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.
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.
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, Once you've booked five times, you'll become a Level 2 Genius.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.
You're thinking, well, you've convinced me that it's cheap and easy to use, but is it safe and reliable? I 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).