Let’s look at the available options:
Online with your airline reservation
Online form directly with the hotel
Phone call or email to the hotel
Your local travel agent
Online form with an in-country booking agent
If you book your flight online with a company like Expedia or Travelocity, you will be given the option to add a hotel to your airfare. The prices are usually outrageous and the hotels listed are at the very high end.
Booking directly from the hotel online is a good option if the hotel has an online booking form and it is secure. Check for the little lock at the bottom of your Internet browser.
Phone calls to overseas locations can be expensive and there is no guarantee of an English-speaking receptionist. Even if you make the booking over the phone, there is no guarantee in writing that your room will be waiting for you.
Booking via email can be dangerous if the hotel requires credit card information since your email is not secure.
Your local travel agent may or may not know the current situation or prices in Thailand. Hotels in Thailand have different rates during different times of the year. Prices are greatly reduced during low season and can be much more expensive during high season. There may also be additional fees during Christmas and New Years. Your local agent may not know all of these details.
Booking through an online agent actually located in Thailand is your best bet. They will have access to many more hotels in all price ranges and all locations. They will also be privy to specials and promotions that may not be published outside the country. Also, they will speak both Thai and English, have a secure server for orders, and respond promptly to your enquiries. Their web sites will also publish reviews of the hotels.
Do your homework, check the prices directly at the hotel’s web site, and then visit one of the many in-country online hotel-booking sites. Ensure that the site is secure, find a hotel in your price range and vacation spot, and book your room the easy and safe way.