept industry secrets. As Lawson said, “Internet customers will, understandably, always be looking for the best deal. Our aim is to help them achieve that.”

Here are Hotel.com.au’s top tips for booking online:

1. Be aware of non-refundable hotels – some hotels don’t offer a refund if you cancel your booking. The trade-off for such a strict policy is often a great value deal.

2. Read cancellation policies – as boring as the fine print might look, always read cancellation policies carefully before you make a reservation so you know what you’re in for if you do have to cancel.

3. Keep your confirmation email – print it and take it with you. Don’t delete the original email until you have completed your stay and know you have been billed correctly.

4. Check-in early if possible – the earlier in the day you check into a hotel, the more likely you are to be given a room that matches your special requests or preferences.

5. Know that rates can change – hotels, like airlines, adjust their pricing to meet demand. Rates can vary greatly by season, day of the week, special events etc. Shoulder seasons are often the best compromise for weather and price!

For more info visit www.hotel.com.au