Book your next hotel stay through this leading accommodation service to find a great room at a great price.
You may have heard about Booking.com or its parent company, Priceline. While Priceline is an ideal destination for a variety of travel needs — including hotels, rental cars, flights, vacation packages and cruises — Booking.com is focused around hotels and vacation rentals.
To help you navigate the Booking.com site like a pro and find a great hotel deal, let’s walk through all of the site’s features and various sections.
What is Booking.com?
Booking.com is a world leader in online accommodation booking, with over 750,000 room nights booked through the site each day. The service is free to use and acts as a go-between, connecting business and leisure travelers with accommodations ranging from small B&Bs to 5-star hotels in more than 200 countries.
Booking.com guarantees the quality of all of the listed accommodations, which are organized based on selection criteria, and promises the best available prices for all types of accommodations.
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Features of Booking.com
Booking.com was founded in 1996, and since then it’s developed a well-regarded platform for hotel searches. Some of the features offered by the site include:
- Price-match guarantee. If you find a hotel deal for a better price elsewhere, Booking.com will match the price.
- No booking fees. You can book hotel rooms or vacation rentals without having to pay fees.
- Reviews from a community of travelers. According to Booking.com, the site has over 100 million reviews from real travelers.
- Properties around the world. You can find over a million listings in 93,000 locations worldwide.
How it works
Looking for a hotel deal on Booking.com starts with putting details about your trip into the site’s search function. The search tool is quite simple; you’ll just need to input the following information:
- Where you want to go. You can put in any location — cities, addresses, landmarks and so on.
- Check-in and check-out dates. Tell Booking.com when you’ll be traveling.
- What you’re traveling for (work or leisure). The site will show you different listings depending on what you choose. If you say you’re traveling for work, for example, the site will look for business travel amenities like Wi-Fi and free parking.
- The type of property you’re looking for. You can look for hotels, homes and apartments, or all properties.
- Basic room and traveler information. Select how many rooms you’re looking for, as well as how many people will be staying with you.
Once you see the results page for properties, you can filter the results broadly by price, star count or review score.
You’ll also have the option to filter results by various dimensions, which include:
- Budget. Find a property within your price range.
- Star rating. A property with a higher star rating will generally offer more accommodations.
- Facility. Look for property features that are important to you, such as free Wi-Fi, parking, airport shuttles, swimming pools, spas, room service and more.
- Reservation policy. Filter properties that offer free cancellation, booking without a credit card or no prepayment.
- Meals. Look for properties that offer breakfast and/or kitchen facilities.
- Deal. You can find properties that are high-value stays according to Booking.com.
- Property type. If you’re looking for a specific type of property (like a lodge or apartment), use this filter.
- Review score. You can use Booking.com’s community of reviews to find the highest-rated properties.
- Bed preference. Select which bed size you want.
- Room features. Find rooms with air conditioning, bathtubs, patios, flat-screen TVs and so on.
- Chain. You can look at rooms from specific chains. (This might be especially useful if you have a co-branded hotel credit card.)
- City. Look at properties in nearby cities.
Booking your room
To book your room, head down to the bottom of a property’s listing page, select the number of rooms you want and click the I’ll Reserve button.
After you do that, you’ll see a price breakdown for your reservation. In total, the price may include your room fee and applicable taxes (such as city taxes). Input your contact details and any special requests, and you’re ready to book your stay. After you complete your purchase, your booking will immediately be confirmed.
Helpful Booking.com sections
Beyond Booking.com’s basic search feature and listing pages, there are other areas of the site you might find helpful.
Find Deals/Deals You Can’t Miss
Booking.com’s Deals You Can’t Miss section is an excellent place to find heavy discounts on rooms. It’s a good choice if you’re not particularly choosy about where you want to stay and just want to find a well-priced room. You’ll find hotel deals in places like:
- Europe. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Prague, Rome
- North America. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami Beach, Montreal, Orlando, Toronto
- South America. Bogotá, Brasília, Buenos Aires, Fortaleza, Lima, Natal, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Santiago, Sao Paulo
- Africa. Agadir, Cairo, Cape Town, Casablanca, Fez, Hurghada, Johannesburg, Marrakesh, Sharm El Sheikh, Tangier
- Asia. Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Patong Beach, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore
- Oceania. Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Cairns, Christchurch, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Wellington
Just select the dates you’ll be traveling as well as the region and city you’ll be staying in, and you’ll be shown a selection of the best deals Booking.com has to offer.
Sometimes you won’t be quite sure where you want to travel to. In that case, consider using Booking.com’s Destination Inspiration feature.
The Destination Inspiration tool will ask you two basic questions:
- What matters most to you on vacation? You can input answers like “photography” or “downhill skiing.”
- Where do you want to go? This is a good way to narrow your options and head toward a region that appeals to you.
Booking.com will show you the top-rated locations for the activity and place you selected. For example, if you searched for “beaches” and “Spain,” you’ll see a list that includes Novo Sancti Petri (known as a beautiful destination for a beach walk) and Gandía (which offers a great nightlife).
Houses, condos and apartments
If you’re looking for a vacation rental on a house, condo or apartment, you can find it through Booking.com. After you complete your booking, you’ll be put in touch with the host of the residence.
You can also list your property on Booking.com if you have a residence that you’d like to offer as a vacation rental. To do this, go to the website and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. Then click List your Property and follow the steps needed.
Booking.com for business
If you’re a business owner, you can create an account on Booking.com’s business travel platform. The platform offers:
- Business rates and 10% off certain properties
- Tools to track spending by department, team or individual
- Reviews from business travelers
- A console on which you can view all of your bookings
The Booking.com travel platform is free to sign up for and doesn’t come with any subscription costs or contracts.
When’s the next Booking.com sale?
Booking.com offers great deals everyday, but like most travel websites, it doesn’t offer regular sales or have a clearance section. You can, however, save money by referring your friends to the site. You’ll get a cash reward for every friend you refers who completes a booking, and they’ll get a reward too.
And don’t forget to mark your calendars for the annual Booking.com promo sale in February. The “secret deals” during this event will help you to save up to 50% off accommodations for your next trip.
Pros and cons
- Booking.com is a global service used thousands of times each day to book accommodations all over the world.
- When searching for accommodations, prospective guests can check verified reviews from former guests to make informed choices.
- All bookings made through the Booking.com site are confirmed.
- There’s no need to pay a deposit for most properties. You can fix up the bill when you arrive.
- Booking.com acts as a middleman between guests and hotels. It is not liable for any “bad experience” had during a stay at any of its properties online, unless the property breaks the terms of its agreement with Booking.com.
How does the booking and confirmation process work?
Booking.com acts as an agent for hotels, B&Bs, apartments, hostels and other forms of accommodation. When you book through Booking.com you will receive a confirmed reservation from the Booking.com site and the accommodation you have booked. All bookings are confirmed. After this, all communication (such as room or date changes) can be made directly with the hotel, or through Booking.com.
When you make a reservation you will receive a confirmation number in your inbox which you can use to check-in or review the details of your booking.
What forms of payment does Booking.com accept?
- American Express
Note that for most properties, your card will not be charged during the booking process and card details are recorded for confirmation purposes only.
How do I cancel or modify my amendment with Booking.com?
To cancel or modify a booking just click Manage Booking in the top right-hand corner of the Booking.com page. Enter your confirmation number to search for your reservation. You will be able to cancel your booking, or modify any part of your reservation. Note that individual properties will have their own policies with regards to cancellation and booking changes.