Although there are various booking websites around, I am skeptical of giving away my credit card info ‒ and so should you. But I also do not want to get ripped off or find myself accommodation-less in a destination. That’s why I only try new resources after referrals from friends and I tend to stick with the ones I have tried and tested. This brings me to my first recommendation: Booking.com
First of all, Booking.com is not just for hotels. You can also find apartments, guest houses, hostels, b&b’s, country houses and even boats. It is really a one-stop-shop where you can find properties all over the world. I personally use their services since 2010 and never had a problem. So even if this is an affiliate link, I feel very comfortable recommending them, as I’ve done countless times to friends through the years.
Your first task: set up your profile and stick to it. Don’t just create a new one when you forget your password or change e-mail. Don’t log in through Facebook, then Gmail, them e-mail. Centralize all the bookings yourself ‒ even if you travel in groups and later split the costs. Why? Because you want to achieve…
When you book and stay 5 times within 2 years, you activate Genius status and unlock a discount and other freebies in partner properties. These freebies vary but they can include:
- 10% discount: Genius travelers get an extra 10% off selected properties around the world.
- Genius service: exclusive customer service line.
- Freebies & perks: thousands of properties offer perks, such as free airport shuttles, welcome drinks and priority late check-out exclusively to Geniuses.
But that’s not to say you don’t have advantages even before earning Genius status:
- very friendly and easy-to-use interface, including many filters to help you easily find exactly what you have in mind ‒ saves you time that you can use to plan to fun things to do at your destination;
- at many properties you can book now and pay later, at check-in;
- free cancellation and changes for many rooms, all easily managable online;
- with 1,000,000+ properties, you are guaranteed to find good deals;
- verified reviews ‒ only people who have booked and stayed at a certain property can write reviews about their experience, so you can make a well’informed decision, insteadof relying solely on the super-polished presentation hotels tend to make for themselves.
For all this, start your accommodation research here. To be sure you are getting the best deal, check if your chosen accommodation has its own website and direct reservation system. If they do, it’s possible there’s different pricing. Then you can either get booking.com to price-match or evaluate if any possible booking.com perks are worthy (or not) of that price difference.
A last piece of advice: we all know AirBnb is the go-to website when looking for apartments. But it is not uncommom for owners to offer their properties on more than one platform. I have found AirBnB apartments on booking.com and ended up saving money just because I wouldn’t have to pay AirBnB’s service fees. So keep your eyes open 🙂
Disclaimer: this website contains affiliate links, so at no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you make a booking/purchase through them. This will help keep this website running and bringing you interesting content. Win-win 🙂 Thank you for your support!