There are a lot of sites to choose from when booking accommodations. There are some that I prefer more than others, and I have reasons why. There are a lot of sites like Orbitz, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, etc. There are also a number of vacation rental sites such as Homeaway.com, Airbnb, and even booking through TripAdvisor. There are pros and cons to each, and I’m not saying I’m an expert at all of the pros and cons of the sites. However, there are ones I prefer and use them on a more regular basis. I’d love to hear from you and see which sites you prefer.
For hotels and bed and breakfasts, I prefer to book through Booking.com. Here are my main reasons why:
|Booked this little gem through Booking.com
in the Lake District
1. You pay when you get there. Almost always you don’t have to pay until you arrive. There is no down-payment or money you have to put upfront.
2. Free cancellation. Most of the time, I can get a room that I can cancel within 48 hours of arrival. (Sometimes even 24 hours prior to arrival.) This gives me ease in booking things well in advance, and if things change I just cancel my reservation with no penalties. Booking.com has a lot of the smaller bed and breakfasts listed as well, instead of just the larger hotel chains which tend to flood sites like Expedia and Orbitz.
3. You can book as a link through TripAdvisor. If I’m looking at hotels through TripAdvisor and I put in my dates, it gives me options on which sites I can book through. Some hotels are listed on Orbitz, Expedia and Booking.com, some are only available through he hotel website.
4. Customer service. I booked a hotel in Edinburgh months in advance. Unfortunately, the hotel canceled our reservation on account of “being full.” Booking.com offered a few other places to stay at, but they didn’t have good reviews. I chose another place and then wrote a letter of complaint to them. They refunded us $50 for the extra cost to stay in another hotel. They credited our bank account quickly, which I appreciated. Even though that happened, I still felt that this site did due diligence to try and make things right.
For home rentals, I prefer Airbnb over some of the other sites. Here is why:
1. Better options. Frankly, you get better options on Airbnb. Some of the home rental sites are specific to vacation rentals and and seem more commercial. Airbnb has regular people renting out spaces in their homes, on their farms, in their tree houses, etc. You can find unique accommodation that you might not find anywhere else. Some of these places you may be hard pressed to find without this type of site.
2. Lower prices. Their prices are overall better. If you’re looking for a budget option, Airbnb is going to have more options than you would find on a vacation rental site. Some of the vacation rental options I’ve seen are the same as staying in a really nice Hampton Inn. If I wanted to pay $200 a night to stay somewhere, I’d stay a hotel that changes my sheets and makes me breakfast. I don’t mind making my own breakfast if I only have to pay $75 a night.
3. Review system. Not only do you get to review the places you’ve stayed, but they review you as well. Instead of them just allowing anyone to stay in their home, they can see that I’ve had some reviewers say that I left their place clean and was a good guest in their home. This keeps honesty between the renters and the clients which I think is a good system.