Finding the right place to stay sometimes doesn’t look as easy as it really is. Making an online booking on Booking.com can seem like a though job too. There are so many types of stays, many options to add and so many filters. Filling in the place, dates and how many person is an easy step, but then what? That is why I want to share with my lovely readers how to book on Booking.com
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When location is key
My number one rule is to choose a location and stick to it.
If you don’t really mind where your accommodation is situated, skip this part and go to how to use the filters below.
When you are deciding on a place to stay, some factors to help would be:
- pick a neighbourhood you like or was recommended
- pick a strategic spot where moving around would be easier, for example near a subway or train station
- pick a point near most attractions you want to see during your visit
- stay near the airport if you prefer, but ALWAYS check how far your airport is from the center you want to visit and how to get there
After you chose your desired location, using the Map View on the top right corner above the accommodations listed will be your buddy. Click on it and zoom in till you have the area you want to stay in.
Every blue point is a place. If you click on them you have a short preview of the stay and can even swipe through some photos. If you want the full information, just click on the view button and voila. Booking.com opens new properties in a new tab so that is super practical and organised. Next step is applying the filters on the left column.
The screenshots are examples with my city Antwerp as the destination.
Using the filters
Time to tick off some points on that filter list!
Budget and Property Type
First I always select a budget. A tip is to calculate for yourself how much you want or can spend per night for a place to stay. Then select your max and the ones below.
If you don’t want to stay in a hostel, or a guest house, I suggest you to tick off hotels only. But offcourse maybe you only want hostels… this is something personal as well. Just leave it blank if it doesn’t really matter what type it is.
Lately Booking.com has many appartements that are also on AirBnb. Read the description of the property! Sometimes they do not have receptions and you need to get the key somewhere or you have other instructions.
Stars or Review Score
I usually don’t really look at the stars. I like to sort my list by review score and to see how many reviews they have in total. I sometimes go through the first page of the reviews too before making my final decision. In the filters you can already mark how high you want the reviews to be.
Honestly I never book a place lower than a 8.0 on Booking.com. Only if the place I want to go doesn’t really have THAT much to offer and you kinda have to pick something as close as…
Depending on what my plans are, I usually tick off the breakfast included. If I know I will leave early or that I will prefer looking around for breakfast instead I don’t bother ticking it off. It is a personal preference if you want breakfast or not. When you are not sure, you usually can book it extra on spot anyway.
As a receptionist, I even prefer that people confirm at the check-in if they want breakfast or not. Also read well before booking your room if it is included or not. One thing that annoys me is when people go “But I booked with breakfast!!” and offcourse they did not…
Facilities and others
The most important filters are ticked off, now this is when you really want that extra. A pool, spa, pet friendly, free WIFI, …
Look through that list if there is something you MUST have, if not just leave it be and let’s check out some hotels and photos!
Booking the best room type
When you are on a property information page with the description and photos. Look at them! But not only that, scroll down to see the availability for your dates and the room types! Per type you have the corresponding pictures of that type of room.
On the screenshot below at the number 1, you can click on “Double Room” to see the pictures.
Make sure you select the right one before booking. This could be a standard two person room with a double bed, or standard one with two seperate beds. But you can also check their “better” types. If you prefer that one the price could be higher, but it could outmatch an other hotel standard price room.
So I ALWAYS check all the types they have and decide which one that I would love to stay in.
ps: this is the place you doublecheck if your breakfast is included or not before booking. Another important thing here are the cancellation policies and if you pay in advance or at the property!
Saving in a list for later
A feature I love on Booking is that they can save properties on a list for later. So use this to your advantage. Save all the places you fancy. You don’t really need an account to save, but I highly recommend to register your own account first if you haven’t already.
Booking.com gives your account a genius status after you completed 5 bookings with them. Meaning you actually stayed at the places and did not cancel. This is a great extra.
You get more % off and other daily deals. If you have this status, you can select at the filters or select your list according your .genius deals.
On the screenshot above you could see the genius reduction of -10%, which is the standard genius deal that you have at every booking.
Download their app!
This is suuuuuuch an easy app to use! You can look for accommodations as easy as on the computer , you can see your reservations and all the information you need from it or check out your saved lists to dream on a bit more before booking. I don’t think I could live without it anymore.
That is about it! I hope my little Booking.com guide helps you next time you look for that perfect stay!