Booking.com is a popular site where travelers can book accommodations, flights, and car rentals. Find out all the details about the platform in this Booking.com review.
If you want to maximize your travel experiences, you must make smart decisions while booking accommodations, flights, and other traveling essentials for yourself and your family. Some sites offer everything from hotel bookings to flights, restaurant reservations, and car rentals, all under one platform.
Another vital aspect influencing your decision when choosing the right booking site is the discount rates. Let’s face it: we mainly use these sites to travel without burning a large hole in our pockets.
Based on an estimate by CondorFerries, around $810 billion of tickets are sold online – which means this is a huge part of the travel industry. While travel sites can give you good discounts and rewards as a regular user, managing multiple accounts and checking prices across platforms simultaneously can be challenging. With different policies, discount rates, and service fees, knowing the best option isn’t always straightforward.
Having used Booking.com multiple times, I can attest that their platform is comprehensive and user-friendly. They offer a wide range of accommodations, from hotels and resorts to apartments and guesthouses, catering to diverse traveler preferences. With over 200 million reviews written by real guests who have stayed at the properties, authenticity significantly contributes to my trust in their services.
Booking.com is one of the pioneering websites in the industry that gives you the cheapest reservations you can find online for all your travel needs.
Read through this detailed review to get answers to all your questions – and head to Booking.com now if you want to follow along.
What is Booking.com?
Booking.com is one of the most comprehensive travel booking websites available today. As a frequent traveler, I’ve had a lot of experience navigating their platform and using it as my go-to source for finding accommodations.
Their extensive offerings cover hotels, apartments, and even vacation homes, providing an array of choices no matter what type of trip you plan. Booking.com originally started back in 1996 solely as an online hotel reservation site. After going through multiple transitions to cater to the needs of an evolving audience, the site began to diversify its offers in 2011.
Today, it is a complete online travel agency that lets you book everything from flights, restaurants, vehicles, airport transportation, and even entire vacation packages. Despite this, it is still best known for its lodging options attributed to its wide array of choices. These include luxury hotels, rental apartments, villas, resorts, and residential accommodations.
One of the standout features of Booking.com is its incredible collection of verified reviews from actual guests. These reviews are valuable resources for travelers planning their accommodations, as they provide insights into the quality and experience of a given property. By referencing these reviews, I’ve been able to make informed decisions and feel confident in my choices.
Along with lodging, Booking.com offers travel services like flights, car rentals, and airport taxis. This makes it a convenient one-stop shop for numerous aspects of your travel plans, saving time and effort while planning your trip.
Booking.com operates independently, but some partner options include airlines and hotel chains, allowing for a diverse range of reservation options. This versatility further cements it as a preferred platform for travel planning and booking.
If you’re wondering how to book a property on Booking.com or how much they charge for their services, the section below includes a detailed overview of the site’s working process.
How Does Booking.com Work?
Booking.com works like any other online booking services website (or travel agent). What makes it stand out amidst its contemporaries is the wide range of options and customizable filters to find the reservation that fits your needs. I’ll walk you through the process of booking with an accommodation provider in addition to listing a property as an owner below.
Booking.com Mobile App
Apart from the user-friendly website, Booking.com has a mobile app compatible with iOS and Android to cater to travelers who like to book on the go. What’s more, apart from making reservations and browsing through options, you can even register your properties and list them for rental income.
As a frequent user of Booking.com, I would like to share my experience with the booking process on the platform.
Creating an Account
Creating an account with Booking.com is quite simple. It starts by clicking the “Sign in” button on the top right corner of the homepage.
I can sign in using my Google or Facebook account or create a new one using my email address. I can start booking accommodations after providing my email, choosing a password, and confirming my account through a verification email.
If you’re looking to book lodgings, flights, or transportation for your upcoming vacation, follow its intuitive interface to find your way around. An address bar on the landing page lets you specify your search according to your location and price range.
The process of selecting the right accommodation on Booking.com is user-friendly. I begin by typing in my destination, check-in and check-out dates, and the number of guests. The search results provide a comprehensive list of available accommodations – sortable by various options such as price, location, and guest ratings.
This helps me narrow my choices and find the ideal place for my needs. Each listing includes detailed information, photos, amenities, and guest reviews, making it easier to evaluate my options.
You can even judge the lodgings based on a comprehensive map included with every listing. This will help you see how accessible the property is through public transportation or how close it is to your destination’s tourist spots.
Once I have decided on accommodation, Booking.com guides me through the payment process. Some listings require full or partial payment upfront, while others allow me to pay upon arrival.
The platform accepts various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal. The payment process is secure, and I always receive an immediate email confirmation with my booking details.
Enter your PayPal, debit, or credit card details to secure your reservation. Ensure you read the fine print cancellation fee thoroughly before booking, as each hotel or vacation rental may have a different cancellation policy.
After inputting your credit card information, you’ll be redirected to the confirmation page for your booking, which will contain your confirmation number or reservation number. You’ll also see a reminder on the cancellation policy. You’ll also receive an email with your booking confirmation.
Booking.com provides transparent information about the cancellation policies for each listing. While browsing through different accommodations, I take note of the cancellation policy mentioned in the listing’s details.
These policies vary from flexible, allowing free cancellation up to a specific date, to non-refundable bookings. It’s important to be aware of these policies when booking, as they help me choose suitable accommodation based on my flexibility and commitment.
As a member, you will get a personalized dashboard on the website to manage all your bookings and payments. Another huge plus of the platform is that Booking.com does not charge anything for booking.
Listing Your Property on Booking.com
If you’re a property owner, you’re in luck, as the listing process for your property is equally simple on Booking.com. You don’t have to pay anything to list your property. Just become a member and enter all the necessary details about your property, including high-resolution pictures and basic information.
fter that, wait until you get a tenant’s inquiry or booking request and manage the entire process from the website.
Like other members, you will get a user dashboard with all your bookings and transactions on the website. This way, you can keep track of the requests and bookings you receive and hopefully make a substantial rental income.
Who is Booking.com For?
Usually, frequent travelers go for travel agents who arrange all the aspects of their trip for them. While these agents charge some fee to provide these services, it makes the entire process hassle-free for vacationers. But, if you want to avoid these fees and avail yourself of the best discounts on every booking you make while traveling, Booking.com is for you.
Yes, you must research the website and contact property owners to ensure good lodging services, but you will get what you’re looking for. Booking.com is an excellent platform for those who frequently travel for work or any other purpose. Alternatively, if you are a property owner who wishes to attract legit and high-paying tenants to generate rental income, Booking.com is an accessible option.
You don’t have to pay anything to get your property listed, organize your commitments, and get the exposure you need to maximize your income.
Besides, Booking.com is one of the pioneering and leading platforms in the industry. It boasts millions of hotel, airline, and car listings in cities across the globe. Moreover, the website is available in multiple languages, so you can choose whichever you prefer.
In this section, I’ll share my experience with Booking.com’s customer support, user reviews, and the Genius Loyalty Program.
My personal experience with Booking.com‘s customer support has been positive overall. But that isn’t the case for everyone, and I’ve had other friends and family members experience very poor customer service on both the reservation and as property owners.
The plus side is that their team is available 24/7, which has made it easier for me to get help whenever I need it. I have been able to contact them through various channels such as phone, email, and live chat. This versatility has allowed me to choose the communication method that best suits my preferences.
Customer support representatives have been knowledgeable and patient whenever I’ve had questions or needed assistance. Examples include helping me modify reservations, providing local recommendations, and clarifying any policies I was uncertain about. This level of support has made my booking experiences smoother and more enjoyable.
I’ve found the user reviews on Booking.com to be very helpful when selecting accommodations. The website hosts millions of verified guest reviews, providing authentic opinions and experiences from fellow travelers.
These reviews have aided me in making informed choices about where to stay based on factors such as cleanliness, comfort, and location.
The platform also makes it easy to sort and filter reviews according to my needs. For instance, I can filter based on review scores, language, or traveler type (solo, family, couples, groups of friends, and business travelers). These user reviews have significantly influenced my booking decisions and improved my satisfaction with chosen accommodations.
Booking.com Genius Loyalty Program
As a frequent traveler, I appreciate the Booking.com Genius Loyalty Program. It offers several benefits and discounts, which have enhanced my travel experiences. For example, by participating in the program, I have received the following:
- Discounts on selected accommodations
- Free hotel room upgrades (subject to availability)
- Early check-in and late check-out options
These benefits have saved me money and added extra comfort during my stay at a hotel. Additionally, the program features multiple tiers, with greater rewards for higher levels. This incentivizes me to continue using Booking.com for my travel needs and helps me feel valued as a loyal customer.
Alternatives to Booking.com
There are a lot of other sites out there that provide similar services for booking accommodations, flights, and other travel-related activities. Here are a few other industry leaders:
- Expedia: As a US-based platform and top competitor to Booking.com, Expedia offers similar features to Booking.com but without as many accommodation reviews. However, I find Expedia to have better customer service.
- Agoda: This is an Asia-based platform that provides a diverse range of accommodations, including hotels, vacation rentals, and hostels. They also offer flight discounts and a loyalty program that rewards users with points for future bookings.
- Travelocity: This travel site offers a wide range of accommodations, flights, and packages for travelers. They also provide a mobile app for more accessible bookings and 24/7 customer support to assist with any issues or inquiries.
- Priceline: Priceline, part of Booking Holdings, is another popular option for finding great deals on hotels, flights, and rental cars. They use a bidding system that allows users to submit their desired price for a booking, potentially resulting in significant savings.
- Tripadvisor: This is the largest of all travel sites in the industry and is a well-known travel review platform that also offers booking services for accommodations, flights, and attractions. They feature user reviews, which can be beneficial in making informed decisions about where to stay or what to do at a destination.
Pros of Booking.com
Now that you have read all the essential information, you are probably ready to book your first accommodation through the site. But before you do, here’s a list of the benefits of Booking.com to help you evaluate the platform at a glance.