With this portal, the name says it all. Booking means booking. Hotel bookings and room reservations are Booking.com’s core business. With more than one million bookings daily, it is the leading hotel booking portal worldwide. You can find all information about Booking.com in this article: What kind of deals you can book, how the booking works to important notes about the cancellation. I’ll give you some helpful tips on finding suitable and cheap accommodation and show you everything you need to know.
What is Booking.com?
With more than 1,550,000 overnight stays booked per day, Booking.com is the world’s most successful online hotel reservation portal. Founded in 1996, the company provides business and private customers with a wide variety of accommodations. The offer ranges from small vacation apartments to luxury villas in over 229 countries.
Through Booking.com you can book accommodations to your taste all over the world. To make this possible, the portal cooperates with numerous hoteliers and other providers. Booking.com is represented in many other countries and 40 languages and offers a total of more than 1.5 million accommodations in over 123,000 vacation destinations. This gives vacationers a huge selection of apartments, bed and breakfasts, resorts, treehouses, lodges, motels, and much more for their next trip.
Who is behind Booking.com?
The booking platform has been part of the Priceline Group since 2005. The company’s other online travel portals include Standford-based Kayak and Copenhagen-based Momondo, as well as Manchester-based Rentalcars. Booking.com is based in Amsterdam. Priceline Group is located in Norwalk, Connecticut.
How does Booking.com work?
Here I want to show you understand how the booking portal Booking.com works respectively what the business model looks like. This also shows how Booking.com earns money.
Booking.com uses like many other booking portals the classic retailer model. This means that Booking acts as an agent for hotel bookings. Hotels and other types of accommodation are presented on the portal. The prices are gross prices that guests pay directly to the accommodation per night. That is, guests never pay Booking.com directly. The portal receives a commission for brokering the hotels and vacation rentals, the so-called brokerage commission. The booking portal acts as a kind of travel agency. But instead of being stationary, everything happens online. The portals Expedia, HRS, and Hotels.com operate in a similar way.
What offers are there at Booking.com?
The online travel portal specializes in arranging rooms and accommodations. A room in a luxury hotel, a whole vacation home, a room in a small bed & breakfast hotel in the countryside. There is a suitable accommodation for every taste and budget. For city trips, wellness vacations, business trips, and individually planned adventure vacations you can search for accommodation. Due to a large number of possible rooms around the world, everyone will find what they are looking for.
What is the booking process at Booking.com?
The process of searching for accommodation at Booking.com is simple. To do this, you use the search mask on the homepage, where you enter a few data. First, you can enter the destination, an accommodation name, or an address. The dates of arrival and departure as well as the number of required rooms and travelers are necessary. Select whether it is a business trip or a vacation.
The portal then searches through the available offers that match your search criteria. You will see the results on an overview page. There you can use additional search filters that will help you in your hotel search. You can narrow down the available budget that you want to spend on accommodation. Furthermore, you can view offers with breakfast included. If there is a risk that you will have to cancel the hotel reservation, view the offers with a free cancellation option. At Booking.com there are special bargains every day. You can also filter for these deals. If you prefer a certain type of accommodation like a hotel, hostel, guesthouse, or similar, you can set the filters. You will see all the accommodations that match your taste.
If you do not want to use the advanced search filters, you can get important information at a glance on the overview page for the individual offers. At the top left and in the center, you can see the type of accommodation and the name. The customer rating and the number of ratings are in the upper right corner of the respective overview. You can see the booking status of the accommodation and how many interested people are currently viewing the offer. You can see the location, the type of offer, and the price at a glance.
Click on the offer you are interested in to get more information. Look at the pictures and learn more about the selected accommodation. If you scroll down the details page, you will see the available rooms for the selected period. Further information about facilities, the available number of room types, fees included in the price, and terms and conditions of the hotel are displayed. Once you have chosen a room category, select the required number of rooms and click “I reserve”.
This will take you to the booking page. There you will need to provide information about yourself and enter an email address as a contact. Below you will see the details of the room. If the information is not correct, you can adjust it in this step. Then you can choose additional services. If you are interested in a rental car or breakfast at an additional cost, you can click on the corresponding service. With some offers, you will receive a free travel guide for the vacation region on request. The last items are optional, you do not have to fill them in. These include special requests for your accommodation and the estimated time of arrival.
On the second booking page, you enter your address details and, as security for the reservation, the details of your credit or debit card. Finally, you can check the accuracy of your booking. If you do not find any errors, you can book the selected offer. Once the booking is completed, you will receive a confirmation email to the address you provided.
May you also like: Airbnb Review
When do you have to pay at Booking.com?
Each hotelier and accommodation operator decides when you have to pay for your stay in the booked accommodation. As a rule, you will have to pay on arrival. For other accommodations, the required amount will be charged directly to your credit card. When you have to pay the amount at the respective hotel will be shown to you during the booking process on Booking.com.
How can you pay at Booking.com?
The way you can pay for the booked accommodation depends on the hotel and the provider. Usually, you either pay on the spot or you need to pay in advance or make a deposit at the time of booking. When and how you have to make the payment is stated in the terms and conditions of the hotel on the offer page. Most hotels do not require full or partial payment at the time of booking. If you want to pay your bill before arrival, you can ask the hotel if this is possible.
Some providers require payment of the full or partial amount immediately during the booking process. Payment on the spot is not possible in these cases. These are usually non-refundable prices and offers. The accommodations to which it applies are marked. At the latest during the booking process, you will receive all information about the payment. Pre-payment is made by bank transfer or by charging your credit or debit card.
Note: If you want to book a hotel room through Booking.com, you usually need a credit card. This data is used by the hotels to guarantee the reservation. There are exceptions to hotels that do not require a credit card for the reservation.
Read more: Priceline Review 2022
What should be considered when canceling and changing a booking with Booking.com?
The portal is responsible for arranging various types of accommodation. In other words, Booking.com does not have its own hotels or accommodations. In the event of a cancellation or booking change, the terms and conditions of the respective third-party providers apply. You can read the terms and conditions on the respective offer page of the hotel on Booking.com under the item “Terms and Conditions”. If a cancellation is free of charge, you will find the note “free cancellation”.
If the terms and conditions of the hotel allow a cancellation or booking change, you can do it yourself. Log in to “My Booking.com”. There you can see your booking and change the travel period and room type or cancel the hotel room. Usually, you can cancel or change your booking 24 hours before arrival. You may be charged for the cancellation or change. You can find out about this in the hotel policies before booking or in the confirmation email.
Important: In the case of the so-called Pst… Sparpreis offers, that it is not possible to change the booking free of charge if the change relates to the travel dates. This also applies to offers that cannot be canceled free of charge.
Tips on how to find the lowest prices and best deals at Booking.com?
Use filter settings correctly
Using the possible filter setting will help you tremendously in finding the best hotel and also the price for you on Booking.com. Don’t be satisfied with the default setting, but specify all your preferences and preferences for your vacation. Do you want to do a lot of wellness in the hotel or do you want to have a gym in the hotel to do sports? All this you can narrow down your search with the appropriate filters. Above all, limit the budget, because then the hotels that are affordable for you will be displayed.
Sort results correctly
Once you have entered all the search fields such as destination, location, and length of stay with the corresponding data as well as the number of people and rooms, you will arrive at the results page. At this point, you should pay attention to the sorting. The default setting sorts the results according to the so-called top tips. It is unclear according to which criteria Booking.com evaluates these. For this reason, you should change the sorting. You can sort by price, rating, rating, and price and stars. Decide what is important for you and sort the results according to your criteria. Then chances are high that you will find the best offer for your trip.
If you have booked or reserved accommodation with Booking.com more than once, you will be included in the so-called Genius program. With this program, you get a 10% discount on the hotel prices. If you are one of the frequent bookers and are included in the bonus program, you will be notified by the online booking platform. When searching for accommodation, you can use the filter settings so that the Genius offers and hotels that participate in this program and match your preferences are displayed.
Before you book a hotel on the platform, you should be on the lookout for Booking.com coupons. If you’re in the Genius program and also have a voucher, you’ll get great discounts that will drop the nightly rates. I’ll take the coupon search off your hands! On my blog, I always present you with the latest vouchers – from all reputable travel portals.
Cashback – $15 for you and your friends
Do you have a friend who is going on a trip in the near future? With him, you can secure a cashback of $15. It works like this: You get a link from Booking.com, which you forward to your friend. If he uses the link, books an accommodation via the portal, and also takes the trip, you and your friend will be credited with $15.
Do not be pressured
The deals on Booking.com’s results pages are peppered with statements like “In high demand!”, “Only 2 rooms left on our site!” and “Booked 10 times in the last 6 hours”. This suggests a limited supply and creates pressure on users. Whether this information is accurate or not is impossible to track. Do not let yourself be stressed in any case and take your time with the booking. I advise you to do this, especially for booking rooms in large regions. In smaller resorts, the contingent can actually be booked out quickly.
Is Booking.com reputable? – my personal experiences
Even the vacation guru goes on a trip now and then! When I go abroad, Booking.com is one of the first places I look for accommodation. The nice thing is that the portal has not only ordinary hotels, apartments, and vacation rentals, but also unusual accommodations in its portfolio. Everyone can find something to their taste in the selection. On round trips, I use the deals in the portal at very short notice. This means that I book accommodation one or two nights in advance and on the spot. So far, this has worked smoothly. On the one hand, the booking process works quickly. For another, the good mobile version makes everything doable on a smartphone. In my case, nothing has ever been canceled, everything was in perfect order when I arrived at the accommodations and also the payment process went without problems. Since I often book through Booking, I am in the Genius Bonus program and get a 10% discount on many prices. This often gives me lower prices than similar portals. Metasearch engines such as Booking and Expedia, for example, draw on the same data. That means they all list the same deals and prices. With the Genius discount, I still get the lowest price at Booking.com.
No matter what accommodation you’re looking for on your vacation, Booking.com arranges many different ones. From an aparthotel to a vacation home, you have everything to choose from. If you want to experience an ordinary or extraordinary stay, you will find it on the website. Often the prices are cheap. Nevertheless, I recommend a price comparison. If you have found an interesting room at Booking.com, a look at the corresponding hotel website is advisable. I will do this price comparison for you and show you the best travel bargains and hotel offers on my blog! Among them, you will also find coupons and promotions from Booking.com. In this sense: Have fun on your vacation!
Read more: Skyscanner Review 2022