Growing from a small Dutch startup to one of the world’s leading online travel agents, Booking.com is no stranger to travelers when making plans for their trip. The online travel platform connects hotels and their potential guests in every part of the world. So Is booking.com a legit & reliable site? Does booking.com price match? This blog will be my booking.com review and beside that I will clarify What is booking.com app and How to use booking.com.
1. What is booking.com app? Why use booking.com?
Before review booking.com, let’s me tell you some information about this online travel agent:
- What is booking.com
- Why use booking.com
1.1. What is booking.com app?
Founded in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com is an online travel agent (OTA) that mediates between hotels, guesthouses, vacation rentals and travelers who wish to find accommodation for their upcoming trips.
Hotels and hosts offer their accommodations through the website and mobile apps, while travelers use the search function to set what they are looking for and book directly.
Keep in mind that nobody gives anything for free. When a booking is completed, Booking.com will receive commission from hotels, guesthouses, vacation rentals. And booking.com is one of the OTA that take the highest amount of commission among OTAs.
1.2. Why use booking.com?
There is no doubt that booking.com is one of the most popular online travel agents in the world and everyone is using it everyday. Here are some reasons why you should use booking.com:
The online booking platform is available in 43 languages and offers a total of more than 28 million accommodation listings which is bigger than any other online travel agents in the world.
Booking Holdings, the holding company of Booking.com has been successful so far whose total revenues for the full year 2022 were $17.1 billion, an increase of 56% from the prior years (even better than that before Covid-19 pandemic).
Booking.com also has a loyalty program, called Genius, which adds some add-on values to travelers.
As a Genius Member Level 2, I got a little discount for room rate and also a free breakfast which cost €3 for normal guests during my stay in Rome.
2. You-need-to-know things before using booking.com
2.1. Is booking.com a legit & reliable site?
Is booking a legit & reliable site? Yes it is very very reliable (I have to double the “very”). There is nothing to worry about when making a reservation on booking.com. Because never had a big company dare to cheat their customers. If they do so, their business would be badly affected.
However it doesn’t mean that there are no problems when using booking.com. Some common issues to be encountered, including:
- The property does not receive the booking confirmation
- False information from the property
- The property cancels your booking without advance notice
- The property is overbooked and they change you to another property
- The Credit card is charged two times
If these things happen, you should contact booking.com to report or to ask for compensation (make sure to provide relevant evidence).
2.2. Are all properties on booking.com legit?
As I mentioned in the previous part, booking through Booking.com carries a higher risk of issues than booking directly as it acts as a middleman between the traveler and the host. So the question is “Are all properties on booking.com legit?”.
If a property wants to be listed on booking.com, it has to be registered and verified by the booking.com staff. If the property doesn’t meet requirements, it will not be listed on booking.com. Therefore, there is nothing to be worried about.
However, before making a reservation on any property on booking.com, be sure to check its score and the review. I always booked the property whose score was above 7.5 on booking.com. For those who score below 7.5, I will read the review also to clarify.
2.3. Does booking.com price match?
Does booking.com price match? My answer is YES and NO. I know that you will be confused when seeing this, however it has a reason behind:
– YES. If an accommodation makes a large amount of revenue on booking.com, the host will definitely want to make some promotion to attract more customers. So it is no stranger that booking.com holds the best price among other online travel agents.
– NO. If an accommodation is unable to make any or less profit on booking.com, there is no reason for them to offer a good price on this platform.
As a result, it is always recommended to check the price on other online travel agents before making the reservation on booking.com.
3. How to use booking.com?
Now I will show you how to use booking.com to book an accommodation for your holiday.
STEP 1: Choose your place
First choose your next destination and preferred date. If you already have the name of the accommodation in your mind, just “google” and the result will appear.
STEP 2: Find your accommodation
I always find the accommodation in Map mode as it helps me to know the location of the accommodation. Once the map appears, you can use the filter function to narrow the result.
STEP 3: Choose your option
After finding an ideal accommodation, you will see the accommodation’s option with prices. Make sure to sign in if you are a Genius Member to unlock special prices or privileges.
STEP 4: Book your accommodation
Make sure to double check all information, especially the terms & conditions before finalizing your booking confirmation.
For example: Check the cancellation policies if you just want to book a room to secure the best price. Sometimes my friend books a room to apply for a visa, instead of choosing the free cancellation option, they book the non-refundable.
Once the booking is made, a confirmation will be sent to your email or phone number. A useful tip is using the booking.com app to better manage all your bookings.
STEP 5: Stay at your chosen accommodation
It’s time and you can stay at your chosen accommodation. However, not all the bookings “go in the right direction”.
During my trip to Cairo, the host of my accommodation called us upon arrival and notified us that the accommodation was fully booked. And they changed us to the nearby accommodation which was far worse.
If these things happen, please capture the relevant evidence and report to booking.com.
STEP 6: Leave your review
After your stay, booking.com will send an email reminding you to leave a review. Leaving a review is up to you. However, I strongly recommended leaving a review as it will be a reference for other guests.
4. An ultimate Booking.com review
4.1. Booking.com Review
– The largest online travel agent (OTA) in the world with a huge number of hotels, resorts, guest houses and apartments listed.
– Smart and user-friendly design
– Genius Loyalty Program gives some add-on for travelers during their stay
– Not always price match
– Customer Services only operate during office hours.
– There might be some unexpected issues when making a reservation: the property does not receive the booking confirmation, the property cancels your booking without advance notice, and the credit card is charged two times…
MY RATE: 7/10
4.2. Is booking.com Genius worth it?
Genius is booking.com’s loyalty program which gives some add-on for travelers. Once you complete the first reservation on booking.com, you will become Genius Level 1.
There are 3 levels for Genius members. you can find the benefit for each level below:
- Genius Level 1: 10% discount on room rate
- Genius Level 2: 10% discount on room rate, Free Breakfast, Free Upgrade
- Genius Level 3: 10% discount on room rate, Free Breakfast, Free Upgrade, Support 24/7
In my opinion, booking.com Genius is worth every penny. As it costs you nothing, but gives you “a little but a lot of add-on benefits to make your trip more comfortable.
4.3. Booking.com vs Agoda vs Traveloka
So the question is which is the best OTAs Booking.com or Agoda or Traveloka. Let’s make some comparisons to clarify.
First and foremost, Booking.com and Agoda target different markets which results in their business strategy. Since Agoda prioritizes the display of price, you will see a cheaper price on this OTA. But wait a minute and take a second look. Does the price include tax or not? There are many times when Agoda makes me and my friends confused.
Being classified as a unicorn company and the largest online travel app in Southeast Asia, Traveloka must have remarkable unique selling points compared to other OTAs. They are flexible payment methods and an abundance of promotions. However, Traveloka is only active in six countries which means that not many people know about this platform.
So in my opinions, Booking.com outweighs Agoda and Traveloka.
5. Summary: Booking.com review – What is booking.com and How to use
5.1. Tips to use Booking.com
– Search for accommodation through the app as some hotels have a “mobile-only price” that is cheaper compared to that on the website.
– Always check the price on other online travel agents and hotel websites before making the reservation as booking.com is not always price match.
– Once the confirmation is made, contact your accommodation to double check whether they receive the booking or not.
– Use the booking.com app to better manage all your bookings.
Booking.com is one of the most essential apps which I use to plan every single trip. It makes my trip easier, safer, and more convenient without a doubt.
This is my review for booking.com. If you need any further information, kindly see other posts in my blog:
– MUST-USE WEBSITE TO PLAN YOUR NEXT TRIP –