Booking.com is probably one of the easiest web sites to book a hotel without the hassle of pop-ups and bidding and all that nonsense. You simply click, put in your dates and find a hotel room based on your preferences and budget and book. Easy. Done.
But we are going to show you how to save more money on that hotel room. Booking.com really doesn't expect you to dive into this, and that is why they make the process of booking easy in the first place. But if you want to save 10-80% off the listed price of your hotel stay read on.
Here are the 6 secret travel tips to get the best hotel deal on booking.com:
Tip #1 Become a Genius on Booking.com
This is a travel rewards program offered exclusively at booking.com. It is rarely advertised and it is usually buried in the marketing. Basically, to become a Travel Genius on booking.com you simply need to have booked five times on the site within a two year period. Well, that is going to be very easy for travellers like you! Now, this Genius status is basically awarded to you and a small message will appear when you log in. Most hotels on booking.com are part of the program and they will offer you a host of incentives to book with them including:
- 10% off any booking
- Early Check-In (2 hours)
- Late Check-Out (2 hours)
- Free Airport Shuttle
- Free Breakfast
- Exclusive Telephone Number to Customer Care
- Free Cancellation
- Free Gym and Pool Access
- No Resort Fees
Each hotel offers a different set of rewards so pay attention to the offering before booking.
Tip #2 Book Last Minute on Booking.com
Many of booking.com's hotel rooms come from a batch of unsold rooms. Well if those unsold rooms are still waiting to be filled last minute your opportunity to snag an amazing deal has just materialized! Sometimes we would like to have every planned out, but if you are budget conscious you can snag a last minute hotel deal for about 50% less than what the room typically goes for. On rare occasions I have seen rooms go for 50-80% off last minute. It is very easy to book last minute. Just enter your dates, and pick a room. They will automatically feed last minute deals if your price you are budgeting for is low.
Tip #3 Watch the Overall Hotel Rating on Booking.com
Hotels love to toot their own horn and say they are 3, 4 5 or even diamond star properties. Booking.com allows for the public to rate and review the properties they have personally booked with. This means the ratings are accurate and fair. Many sites allow anyone to review properties, regardless of if they actually were customers. Pay attention to the rating and never go below 7.5. Wait last minute and find a better property for the same price that has a much better rating.
Tip #4 Use the Smart Filters on Booking.com
The filters on booking.com allow you find the perfect hotel room for you. You may find that you paid $10 more for a room, but it comes with a full, hot breakfast saving you money and time running to a restaurant early in the morning.
Some of the filters we use to find the best deal are:
Location - Because we travel mobile we like to search out a wider area and even smaller suburbs to find the best hotel at the best deal. Simply widen the search a little at a time to see what is available. Our savings sometimes come up to 30% based on a few blocks away from our desired location.
Breakfast Included - Breakfast for a typical family of four can run up to $70. Factor in the cost when looking at properties that have no option for breakfast. On one occasion, not only was breakfast included, supper was also included, plus free wine and beer and other drinks. The room was 10% more than others in the area, but we managed to save a bundle by booking smart!
24 Hour Reception - Again, we travel differently and sometimes plans change. I want to know that when I arrive, even at 2 am that I will be able to get in bed and rest.
Free Parking - Hotels are increasingly finding ways to milk a little extra out of the guests and parking is no exception. Find ones with parking available or ones that do not charge for parking. $20- $50 extra per night adds a lot to a budget room!
Free Wifi - Again, hotels are trying to add as much as they can on top of your bill. Check to see if they have free wifi if you need it.
Resort Fees - Make sure the hotel does not charge you for extraordinary resort fees. These add up considerably and can be more than the cost of the room. Check out our blog post on How to Avoid Resort Fees and our Free Resort Fee Checker.
Tip #5 Wait...Don't Book Just Yet!
Log into booking.com and find the perfect property. Pretend to book and then log out. Do not clear your cookies or any tracking devices. Wait 20 minutes to a day and you will automatically receive a discounted price next time you log in. The site automatically thinks you are interested but the reason you backed out was because of price. They may offer up a different property at a discounted price, but check it out and see if it is what you are looking for.
If you are ready to book a hotel room use the search tool below to start your travel: