The smart way to book an accommodation at the best value for money

When we travel, we all want to book the perfect accommodation. Everyone has its own definition of perfect but for most of us, the perfect accommodation is at least, an accommodation, no matter the type, that is well located, in the defined budget, with the amenities we want. Since I am not yet able to spend on average more than 50€ per night, I always try to find the best ratio price/quality. I’ve been mainly traveling to Europe and I’ve used different technics of booking and different websites. Here I am sharing my most relevant tips on booking the perfect accommodation with a good price/quality ratio in less than twenty minutes.

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Adapt your search on the destination

The hospitality market is different depending on the country or the region of the world your are traveling to. With just a quick research on the Web, you can find out what is the hospitality market like in your destination as well as the type of accommodation you are more likely to find in this destination.

In Copenhagen for instance, better taking an Airbnb. The hotels are very expensive and the hostels are not that great and still more expensive than an Airbnb. Plus, in Denmark, interiors are most of the time very cozy and well equipped. It is part of the Danish culture. Scandinavia is known for their interior design and culture of being home, spending time with friends and family. No doubt, you’ll find a great place to stay on Airbnb.

Read my article about the best and worst of Airbnb

Here is an Airbnb for 70€ a night for two people in the center of Copenhagen:

airbnb_copenhagen

Another example is Lisbon, Portugal. If you are on a budget, I highly recommend you to check on Hostelworld. In general, Hostels are located in the center, amenities and features are great, you get a lot of tips for visiting the city as well as planned excursions and breakfast is often included in the price. In Lisbon, the hostels are well decorated and they offer really great amenities like roof top pools or cocktail bars. I remember paying around 45€ a night for a double room, breakfast included, with a private bathroom in a very central localization.

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Sunset Destination hostel in Lisbon

So before to book anything, make a quick research on the Web about your destination in order to get an idea of how the hospitality market looks like, what is the range of prices you can expect and the types of accommodation.

Make a quick comparison

In order to complete my research, I use to search on a few websites only, being mainly Airbnb, Booking.com, and Hostelworld.

Why do I compare these websites only ?

Booking.com is having probably the largest listing of accommodations offers. You get a really good overview of what is on the market.

Airbnb is a good alternative to classic accomodations and the final experience you get is often better and cheaper.

Hostelworld is worth having a look at. As I said, in some destinations, you can find really good and comfortable hostels that are better than other types of accomodation and for a very competitive rate. So why pay more for a lowest quality ?

What about hotel price comparison websites ?

Websites like trivagokayak and momondo compare for you hundreds of hotels. Their technology is powerful and you can actually save money by comparing on these sites. I just feel like their listing isn’t that great. I always end up finalizing my research on the sites listed above. Nevertheless, it is always worth having a look at one of them. If you decide to do so, have a look at trivago. They are speclialized in hotels and have more than 10 years experience in hotel comparison. They compare the highest amount of hotels across world.

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Check the reviews on Booking.com

After making a short list of accommodations, I always have a look at the reviews. Actually, I often select one of the review filters before I click on the search button. I recommend you to have a look at the reviews on Booking.com. They are very accurate. On Booking.com, only the guests can leave a review, plus, the website takes mainly into consideration recent reviews.*

booking-reviews

According to my experience, the reviews on Booking.com are quite accurate. The quality of my stay always matches the review score.

Always try to book directly

This is a rule I apply for anything I book. Booking directly is better. Why ? Because the less intermediaries you have the less complicated and less expensive it is. It is logical. When my flight is canceled or delayed, I prefer to have to deal directly with the airline than with a random online travel agency that might have a poor customer service and different cancellation/delay policy.

Regarding accomodations, booking directly can allow you to save some money or to get upgraded. It is in hoteliers interest to get direct booking. This way, they don’t have to pay commissions. When you book through Booking.com for instance, around 18% of the price you pay goes to Booking.com. Also, hoteliers have less opportunities to win the loyalty of their guests when they don’t get the booking directly. Guests informations go to Booking.com and not to the hotelier. So booking directly is in the interest of the hotelier.

When you spot your dream accomodation, call the number, mention the price you saw on Booking.com and ask for a commercial gesture. They might offer you 10% discount, a breakfast or an upgrade. It doesn’t always work. For some reasons, some hoteliers prefer to get the booking through the travel agency website.

To recap:

  1. Inform yourself about the hospitality market in your destination.
  2. Compare offers on Booking.com, Airbnb and Hostelworld. Use a hotel comparison website if you like.
  3. Check the guests reviews preferably on Booking.com.
  4. Always try to book directly.

And you ? How do you book an accomodation online ?

Thank you for reading. Take care.

*I actually wrote Booking.com to get a confirmation on their guest review policy since I couldn’t find anything clear on the Web. I will complete this paragraph when I get an answer from them.

 

 

 

 

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