The best online hotel booking site that will save you money
Are you looking for the best hotel deals and the easiest way to book accommodation? Stop searching multiple sites for cheap hotels and go to Booking.com. Booking.com is a worldwide fare aggregator and accommodation search engine. It provides you with a wide range of accommodation options that you can book, including hotels, hostels, guesthouses, guest houses, apartments and more.
Many people worry about booking hotels or flights through third-party sites and travel aggregators. I’ve heard every concern imaginable, from “the hotel won’t accept my reservation” to “I won’t get the best price if I don’t book direct.” I have news for you, these are myths and costing you time and money! Today I’m going to tell you why you should book all your accommodation through Booking.com and why it’s the best online hotel booking site to save you money.
Why Booking.com is the best hotel booking site
Discounted hotels and accommodation
Many people believe they won’t get the best price for accommodation unless they book direct. Think again! You will always get the best deal through booking.com for two reasons.
1. Hotel offers
There are always discounts on accommodation. The prices are low at first, but then sometimes more discounts are added. You can find a “secret deal”, get a trade discount or a “genius discount” (described below). Instead of searching for a specific hotel, such as the Comfort Suites on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, search for all hotels with similar amenities and ratings. I can almost always find a great deal in my price range without having to compromise on quality.
2. Price matching
It rarely happens, but if you find that the place you booked on booking.com is cheaper elsewhere, booking.com will refund the difference.
The price listed is what you pay. If there is an added tax, they will tell you the percentage before booking. There are no additional fees for booking through a third party and no unpleasant surprises at check-in!
Rewards Program: Genius Benefits
Booking.com has one of the best rewards programs for booking hotels online. After just two booked and completed stays in two years, you’ll become a level one genius. As a genius, you also get a 10% discount on most bookings. Once you’ve booked five times, you’ll become a Level 2 Genius. With this status, you’ll get 10-15% off most bookings and other travel benefits like free breakfast and free room upgrades.
The best part is that once you’re a genius, you’re always a genius! There is no minimum booking required to maintain your benefits.
Most hotels have their own rewards programs. The nice thing about the Genius program is that you get discounts on almost every property that booking.com has on their site. You don’t have to stick with a specific brand to get a discount. Many small towns abroad do not have any of the big hotel chains. This means I usually stay in independent or boutique accommodation where I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the hotel brand discount.
Using Booking.com is easy and straightforward. You enter your destination, travel dates, number and age of passengers and press search. You can then start scrolling through the list of options or click to view the map if location is a really important factor. I always filter the results a little more. You can filter your results by price, location, star rating, property type, availability, review score, room amenities and more.
If you are on the go, you can quickly book nearby accommodation using the map function. When I was stuck in a snowstorm in NYC a few years ago, I was able to find a free place to stay in minutes. Getting a taxi to bring me was a much more difficult dilemma, but at least I had a bed waiting for me!
Another of my favorite benefits of using Booking.com is that most facilities offer free cancellation. If you’ve read my trip planning process in my How to Plan Your Trip post, you know that I like to get an overview of what I’ll be doing each day before booking flights and accommodation. Both are usually more expensive the closer you get to your travel date. Booking places without the possibility of cancellation is ideal because if you realize that it makes more sense to stay closer to the train station or you want to change the order of the cities you visit, you can cancel them for free. On the other hand, if your plans don’t change, you haven’t missed out on the best deals.
Quantity and quality of reviews
Have you ever thought that every hotel wants to look good? Would posting a negative review on their booking page help achieve this? Of course not! One of the biggest factors I look for when choosing where to stay is the review score. I don’t stay anywhere below 8 out of 10. I also read the reviews thoroughly. A hostel may claim to have wifi, but reviews may show that it’s really spotty and only works in the lobby.
No booking.com property has any control over reviews. They can respond after posting, but they can’t filter out the negative ones. With millions of reviews on the web, you don’t have to look elsewhere for reviews. You know you’re getting honest reviews from a lot of people.
You’re thinking, well, you’ve convinced me that it’s cheap and easy to use, but is it safe and reliable? Yoy get it, you don’t want to be tricked into a cheap deal that isn’t real. For the past two years, I have only used Booking.com for my short-term accommodation bookings (about one week or less). During that time I made and maintained about 40 bookings
The support team at booking.com is always helpful. I haven’t needed to contact them much, but when I do, they respond immediately. The online booking assistant is a quick way to communicate with the property you are booking. If you have any special requirements or questions about the place where you are staying, use the reservation assistant. I find that I get answers to my questions much faster this way than going directly to the property.