Planning your next adventure but unsure of where to start? You've probably come across Booking.com, one of the biggest online travel marketplaces in the world.
Founded in the mid-90s, Booking.com started as a small Dutch start-up in Amsterdam and grew to one of the world's largest leading digital travel companies with over 28 million accommodations for users worldwide.
As a marketplace with the goal of making travel easier for everyone, let's see whether this site truly lives up to its name.
What Is Booking.com?
Booking.com is a one-stop shop for reserving flights, unique experiences, and everything in between. This online travel marketplace allows you to compare companies, prices, and dates all in one place. The idea is to make trip planning convenient and effortless.
Using a travel marketplace is an excellent way for finding the best deals. You can compare Booking.com with other travel deal sites such as Expedia, Priceline, and Orbitz.com. In this post, we'll dive into what you can expect when you choose to use Booking.com, and whether it's worth using.
So, does Booking.com sound too good to be true? Let's find out!
A Little Bit of History
Since its humble beginnings in the mid-90s, Booking.com has since expanded its offices to more than 4 countries including the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany. In 2006, Booking.com was acquired by The Priceline Group, an online travel agency, ultimately helping the company expand to including more than 6.5 million options for accommodations worldwide.
With its main headquarters in Amsterdam, Booking.com is currently available in over 40+ different languages and dialects and boasts over 185+ verified guest reviews.
How Does Booking.com Work?
Booking.com makes it easy to find exactly what you're looking for. First, select the tab you want. Choose from flights, stays, car rentals, or attractions. After entering your preferred dates, locations, and the number of guests. Search results will appear, allowing you to browse hundreds of options.
You can use the service through a computer or download the free app for IOS and Android.
Each listing includes a rating from 1-10, along with user reviews. You can also filter options based on budget, sustainability, and safety. It's an easy-to-use site with many filters to help you find your perfect booking.
There's also a 24/7 customer support center to turn to should anything go wrong during the pre to post-booking process. Always read the small print before you book anything! For example, if you book into a spa hotel but don't read the small print that says the spa is closed for renovation, there is nothing that customer service can do if you complain. Always check before you book so you won't be disappointed!
Booking.com for Travel Inspiration
Booking.com also offers travel inspiration. It includes a list of popular destinations by month with a list of unique properties to explore. This is a great option if you are trying to decide between destinations or if you are just looking for ideas.
The attractions tab lists hundreds of cities around the world and some of the best things you can do there. You can choose a city, scroll through the experiences, then book the attraction directly. This is perfect for those who don't want to wade through dozens of sites trying to find the best tours or attractions to visit.
If you're feeling adventurous but not sure what you're after, you can try the Booking.com trip planner. Pick a vibe for whatever you're feeling - whether that be romance, the outdoors, or the beach. The planner will then find destinations that match. After choosing your destination, it will take you through flight and hotel options.
To dig deeper into trip planners, check out this review of the newest trip planner apps you should try.
The Booking.com Genius Discount
A big plus of using Booking.com is the Genius program. It offers exclusive perks to Booking.com members that use the site frequently. Members earn Genius points for each booking made on Booking.com. The more you book, the more points you earn.
Some of the benefits include access to exclusive deals and discounts, a dedicated customer service hotline, plus the ability to save preferences for future bookings.
The Booking.com Genius program is great for frequent travelers looking for a more rewarding travel experience. If you do decide to use Booking.com, make sure you take advantage of it.
Booking.com Travel Communities
Booking.com has a travel communities page, where you can connect with over 1 million other members. Ask questions, share experiences, and get advice from local experts known as "Travel Ambassadors." It's a great resource if you love travel chat!
What Are People Saying About Booking.com?
The reviews of Booking.com are mixed, with opinions on both sides of the spectrum. However, the Booking.com app is currently #8 in Travel for IOS, with a 4.8/5 rating and over 821,000 reviews – that's pretty good!
Travelers praise the helpful customer service and the ability to find the best rates. However, negative reviews mention inaccurate bookings and payment issues. Some users also report bad experiences with hotels booked through Booking.com.
While there are some negative reviews, it's hard to determine whether these customers had a bad experience with the service or the individual hotels. Overall, the reception for Booking.com tends to be positive, with many repeat users.
Is Booking.com Worth It?
If you want a straightforward, easy-to-use experience, Booking.com might be for you. You'll find the best deals, get travel inspiration, and be able to find advice from seasoned travelers all in one place.
Be aware that Booking.com does not have complete control over the quality of the accommodation or experience you book. They provide reviews and ratings so that you can use your best judgment when booking, but can't always help if things go wrong.
Keep in mind the Booking.com customer service team for when you travel. They can try to help if any snags or unplanned events happen on your trip.
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- Easy to use
- Travel planner and communities
- Genius program for frequent travelers
- 24/7 customer service
- Experiences may differ from reviews
- Some negative customer reviews
- Important to read the small print
Ready for Your Next Adventure?
Travel marketplace sites like Booking.com and Skyscanner can help make planning your next trip a breeze.
Once you know where you're going, it's time to plan your itinerary! For that, why not try an app like Pilot?