With so many travel firms now on the market trying to attract your business, arranging trips can start to get a little overwhelming. It’s often quite difficult to know if you’re really getting a great deal and whether you can trust the booking agent you’ve chosen.
Despite all the competition, we always find we end up using one hotel booking website in particular. For its ease of use and consistently good prices, we like using Booking.com. Here are some of the reason why.
1. Free cancellation on nearly all rooms
The most important reasons we use Booking.com is that on most rooms, you can cancel your booking penalty free. We’ve found ‘free cancellation’ offered on nearly all of the rooms we’ve booked and generally, there’s no surcharge.
The flexibility this offers is useful for many reasons, but particularly if you’re making a last minute booking. When we begin our search for accommodation, we’ll start by making a short list. We’ll then make a quick decision about which of our short-listed properties fulfills our basic criteria, and then place a booking.
At this point, we’ve locked down somewhere to stay, but it might not necessarily be the best place that’s available. With free cancellation, we’re now free to continue our search, this time being more selective. In the event we find somewhere nicer and/or cheaper, we place a new booking, then cancel our first booking.
It’s worth noting that some smaller, independent hotels are not terribly keen on the ‘free cancellation’ model as it makes managing demand difficult. Our advice is to try and limit your usage of ‘free cancellation’ bookings as much as possible, particularly when dealing with small, independent hotels.
Another thing to note is that cancellation policies can change quite frequently. When making your booking, read everything to ensure you are booking under the cancellation policy you expect.
2. Clear pricing with no hidden fees
The prices displayed are the prices you pay. Booking.com doesn’t add any reservation or admin fees. In fact, Booking.com rarely charges you anything. In most cases, all charges are payable directly to the hotel when you arrive.
Of course, there are occasions where Booking.com does collect payment, but this is always stated clearly during the booking process.
Please note that occasionally, hotels add tourist taxes or additional fees to the bill when you arrive. This should be written clearly on the hotel listing. In the event it doesn’t, let Booking.com’s support team know.
3. Book hotel rooms on the move
The travel industry is plagued by poor apps which only offer limited features. Booking.com’s app is different though. Everything you can do on their website, you can do in the app. It’s really nicely designed, really easy to use and it’s updated very frequently.
While there are several really clever features in the app, our favourite is the screenshot feature. When taking a screenshot, the app realises you’re taking a screenshot and offers a sharable link instead which can then be sent by email or posted to a social network.
4. Your loyalty rewarded with freebies, perks and discounts
Book hotel rooms with Booking.com and you become a Booking.com Genius. This programme rewards your loyalty with additional discounts, freebies and perks (like free airport transfers and welcome drinks) and access to a priority customer service line. Membership of the programme is completely free and is automatically triggered once you place your fifth booking.
Genius perks are offered by the hotel’s themselves and not by Booking.com, so the perks you receive depend greatly on the hotels you interact with.
5. Really good support
Thankfully, I’ve not had to get in touch with Booking.com’s customer service team very often. On the occasions I have though, my issues have always been sorted out very quickly.
6. Price match guarantee
In the event you manage to find a cheaper rate for a booking you’ve placed, Booking.com will match it. Obviously, you’ll need to provide proof and meet some other criteria, but it’s good to know that when you book hotel rooms with Booking.com, you know they’ll price match.
7. Over 93 Million Reviews
Reviews are vitally important when placing hotel bookings as they provide an unbiased insight into what it’s like to stay at a given hotel. Booking.com has an active reviews system built in, so you don’t have to scour the Internet searching for other reviews. They’re right there on the listing.
Those are our thoughts on why you should book hotel rooms with Booking.com, our first calling point when we’re booking rooms. We’d love to hear from you if you’ve used Booking.com or if you’ve used a different hotel booking website. Let us know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links inside this article that link to Booking.com’s website. We receive a small commission from Booking.com for sending you their way. The appearance of affiliate links in no way influenced our genuine recommendation of Booking.com. All of the words and opinions in this article are our own.