How to use: Booking.com

What is Booking.com?
Booking.com is a platform for booking accommodations that offers a range of options beyond just lodging, but I will focus solely on accommodations since that’s the primary reason I use the site. With 28 million accommodations available in almost every country around the world, in 43 languages, and an easy online booking system, along with a loyalty program and free cancellation options, it’s my go-to site for finding accommodations. The site lists all services offered by the accommodation, and previous customers leave reviews that can provide useful insights into what to expect from your booking.

Booking.com offers a vast array of accommodations, from high-end hotels, apartments, and houses, to jungle lodges, treehouses, and affordable dorms. Regardless of what type of place you’re looking for, you’ll find it on Booking.com.

Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links to booking partners, if you make a booking through my link with them I get a commission with no extra costs for you. This way you support my travel budget so I can keep gathering valuable travel information for you. Thanks for your support.

How does Booking.com work?
To book accommodations, users can simply search for their desired location and/or dates, and available accommodations in that area will be listed. After finding the perfect place to stay, booking it is easy, and the hosts will be ready to welcome you when you arrive. All you need is your booking reference and identification.

Create a Booking.com account:
To get started with Booking.com, it’s best to create an account. This will make future bookings more straightforward, and with the Genius loyalty program, you’ll receive rewards for every booking you make. Additionally, the account can link bookings made on your computer to the app. To create an account, click on the “Register” button located in the top right corner of your screen.


To register, enter your “Email address” and click “Continue with email“. Alternatively, you can register with Facebook, Google, Phone, or Apple by clicking on the corresponding logo and signing in. We will focus on the registration by email.


Once you’ve entered your email address, create a password and fill it in both the “Create password” and “Confirm password” boxes. Then click “Create account” to finish the registration process.

Congratulations, you’ve created your Booking.com account! You should receive a confirmation email shortly.

To complete your account information, click on your account name or the “Your account” button located in the top right corner of your screen. From there, you can manage your account and update your personal information as needed.

You are now ready to book your first accommodation!

 

Booking.com for Dummies:
To search for accommodations, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Enter a destination, region, city, address, or even the property name or address where you want to stay.
Step 2: Enter your “Check-in” and “Check-out” dates.
Step 3: Select the number of “Adults” and “Children” traveling with you, and the number of Rooms you need. Rooms stands for bedrooms.
Step 4: I’m looking for an entire house of apartment: If you’re looking for an entire apartment or house instead of a room, select that option. We’ll skip the “I’m traveling for work” option since we’re focusing on leisure travel.
Click “Search“.


A list of available accommodations for the specified dates and area will be displayed.

On the left side, you can adjust your selection of destination, dates, and the number of people. The “Sort by” option enables you to sort the results by various criteria such as Most Recommended (for solo travelers), Distance from City Center, Best Reviewed and Lowest Price, Price (lowest first), Top Reviewed, Homes and Apartments First, Property Rating and Price, Property Rating (high to low), and Property Rating (low to high). Genius Deals are also available, and more information about them will be provided later. Select the option that suits you the most as all the results will be the same, just listed in a different way. You can close this option by clicking on the “X” in the top right corner.


The “Filter by” option allows you to further filter the results based on your preferences. You can select your price category per night under “Your Budget (per night)“. A long list of other filters is available, and selecting any of them will show only the results that meet those preferences. These filters include Popular Filters, Facilities, Meals, Reservation Policy, Property Type, Star Rating, Distance from Center of…, District, Review Score, Brands, Number of Beds, Bed Preference, Private Bathrooms, Room Facilities, Fun Things to Do, Sustainability, Landmarks, Property Accessibility, and Rooms Accessibility. Each category has multiple options to select from. The more options you select, the fewer results will be shown. You can deselect all options by clicking on “Clear” in the top right corner. Finally, click on “Show Results“.


When you select “Show on Map” a Google Map will appear displaying the location of all accommodations in the area, along with their prices. The more you zoom in, the more results you will see. If you click on a price, the hotel link will pop up. This feature enables you to find the exact location of your hotel on the map and the facilities offered nearby.


Regardless of the selections you make, you will be presented with a list of results, as shown in the following images. The Accommodation Name appears at the top, followed by the Rating number, ranging from 1 to 10, and the number of Reviews. More information about the rating number and reviews will be provided later. The Distance from the city center is displayed immediately below the rating number, while on a computer, a Show on Map option is available instead of the distance. Sustainability and Room Information are also available below the distance info. The Full Price of the booking is displayed on the right, with a side note about possible taxes and charges. If there are only a few rooms left, Rooms are left on Booking.com will be shown in red text. If other options are available, they will appear in green text, such as FREE cancellationBreakfast includedNo prepayment neededPay at property, etc. This information is vital in deciding whether or not the accommodation is suitable for you. If you have a Booking.com account, you can add favorite locations by clicking on the heart icon on the picture. If an accommodation is sold out, Booking.com may still display prices for other available dates.


After selecting the accommodation, you will be presented with more detailed information, such as an Excellent location that can be displayed on a map. The Photo Album and Guest Reviews are particularly essential when making a decision. Additionally, Booking.com offers a Price Match guarantee, meaning that if you find the same room at a lower price, we will match it. Click on the Price Match option for more information. Beneath the photo album, important accommodation options are listed, which are worth considering before finalizing your reservation.


Reviews are one of the most crucial aspects of this platform, as they are written by guests who have actually stayed in the accommodation. We understand that each person has different standards, but the more reviews there are, the better you can grasp the overall experience. In this case, the accommodation has received 3,222 guest reviews with an impressive rating of 8.6 out of 10, earning it a Fabulous rating. You can also find detailed ratings on Location, Cleanliness, Value for money, Staff, Facilities, Comfort and Free Wi-Fi, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of what to expect during your stay.


It gets even better! In addition to the star ratings, every guest who has stayed at the accommodation can leave a written review, providing further insight into their personal experience. This way, you can read what real guests have to say about their stay and make a more informed decision. However, the only way to truly experience the accommodation is by being a guest yourself!



Now that we’ve explained the review system, let’s continue with booking your accommodation. Before clicking on “Reserve“, please take a moment to browse additional information about the location of the accommodation and its most popular facilities. Be sure to scroll down to view more room details and options before proceeding to the reservation page.

A range of Accommodation Types, each with a brief overview of their features (click on the Accommodation Type for more details) will be listed. The number of Sleeps indicates the number of people included in the price. For example, one person can book a full room for 4 people, but the price will remain the same. The Today’s Price reflects the current cost if you book today. Please note that prices may vary depending on the exchange rate if you choose to pay upon arrival in a different currency. Your Choices present different options such as payment, breakfast, and free cancellation, all at varying prices for the same room. Select the number of guests in the Select Beds section, and when you are satisfied with your selection, click on “I’ll Reserve” to proceed to the reservation page. For those who want more information, scroll down to see Guest reviews, Property Questions & Answers, Property Surroundings, Facilities, and House Rules. We highly recommend reading the House Rules before booking to ensure a smooth stay.

The House Rules outline important information such as Check-in and Check-out times, Cancellation and Prepayment policies, Child and Extra Bed policies, Age restrictions, Pet policies, and Accepted Payment methods. It’s worth noting that these rules may differ from one accommodation to another.

The Reservation Page:
Please double-check your booking details to ensure they are accurate. Read the Price Summary and the Payment Schedule carefully. The ‘How much will it cost to cancel‘ section will provide you with the exact cancellation fee. If all the information and the accommodation details are correct, proceed to ‘Your Details.’ If you have an existing account, just sign in. Ignore the ‘Travelling for work’ option and enter Your First Name, Last Name, and Email Address in the appropriate fields. If the booking is for you, select ‘I am the main guest‘. Otherwise, select the ‘Booking is for someone else‘ (you will need to enter the guest’s name later).

Please verify if the room information displayed is correct. In case you are not the primary guest, please fill in the “Full Guest Name” field. The “Add to Your Stay” option enables you to include additional features, however, since our main focus is on booking your accommodation, we will skip this step. If you have any Special Requests, you can mention them in the designated field, and the accommodation will respond to you via email. If you know your estimated time of arrival (in the local time zone), please provide this information in the “Arrival Time” field. We recommend doing so if you anticipate arriving late at night.

Once you filled in and double checked all information, click the ‘Next: Final details‘ button to complete your booking!


To complete your booking, please ‘Enter your address‘ in the appropriate fields. Don’t forget to provide your Phone number, and make sure to select the correct country code. If you select ‘Yes, I’d like paperless confirmation,’ a text message with a link to download the app will be sent to your phone. You can log in to the app using your email and password. However, whether you select this option or not, you will still receive an email containing your booking confirmation and details. If you have created a booking.com account, selecting ‘Update my account with these new details‘ will save your information for future bookings.

For this reservation, the accommodation requires credit card information to finalize the booking process. Please fill in the Cardholder’s Name, Card Type (Mastercard or Visa), Card Number, Expiry Date, and the CVC Code. You have the option to Add this credit card to your account for faster bookings in the future. The same applies to the marketing options. Once all the necessary details are provided, you can choose to either ‘Check Your Booking‘ one last time or ‘Complete Booking‘ by clicking the respective button.
Congratulations!! If you did everything correct, you have booked your accommodation! You should receive a confirmation email shortly.

Genius Loyalty Program:
The Genius Loyalty Program offers free lifetime access to rewards at more than 390.000 participating properties worldwide. Level 1 will be reached after 2 stays within 2 years and awards with 10% discounts at participating properties. Level 2 will be reached after 5 stays within 2 years and awards with 15% discounts, Free Breakfasts and Free Room Upgrades at participating properties. Level 3 will be reached after 15 stays within 2 years and awards with 20% discounts, Free Breakfasts, Free Room Upgrades at participating properties and Priority support.

By signing up for a Booking.com account, you can join the Genius program and earn rewards for future bookings. It’s a great way to save money and get more out of your travels.

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