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Donate While You Sleep
What if there was a way to donate money to causes you believe in by – sleeping?
What if a portion of your expensive hotel bills could be donated to charities like UNICEF, World Wildlife Foundation, or the Red Cross?
What if you could stay in your favourite hotel and be pampered – and at the same time do something good for other people?
With Charity Hotels, all this is possible. Hotels and motels build a surprisingly large cushion into the price of their rooms, allowing them to cut prices for sales without really cutting out profits. That's why Priceline bids can get rooms so cheaply, and why websites like Expedia can offer such great rates on hotel rooms at upscale hotels in great locations.
A group of internationally recognized charities operating out of the Netherlands recognized this in 2004. They include:
• The Dutch Red Cross
• The Dutch Aids Fund
• Stop Aids Now
• The Dutch Hart Foundation
• The Dutch Cancer Foundation
• The Dutch World Wildlife Fund
• Dutch Amnesty International
• The Dutch Memisa Cordaid
• Dutch Unicef
• Novib in the Netherlands (known more widely as Oxfam)
These ten charities approached hotels about creating a website where vacationers could register for accommodations anywhere in the world. The website would offer accommodations at reduced prices, and also offer a 5% or better donation to a charity of the registrant's choice.
The market in online reservations is crowded right now, with many different companies offering basically the same deal. With Charity Hotels, you can take advantage of specially priced bargains comparable to those at Expedia or Travelocity, and know that not only are you getting a great price, you're also helping charities help others.
What Do I Do?
Suppose you're going on holiday to the South of France. Nice vacation, relaxing for you and the family. You want to get the best prices possible, of course, but like many people, you feel a little guilty about spending that kind of money when others in the world need it so badly.
Instead of feeling guilty, go to the Charity Hotels website. Look at the list of hotels in dozens of locations, including Orlando, New York, and Paris. Once you've determined Charity Hotels has a hotel sponsoring them in the city you want to visit, fill in the simple form provided with your desired dates of stay, city and hotel you want to stay at, and number of rooms and people per room. On the next page, select from a list of hotels, including the one you chose, and book your reservation.
Now every time you lay down in your comfortable bed at the end of a long day, you can not only replay all the fun you had during the day, but also think about how your donation through the Charity Hotels website is helping a child somewhere in the world get food, clean water, and a safe and comfortable place of his or her own to sleep. Or that your donation is going toward helping researchers solve the AIDS problem in Africa. Or that you have spent enough on the hotel room to put a roof on a house somewhere in tsunami-stricken Southeast Asia.
How Can This Work?
The concept is really simple. Just like with Expedia and other online booking systems, the hotels listed by Charity Hotels pay a commission for each booking to Charity Hotels. The difference is that instead of your money going to a corporation, it goes to a charity you believe in, helping people worldwide you don't know but still care about.
Just like with other online agents, you are using a reliable, secure, and simple method to get your hotel registration. And just like all the others, you're guaranteed the best possible internet rates. You should never pay more than you would pay on the other sites, and you won't have a surcharge added to your bill.
Charity Hotels has a database covering more than 25,000 hotels throughout the world. You get regular and last minute booking for hotel rooms, and you'll always get the best price.
With the hundreds of hotel reservation sites online today, it's hard to tell which is the best. They all claim to be, of course. And they're all better than the others at one or another specialized thing – they offer more European hotels, or they offer hostel bookings as well as hotel booking, or they give you more pictures of the hotels you're considering, or you get a slightly cheaper rate, or you have user-created hotel reviews. With Charity Hotels, you don't get the frills and extras that your commissions pay for on the other sites. Instead, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you have done something positive for the world when you book your reservation.
If you're happy with your Charity Hotels reservation, you should tell your friends and family. Charity Hotels gets a better price for hotel rooms for selling more rooms. Better yet, since they are a charitable organisation, they have an easier time negotiating prices than a corporate organisation would have. You can always expect a great price with Charity Hotels, and it will only get better.
What Else Should I Know?
Because the rates offered through Charity Hotels are so cheap, you will need to secure your reservation with up-front credit card payment. If you find a lower rate for the same dates at the same hotel, you should call Charity Hotels within 24 hours of booking your reservation, and Charity Hotels will adjust the rate with the hotel and donate the difference to charity. (note: this only applies to rates marked Special Negotiated Internet Rates.)
You may find some of the hotels on Charity Hotels marked "Preferred Hotel." This could mean one of several things: it may offer better than average value to the customer, the hotel may have offered to donate a larger percentage than usual of the reservations booked through Charity Hotels, or the hotel has another special quality that makes it more attractive than the other hotels listed.
Your credit card information is accepted over a secure server. All major credit cards are accepted through Charity Hotels, but because the booking and credit charge actually goes through the hotel you're going to stay at, there may be some differences in what credit cards are actually accepted. For the same reason, cancellation policies will also vary from hotel to hotel.
About the Author: Danny Wirken owns and runs http://www.CharityHotels.com, which is part of the 1000 strong online Community of http://www.444.net that critically reviews and rates millions of products in 11 countries and services for the benefit of other consumers. Available free of charge to consumers in local-language versions in major western European markets, more than 1.5 million consumers visit the 444 Network every month, making it one of the largest Blog Portals in Europe. The 444 Network also has far reaching charitable outlets from educating underprivileged children in South America to Disaster Relief in South East Asia.
CharityHotels.com is an example of an online company doing its best in making the world a slightly better place.