Booking.com is the best website that I have found in terms of functionality when you want to find good accommodation in a new city. If you are a solo traveller then you might want to stay in places where you can easily meet people. Or may be you want your own space and at the same time want to meet new people. May be you want to be in a central location where you can walk to or at least in commutable convenient distance from the popular attractions. There are several advantages of using booking.com if you know how to use it properly.
I use this website very often, though I refer to other sites such as Airbnb and hostelworld.com This one is my favourite.
It is my favourite because you get a genius badge as you use the website more and more. That means you get discounts, secret deals and perks such as early check in and late check out.
Below are some tips to find the best accommodation that suits your personality and intention of travel.
1. Use the “best properties for” sorting option
This will show the best suited for properties for what you have selected.
2. Use the review score and price sorting
Using this will show the highest scored and lowest priced listings. I use this often to see listings with the highest scores and that fit in my budget.
3. Neighbourhood filter
Look for guest’s favourite area. In my experience this gives the best properties in best location. Also the location in the bold are the most popular neighbourhoods. This is good in terms of sight seeing etc. People give good location ratings because it was convenient to access the sights, access the metro, central vibrant area etc.
4. Review filter – Start with Very good and Superb first
Especially in larger cities you can find a lot of properties. Instead of scrolling through these endless ones, limit to the only best ones. Remember we’re not here going for the cheapest options but the best options within your price range. You will get a sense of how much you need to spend to get a decent accommodation. If there are not any properties in your price range, work your way down to other review scores. Personally I would not go for anything that is below 7.0 or good. It is not worth the hassle. You will be constantly regretting once you’re there. These places often lack cleanliness, or disturb your sleep.
5. If you’re a solo traveller and want to meet new people do this.
Hostels are great places to meet new people than staying in hotels and guest houses.
Check the hostels option. Do a normal search and apply all the above filters and use the best properties for option. And check the meeting new people option, if you’re into meeting new people. Also check Top picks for solo travellers
6. When you want privacy but at the same time you want to be sociable
Check all the filters as above. And check the double room option.
I recently had this wonderful room in Kiev city centre in a hostel. It was pretty decent and it even had a balcony. It had a shared bathroom and a large kitchen.
These are great for hostel hooks ups too. You don’t have to disturb others.
7. Other advantages of using booking.com
Look for the Excellent location label on listings. Because especially when you are visiting a new city you don’t want to be in the outskirts, other things are may more comprisable than this.
Look for properties with Metro access and pay attention to distance from city centre
Check the breakfast included filter- It can be a very social experience especially when travelling solo to have breakfast together.
Get the genius badge by booking more through booking.com. You get 10% genius discounts on a lot of properties. Other perks include secret deals, late checkout and early check in.
Read through the most recent reviews. If the first few (I read at least 10) reviews mention something that is a “hard no” for me, it is crossed off from my list. Usually my hard nos are lot of noise, bed bugs and unclean toilets.
Frankly, I have not seen these many options in any other hotel/hostel booking sites.
Hope these have been useful and you will use some of these to book your next accommodation. Agoda.com comes second in my opinion, as it has a nicer interface and it is more intuitive. I will have another article on using agoda.com soon.