How do you pay for hotel rooms from a team block?

So, this is our team’s first trip to Worlds and I’m trying to coordinate all the expenses. What I can’t figure out is how to pay for our rooms. I’m managing them on the CVent site and can do all kinds of things there, but I can’t find any way to pay. Is this just something I have to do directly with the hotel once we’re in Houston? We’re a school-based team so I don’t have team credit cards or anything like that. How do others handle this?

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Most likely, yes, you’ll have to pay the hotel directly.

In the past, we have gotten exact prices from the hotel early and gotten a money order from the school. That’s sometimes impossible, so there were a couple years they let the teacher pay, then reimbursed him. That got complicated…

So then I said, screw this… And I created a non profit booster club for our team that manages finances. Now, I have a debit card that I can use. It’s nice. There is red tape, but it’s amazing.

As for advice for this year, talk to the school about reimbursement and make sure before you pay anything.

Edit: This is for all hotels. We do not go to world’s much. I also get to use that card for team food and anything that is budgeted by the booster. It has been a lifesaver. Our Mechanical mentor can just go buy something instead of asking the school for an order and waiting for a reply. That is always annoying.

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Thanks for clarifying this for me. My school is fine withe the reimbursement (it’s what they’re already doing for the airline tickets) so now I know I can just apportion costs for the parents and have them pay into the school account. I suspected this was the way to go, but didn’t want to overlook anything.

As for the non-profit booster club, I’m jealous. I’d love to do that for our team, but the district absolutely forbids any staff member to be involved in such things in any way, so even if the parents formed one, I couldn’t use anything like a debit or credit card from them myself. All funds from them would have to go into our school account and then I’d be right back where I am now. Oh well.

Thanks again.

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Yes. I have the “advantage” that I am not associated with the school, nor is our lead mechanical mentor. While the school does not forbid our teachers from being involved, its advised against. So yes, you would have to have someone outside the school create it, and use the funds for you.

Which is likely more complicated as long as you have a good relationship with the school.

Glad I could help.

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One thing to find out when using a credit card is exactly what gets run as an authorization and what gets run as a charge, and when. Sometimes the hotel employees do not even know how their own system works. I had a bad experience with Westin once where I had an entire block of rooms booked, and it should have gone as one charge, but then at check-in their system put in multiple individual charges, one for each room, all in quick succession. This triggered the fraud alert on my card before they were done charging all the rooms, and future charges were declined, resulting in us being unable to take possession of some of the rooms until we got someone else with another card. Lesson learned, make sure you use a card with live human support you can call 24/7.

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If you are going through FIRST housing, email them.

Although I’m pretty sure all the hotels are “picking up” the reservations today (if not yesterday) and you may have to call the hotel directly.

When I got our rooms initially, I put down my personal CC. Our School 501c3 is in the process of transferring the rooms under their CC, and are dealing with the hotel directly.

That is wild. I am sorry for that experience. I have not experienced that, but thanks for the warning. That would be terrible.

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