Finding and booking accommodations – system overview and tips
AirBnb – renting apartments from owners
Daily rent of an apartment or room will almost always be a less expensive choice than hotel room. The difference is especially noticeable if there are 3 of you or even more. The apartment will almost always have a kitchen, which will make it cheaper to travel. For example, we make breakfast ourselves because it’s easier and faster.
Please note that you can rent an accommodation in whole, for example, an apartment or villa, or a room in an apartment or house, which is usually will not cost as much money as a hotel in the long run. There may be interesting non-standard options. For example, I remember spending time in an excellent cabin of an active ship in the Netherlands.
AirBNB mediates the transfer of money to the owner. You pay for accommodation on the website, and the owner of the apartment receives payment after you move out. There is a feedback system, and the owners value their reputation.
- New apartments that have not yet accumulated feedback are usually rented for less. I can assure you that you don’t have to be afraid of choosing this kind of housing. You can evaluate the accuracy and quality of the description, check if the photos are detailed, and ask questions to the owner through the website.
- Look through the feedback on other apartments of the same owner, if any.
- I don’t recommend negotiating with home owners directly bypassing AirBnb, because in this case the owner may simply not provide you with the specified accommodation.
- Newcomers many times are not aware that they’ve booked a room inside an apartment, but not the whole apartment. When searching, pay attention to what you choose: “whole apartment”, “separate room” or “a one place accommodation”.
How to book
- Choose a city and dates, find suitable housing, and send a request to the owner (just by clicking a button). A confirmation is usually received within a day.
- Pay by credit card (money is transferred to the owner after your move out).
- You will receive a letter with the exact address and direct contacts of the owner. Carefully read the letter, it may be necessary to call before your arrival. In this case, pay attention to the phone number.
- Do not forget to agree on the arrival time and call in case of changes in plans.
Detailed information on how everything works can be found on the official Airbnb website.
Special offer! Currently, you will be awarded 30 USD USD after registration as a bonus for booking accommodations.
Register on AirBNB and get bunus 30 USD →
Booking.com – hotels and apartments around the world
- Booking.com works better in Europe than in Asia.
- Booking most hotels is provided without a prepayment charge. Payment is made upon arrival. It is possible to pay cash without using a bank card.
- Some hotels prefer that you pay immediately upon booking. In this case, a discount is usually provided. There is also a discount in the case of a non-cancellable reservation.
- If your reservation is non-cancellable, but still has to be canceled, sometimes the hotel may give a refund.
- The total cost with taxes and fees is displayed.
- After 2 bookings, travelers receive a Genius status, which gives a 10% discount in many hotels. Attaining your accommodations through booking.com may be cheaper than a direct hotel booking.
- In addition to hotels, apartments from private home owners can also be booked through Booking.com (it is especially well developed in Europe), as well as through Airbnb.
- When booking, I suggest you to indicate that you can be contacted by phone. Otherwise, a hotel or apartment owner will not be able to call you. You need to choose a priority method of communication. This is important!
Find hotels at Booking.com →
Agoda.com – accommodation in Asia
- Agoda.com is better to use when booking in Asia since the choice of hotels is wider.
- Prepaid booking is usually provided. You don’t have to pay anything in a hotel.
- Some hotels also offer non-refundable bookings. In this case, a discount is provided.
- The prices displayed when searching for hotels do not include taxes and fees. This means adding an extra 15-20% is hidden until you go to the next page. It will be displayed after you click the button “Book” (you can just click the button and see the price).
- Agoda mediates the transfer of money to the hotel. You pay through Agoda, and the system transfers money to the hotel.
- There is a bonus system – you get bonuses for each booking. They can be applied when paying for the next booking.
Find hotels at Agoda.com →
Hotelscombined – comparison of prices for hotels
Hotels almost always rent their rooms through several systems at once: Booking, Agoda, and Hotels.com.
They also often have their own website for booking. Prices in different systems may differ.
Hotelscombined shows room prices in different systems.
You can go to the website where the price is cheaper and book your accommodation. It can be very convenient.
You don’t need to go to different websites and compare prices yourself.
But, of course, you can always book through the system have gotten used to. The difference in price is usually not very significant. But it still exists.