Everyone has a lot of questions about finding accommodation and this is a subject we’ll talk more about, so we can help you save on all aspects of your trip. Let’s start with a very useful lodging booking tool – and how to use it.
As you know, our primary mission is to help you save a lot of money on your flights, thanks to the great flight deals on our deals page.
We find the cheap flights… and we let you book your accommodation because it’s so much simpler that way. As you’ve read in our article about all the accommodation options when traveling, there are so many options, it’s impossible not to find something you like. There are literally thousands of lodging options in every destination. We see a lot of people who are worried about finding accommodation, but there is really no reason to be.
If you found a cheap airline ticket, buy it quickly (because deals always expire very fast), no need to find accommodation right away. Yes, you should always look at the accommodation options before, to get an idea of the prices in that city, because the price of accommodation varies enormously from one destination to another. A standard hostel can be $5 per night in some areas and $50 per night in others. A standard hotel can be $50 per night in some areas and $150 per night in others.
READ ALSO : The Cheapest Destinations To Travel To
But you do not need to book the hotel right away, hotel prices don’t really change, unless you’re at the very last minute or traveling in the peakest of peak periods. You should never book accommodation first and you can even wait a long time without any problem. Anyway, I’m getting off-topic, that’s not the subject of the article today, but I wanted to mention this to reassure you since we get a lot of comments about that.
For now, let’s go back to our favorite hotel search tool. In the same topic, you can also read our aforementioned overview of all types of accommodation for travelers, our introduction to Airbnb (with a link for $45 off your first stay) and our article on how great hostels are.
Our Hotel Tool
We actually offer you several booking tools for accommodation (just as we offer flight booking tools for when you need to fly somewhere that isn’t in our deals). We appreciate that you use our page for all your accommodation reservations, it doesn’t cost you an extra penny and it gives us a small commission so that we can continue to find you great deals and travel tips.
Thank you very much to everyone who supports us.
So, we have the Hostelworld tool (specialized for hostels), the tool for Hotels.com or Agoda.com (for those who prefer these interfaces) and finally the Booking.com tool, the most practical one because it has a lot of variety and many interesting filters to find exactly what you are looking for and especially… the best prices. We will tell you more about all these options, but in the meantime let’s concentrate on the Booking site tool.
Many of their hotels are often bookable without a credit card, so they can be cancelled without charge if you change your mind.
So click here and go down to the 4th tool (Booking.com) to access the tool to get started.
How It Works
You obviously start by entering your destination and your dates to launch a search.
Then you get to the main screen which looks like this.
Above the hotel options, you will notice “our top picks” in green. After I apply my desired filters, I always put the sorting option in order of price instead of an arbitrary order (the second option). Notice at the top right “show map”, which is also very practical, but not before you have entered some filters, because otherwise the map will be way too loaded. And below that, the results are listed.
This is a close-up of the top section, where you should change to “Lowest price first”, but only after setting filters, or else it resets to the default option.
Before looking at the filters, let’s take a close look at the hotel listing, which contain a lot of information. There are some irrelevant things in my opinion, so I put 6 orange numbers for the 6 important things to look at.
- the name of the hotel, obviously
2. the name of the town or district, and the map to locate it
3. the type of room and bed, very important
4. the cancellation policy or other important benefits (not always there)
5. the rating given by travelers (and the number of different reviews)
6. the total price of the stay (not the price per night)
The All-Important Filters
Now, let’s filter a little. You need to understand that the default order is never useful. These are their recommendations, don’t trust them, only trust yourself: tell them your important criteria. The main filter options are on the left.
First, be sure to indicate the correct number of people on the left. For a hotel room, it doesn’t really matter if you’re one or two, but for a hostel, it changes everything.
Now the filters. What a shame, the most important ones are at the bottom of the page, the layout could be improved in that area, but this is how it is. So here are the most important ones to look at.
You can start with the budget, you can certainly indicate a limit by checking the first two or three boxes but it is not even necessary if you do what I said earlier, which is to always sort the results by the lowest price as I like to do. That’s because I’m not interested in the most expensive options, but it’s your choice. The second section is redundant, ignore it too because those are just filters that appear later in their respective sections.
Then you have the location ratings and the star ratings. Personally, I never touch these filters because I prefer to see the cheaper options and then get an idea of their quality with the photos and their user ratings and to see the location for myself. But it’s probably good to eliminate the ratings of 1 star, although star ratings are overrated. They are kind of arbitrary and the real rating that matters is what the actual guests give to the hotel.
Then, there’s a mostly useless section, and next if your dates are fixed, check to see only the options available for your dates. Finally, a very important section: to filter property types, i.e. exclude dormitories and hostels if you want to do so.
Then, two sections that are more or less relevant. And finally, for those who don’t want to prepay or enter credit card info, you add that filter, but know that it significantly reduces your options. Then there is the option for the beach access (which drastically limits your choices, it’s better for your wallet to walk a little) and finally the meals option, mainly to find out if breakfast is included or if there is a kitchen. Finally, the all-inclusive resorts option is available.
Finally, here is the most useful section, the one where you choose the type of accommodation desired. There are villas, regular hotels, hostels, guest houses and B&Bs that are often hostels, etc. Finally, the type of bed, practical if you really want a specific kind.
Then you still have additional filters that I personally never use, except maybe the airport shuttle one when I look for an airport hotel abroad.
And finally, the other useful section, sorting by specific city or neighborhood. Practical if you want a specific location.
Now you’re ready to save on accommodation and find lots of options with this tool!
What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!
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