In our opinion, Booking.com is the best site ever to book hotels, at least this year. Why?
Because of these simple reasons:
- Free cancellation,
- Customer service available 24/7,
- Both the site and the app (iOS and Android) are super easy to use,
- Lowest guarantee price on the market.
That’s why we want to recommend it to you to guarantee you unforgettable holidays!
If you don’t know how to use Booking.com or you’re not sure of taking full advantage of all its features, keep scrolling this article to read our detailed guide.
Booking.com: what is it and how does it work?
It works as an online commerce platform allowing partner hotels to expand their range of potential customers and customers to find all the hotels in a specific destination on one site and with just a few clicks.
Usually there are two types of users on Booking.com:
- Hotel customers: whoever signs up pays nothing (no commission is applied by Booking), can search for accommodation and book;
- Booking.com partner hotels: hotels that sign up to the platform and insert their accommodations in Booking’s database in order to increase their customers. They can do it by paying a percentage to Booking.com for each booking made through the platform.
⚠️ Please note!
When you use Booking.com, you get in touch directly with the hotel you have chosen, Booking.com only offers a brokerage service: all the e-mails, questions and the money you pay go directly to the hotel.
Even the booking confirmation that you receive is not on behalf of Booking.com but it is written by the platform on behalf of the hotel.
Booking.com obviously records all conversations for any legal disputes to give the right support to both the customer and the hotel.
The photos of the accommodations you see on the site reflect reality, Booking.com team does an exceptional job to certify the hotels that apply to the portal.
Of course, it may happen that some photographers are really good at taking photos and the accommodation looks better than it actually is.
This is also the reason why we always invite people to read the reviews of users who have already stayed in the selected accommodation.
How to sign up to Booking.com: step by step
Signing up on Booking.com is not difficult at all, click here to visit the website.
If you notice in the pic below, in the dark blue upper bar there is a button with the word “Register” on. This scree will appear right away.
Therefore, enter your email address to continue or click on “Sign in with Facebook” or “Sign in with Google” to create a Booking.com account using the personal data that you made public on Facebook or Google.
We personally chose to insert our personal email.
Click on the blue “Get started” button to continue. The password screen will open.
So, enter a password and confirm it to be able to access to the site whenever you need to book a stay.
Then click on “Create account” and you’re done, you’ve created your Booking.com account.
How to search for a hotel with Booking.com
Now we’re going to explain how to book on Booking.com, telling you all the functions that can be used to select the best hotel according to your needs.
From the Booking.com home page you can immediately notice that there is a search box; so, everything starts from here!
- City, region, state you want to visit (better the city),
- Check-in and check-out date,
- Number of adults and children who will be staying at the facility.
Then click on the blue “Search” button to see the options that Booking.com will show you.
This is the page that you’ll see.
The search results page is very intuitive, isn’t it?
On the right, you will find the accommodation of the city you have searched for, with various scores based on the evaluation of users who have already stayed there:
- Overall rating (the one in the blue box next to the name of the facility),
- Number of reviews written by users,
- Rating of the location of the facility.
So, you can already get an idea of which hotels you can put on the “list of candidates” to book.
|We usually do like this:
Based on these scores we open other windows in the browser with those hotels that have the best scores with a cost that is within our budget. (to do this, click the right mouse button + “open in a new window”).
After that we go to evaluate hotel by hotel by reading the specifications of the hotels on each page.
? Search filters
A very useful function are the filters: by clicking on the various boxes, Booking.com will automatically notify you of the hotels that offer that particular service.
We want a hotel that costs a maximum of 100 euros per night, with breakfast included, that is at least a three-stars hotel and with free cancellation because we are not sure of having vacation day.
? Sorting the search by:
We always use this function! Above the search results, you have some buttons that allow you to sort (not filter, attention) based on parameters:
- Our top picks: show the accommodation recommended by Booking.com first,
- Show homes first: if you want to stay in an apartment,
- Price (lowest first): self-explanatory,
- Review score and price: it will be displayed the accommodation that cost less and have obtained a higher score based on user reviews,
- Stars: self-explanatory,
- Top reviews: you will first see the hotels that have obtained the best reviews, without looking at the price,
- Distance from city center: hotels near the city center will be shown first.
Personally, we always order by “Distance from city center” and then apply the filters on the “Free cancellation” and “Breakfast included” and then we search for the accommodation we like the most.
? Map view
Another function we use to understand the location of the hotel is the map.
Once on the search results page (previously described) you can click on the “Map view“ button, the red box in the picture.
It will open a map of the city with some placeholders that represent the position of each hotel in the Booking.com search results.
What to do now?
Click on the placeholders on the map and the hotel page will automatically open for you to book. You can also insert the filters that we have previously described to remove from the map some hotels that you do not want to see.
? Guest review section
Before selecting the accommodation, the reviews written on Booking.com by other users are fundamental, indeed super fundamental.
We trust hotels but we trust even more those who have stayed there.
For this reason, we always read many reviews in order to be sure that we have chosen the right accommodation.
Now that we have seen how to search in the best way possible using all the functions available on the platform, it is time to cut to chase:
Once you’ve chosen the hotel, you have to book, don’t you?
Keep reading for all the details on how to book.
How to book a hotel with Booking.com: detailed guide
Perfect, we have chosen our hotel, click now on the name of the hotel to open the page about the accommodation information.
As you can see from the image above, you will have a summary with all the main information regarding the hotel:
- Brief description of the hotel,
- Where it is located,
- Distance from the main points of interest,
- What other customers found good or bad
- What hotel guests love.
Scrolling down the page and you will find all the accommodation solutions that the hotel offers you:
- Room types (single, double, apartments etc.),
- Type of accommodation (full board, half board, all inclusive),
- Solutions with or without free cancellation
You can see an example below, all the pages dedicated to the rooms of the various accommodations on Booking.com are exactly like this.
Okay you have chosen your room and the formula (half board etc.).
Can you book?
Yes, you can but we invite you to take another step before doing it.
At the top of the hotel page, there are useful sections to consult just before booking which provide you with further information, for example:
- Children behavior,
- Check-in and check-out times,
- Any additional costs
? Services tabs
This is the summary sheet of all the services offered by the accommodation you have chosen. Here you can see if there are the services that you need for your stay.
? House rules
Very important section that summarizes the essential information for a stay in any hotel:
- Check in and check out times,
- Information on cancellation options,
- Payment information,
- Children information.
? The fine print
Other important information, it is the section that is different from accommodation to accommodation.
Here each hotel writes the special conditions to stay in their hotel and that therefore every customer should know to avoid unpleasant inconveniences during the stay.
Now that you know everything (absolutely everything!) Choose the room and the solution that best satisfies your needs and click on the “Reserve” button to go to the booking screen.
? Booking.com: the last step
After clicking the “Reserve” button, the page will open to allow you to enter your personal data.
The first time you use Booking.com the site will ask you if you want to save your personal data in your account to make these operations faster from the second time on.
Give your consent in order to not have to re-enter all the data every time.
Once you have entered all the data, click the “Next: final details” button.
Another window will open where you will have to enter your phone number but above all your payment details.
As for the payment methods you have two options:
- Pay later: you will not have to pay anything when booking. You will pay either directly on the day of check-in at the hotel, or a few days before the stay, the hotel will charge the total amount on the credit card you provided
- Pay now: you will immediately pay the full amount, useful for those who want to immediately get done with it and not have to worry during the holiday
If you choose the first case, even if you do not pay anything at the time of booking, it may happen (it depends on the hotel) that you will be charged a small amount (like 1-2 euro) to verify that the card you have entered is valid.
Once this check is made, the money will be charged back to you in the following days.
? Payment methods
Whatever you choose you will still have to lock your room.
You will then need to enter a valid payment method.
You can choose between:
- Credit / prepaid card (no debit card): enter your credit card details,
- Paypal: if you have an account, select this option. You will be redirected to the Paypal site where you can proceed with the payment.
Have you chosen the payment method and entered your details?
The last thing you need to do is press the blue “Complete booking” button and Booking.com will confirm the reservation by sending the booking request to the hotel.
You will see a booking confirmation message with the summary of everything. In addition, you will receive a booking confirmation email.
Booking App mobile version, does anything change??
The app is really well done, so much well done that we practically no longer use the computer to book our stays!
In addition, the app can be quickly used even while traveling: we used it for an emergency in Lisbon when we had our return flight to Milan canceled and it was 10pm.
What did we do then?
We took out our smartphone, opened the Booking.com app and immediately blocked a room in a hotel next to the airport where we spent the night.
Here below you will find a brief overview of the app, the available functions are exactly the same as the computer version that we have described so far.
? Mobile Booking.com app
Once you open the app, first thing you’ll see is the Booking.com home page, which, as you can see, is very similar to the computer one, only optimized for viewing on a smartphone screen.
Search by entering where you want to go, dates and number of people and click “Search“. The search results page will immediately open.
Select the hotel you want by filtering and ordering with the buttons at the top (the operation is the same as the computer version described above) and click on the hotel you have chosen. It is useful to read some reviews -as we said before-
If you click, you’ll be able to see all the options you have, as shown below.
So, choose the solution you prefer:
- Half board, all-inclusive etc.
- Type of room: single, double, apartment etc.
Click on “Select” and then on “Reserve” to go to the payment page.
On the first page you will have to enter your personal data:
- Name and surname;
- State of residence;
- Telephone number;
- Reason for travel (work or leisure)…
On the second page, you will only have to check that all the data are correct, both your personal and travel data (data check in and check out, number of people etc.). Then click on the blue “Next step” button to go to the last page.
On the third page you will have to enter your credit/prepaid card details (no debit card) in order to book your room in the selected accommodation and click on the blue “Reserve” button.
You will receive a booking confirmation by email.
Benefits of using Booking.com to book accommodation
We always use Booking.com to book our accommodations essentially for these reasons:
- Free cancellation – book now and if you change your mind you can cancel without penalties;
- 24/7 customer service – they respond in less than 24 hours;
- Intuitive interface and ease of use – the site and app are very intuitive and easy to use and this is always one of the reasons why we prefer a site over another;
- Lowest price guarantee on the market – if you find the same accommodation on another site at a lower price, communicate it to Booking and after their verification they will offer you the same price;
- Genius Promotions– Booking.com loyalty program that provides many discounts and incentives…
We want to talk briefly about these last two points.
? We Price Match
Did you find a better price on another site?
No problem, Booking.com will offer you the same economic conditions with all the advantages that this platform can give you.
Cool, isn’t it?
Remember to write to Booking.com immediately and at least 24 hours before check-in. Below you will find all the conditions to get a refund of the price differences.
? Genius loyalty program
This loyalty program is activated automatically after a certain number of confirmed reservations (stays that you have actually completed) and it is composed of two levels:
- Genius Level 1: basic advantages,
- Genius Level 2: benefits of Level 1 + some exclusive
We ourselves are Genius Level 2 as the figure below testifies and we have used many Genius advantages that Booking.com has offered us, such as upgrading to a higher category room.
Everything is automatic, once you are Genius 2, and you are choosing the room, the prices will be shown lower for the superior solution and therefore you will only have to choose it.
Ready to book the stay for your holiday?
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