We went through all different options, how to find accommodation in this article. Now, let's have a look at one of the most popular search engines – Booking.com.
13 tips, how to search on Booking.com
1) Get Genius Booking.com status
If you have stayed at least twice in the last 2 years via Booking.com, you will get a so-called Genius status, which is a loyalty program. What are the advantages of Genius status?
- 10% discount on selected hotels
- Check-in 2 hours earlier
- Check-out 2 hours later
- Free airport shuttle (at selected hotels)
- Special phone line for your requests and comments
Getting Genius status is easy, so why not to take advantage of that.
2) Use filters and use them correctly
We absolutely love filters on Booking.com. When used properly, it saves you a lot of time and you will find exactly the perfect cheap accommodation you need.
- Budget – Set your budget.
- Location – do you care about location? If you don’t want to end up in a remote or less beautiful neighborhood, choose a location with a rating of at least 7 or 8.
- Distance from the center – set the maximum distance you want to be from the center.
- Star Rating – we personally don’t really care about star ratings because they often don’t really correspond with the real quality. It only means that the hotel meets some standards that are often not really important (such as a telephone in every room or a minibar).
- Free cancellation
- Breakfast included
- 24h reception desk – if you plan to arrive at night or don’t know the exact time of arrival.
- Parking – it may be difficult or expensive to park near some downtown hotels.
- Wi-Fi internet access – it’s not always commonplace.
- Double bed
- Entertainment – fitness, massage, sauna, walking tours, bicycle or motorbike rental and more.
3) Search on a map
If you don’t look at the map and accidentally book a cheap hotel which is far from the city center, you may then spend a lot of money and lose a lot of time just on traveling.
Booking.com allows efficient map search. First, filter out your main requirements and then choose a good compromise between price and distance based on the map.
4) Use dates recommendation function
Unfortunately, no accommodation search engine allows you to search with a flexible term, such as flights search engines.
Booking.com has at least a feature, which recommends cheaper dates. After your search, in case of popular dates, you will see a date suggestion bar above the results. You will see in which surrounding dates are the rooms cheaper. If you could be flexible, you can save some money.
5) Take advantage of free cancellation
Some hotels allow free cancellation. You can book the hotel and then look for last-minute deals and if something cheaper / better appears, you can cancel the original accommodation and book a new one.
Do you find this immoral? Believe that a lot of people do it and hotels count on it.
6) Beware of additional fees
Always look at what’s included in the price and what’s not. For example, air conditioning or heating is often not included in the price. If you come to the place and find out that there is extreme heat or you are freezing in the room and you want to pay for air conditioning or heating, then it will probably cost you more than sleeping in a better hotel, where everything is included in the price.
Another common additional fee is the city tax. Some hotels have extra charge for Wi-Fi internet, parking, fitness center and other services.
7) Take advantage of the lowest price guarantee on Booking.com
Booking.com provides the lowest price guarantee. So if you have, for example, already booked accommodation via Booking and have found a lower price for the same term at Agoda or any other search engine afterward, Booking will pay you a difference.
Download a Google Chrome extension – Gopher, which automatically searches other web engines for better deals.
8) Trust the reviews and read the comments
Hotel reviews aren’t on Booking.com for nothing. It’s always good to read them and trust them. Generally, people are not critical enough, therefore rating 7 out of 10 is quite below average. 6 is already bad. We recommend looking for accommodation with a rating of at least 7 and ideally at least 8.
On the contrary, getting 10 out of 10 is almost impossible and anything 9 or more is great.
The amount of ratings is also important. If the hotel has only 5 ratings, it can be biased.
Review comments also tell a lot. Especially comments on worse ratings. You will find the reason why the user assessed the stay negatively and what to watch out for. On the other hand, you may find that people give low ratings for the small details you don’t care about (such as too small towels).
9) Talk if something is wrong
If something doesn't match the description you've found on the web, don't let it go and talk. A special phone line for Genius Reward members is made exactly for these situations. Don't hesitate to call them.
If you try to deal with the situation directly with your hotel, the staff could often be reluctant to help you. If you call the Booking.com line, they should help you.
10) Avoid public holidays and popular dates
In popular dates (such as Easter, Christmas or New Year’s Eve), accommodation is usually more expensive and sold out well in advance. So try to avoid these dates. It is also good to find out when public holidays and school holidays are in the country you are traveling to and avoid these too.
Accommodation is also usually more expensive on weekends.
11) Book your hotel last minute
Hotels are trying to sell their unfilled rooms last minute. If you search for hotels sometime between 4pm and 8pm, you will often find 20% to 70% discounts. This way you can afford a much more luxurious hotel at the cost of a cheap hostel.
Beware! Do this only if there is a lot of accommodation possibilities in the area and not in the popular dates. It could also happen that everything will be sold out and you will pay significantly more.
12) Create an account and subscribe to email list
Not everyone enjoys signing up for email lists, but Booking.com sends limited offers with 50% discounts this way. So you can come across really good deals and plan a vacation based on them.
13) Download Booking.com mobile app
We definitely recommend downloading Booking.com mobile application for traveling. Firstly, you will have a clear overview of your accommodation and, secondly, you will have significantly easier re-booking, cancellation or re-ordering.
The app also allows you to easily contribute with ratings and comments on your stays.
Booking.com – 10% discount on your next stay
Would you like a discount? It's easy, just use this link to get a 10% discount on your first accommodation (if you don't already have an account, you need to create one).
If this blog post helped you, you can make us a favor and book your hotel using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and we will get a small commission, which we will use for further web improvement. Thank you! Just book here:
Check this great video about finding cheap accommodation:
More tips for your travels:
We have prepared for you this comprehensive list of links, discounts, and resources for travel planning in one place. Bookmark this page and whenever you plan a vacation in the future, just open it and save yourself a lot of time.
1) Where to book accommodation?
- We prefer to find an accommodation using Booking.com.
- It's also worth it to compare with AirBnb.
- Read also our guide - How to search for the best accommodation.
2) How to find cheap flights?
- We recommend searching for flights on Skyscanner.
- Read also our complete guide - How to find cheap flights.
3) How to rent a car?
- We recommend a comparison portal RentalCars.com to compare the best offers of all available rental companies.
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