Tech corner

Making the most of Booking.com

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Established in 1996, Booking.com has come a long way from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Whether travelling for business or leisure, customers can rely on Booking.com to instantly book their ideal accommodation quickly and easily. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the best deals when finding a hotel.

Get a Booking.com genius status

Booking.com genius is the name of the loyalty status used on the website. To achieve this, you only need to book through the site five times within two years, which is easy if you’re an avid traveller. Just make sure you’re always logging in with the same username every time you book.

Some of the benefits of achieving genius status include 10% discount on bookings, earlier and later checkout times, and access to the special Booking.com phone number for quicker bookings.

 

Make your bookings at the last minute

If you’re a lone traveller or looking to go away with friends who have a flexible schedule, waiting to make your accommodation booking until the very last moment often makes the experience much more affordable. This means you’ll have more money to spend on treating yourself and sampling the best of what your chosen location has to offer.

Hotels usually offer last-minute discounts starting from 20% and sometimes plummet all the way down to 70%, so you could even end up in a nicer place than your budget would normally allow.

 

Use the search features to their full potential

Using the filter feature on Booking.com helps you to ensure that you’re able to find exactly what you need for your trip. For example, if you don’t have a specific location in mind, use the location score from around 7 or 8 upwards. Doing this will give you a wider area and help in finding a good location that you may have never heard of.

Another feature you can search by is stars and accommodation types, so you only see locations that previous bookers have rated as excellent. There are other more generic filters to search by too, such as whether or not the hotel includes a gym, breakfast or Wi-Fi.

 

Check the ratings

If the price of a hotel seems too good to be true, chances are it is. Don’t drop your standards while hunting for secret deals, as in the long run it’s likely the money saved won’t be worth the experience.

Always check the hotel ratings and the reviews from previous bookers so you know exactly what you’re going to get. You can usually find a variety of hotels for different budgets with scores around 8, so a higher rating doesn’t always mean unaffordable luxury.

 

Look out for sneaky additional costs

If you don’t do a decent job of checking what’s included in the price of your hotel stay, it can really come back to bite you in the future. Some common costs that you have to pay extra for include breakfast, Wi-Fi access, and sometimes even heating in your room.

If these are features you’re looking for, make sure that you check how much they’ll set you back and book them before you arrive at your destination to avoid having to shell out more than you were prepared for at the check-in desk. Something else to look for is additional taxes or fees that need paying at the hotel, with the USA often being a destination with this added cost (well worth it though).

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