One of your biggest travel expenses and time-consuming tasks is booking accommodation, and we all want to save time and hopefully some money when searching for deals online.
Whilst there are plenty of websites these days to help you search for accommodation, some are more trustworthy than others, and some are easier to navigate than others.
I’m sure you are already familiar with Booking.com, but are you aware of how many different types of accommodation you can book on their website?
I’m going to share with you eight examples, but there are even more than that.
Our style of travel has evolved over the years from solo travel, to traveling as a couple, to being a family of four. So our accommodation preferences have changed as well. Depending on the type of trip and destination, we like to mix up our accommodation choices.
Sometimes we stay in hotels but we mostly prefer apartments these days. Other times we stay in vacation homes, condos, or occasionally we stay in hostels if they offer family rooms.
What I love about Booking.com is that you can book a variety of accommodation types on the one website – as you’ll soon discover, Booking dot com is more than just hotels.
They are literally a one-stop-shop for all your accommodation needs. It has never been easier to book accommodation online. And I love how simple their website is to use!
And besides having all the major brands, you can find a variety of low-cost independently owned properties that can be difficult to find elsewhere.
Other features I love about using Booking.com:
- Over one million properties world-wide means greater competition and usually the best deals on hotels
- You can book now, but pay later at check in
- You can make changes to your booking, anytime
- You get free cancelation on most rooms
- 24/7 customer service
- and a best price guarantee
The other nice feature that Booking.com has is the millions of verified reviews. Unlike other websites, only people who have booked through Booking.com and actually stayed at the property can write a review as they receive an email once they have checked out.
That means their reviews come from real guests, like you!
To be clear, we are affiliates of Booking.com, which means we receive a small commission if you book through the links on our site. But, we are also paying customers just like you and use them to book our own accommodation, which is why we recommend them as our accommodation provider.
8 ways to book accommodation using Booking.com
We don’t stay in hotels as often as we used to, but if it’s a short city stay, or we’re just traveling as a couple, we’re happy to stay in a hotel.
If you’re on a short trip and desire a central location, a little comfort, and you don’t mind eating out, hotels are an obvious choice.
When we book a hotel in the city, we like to stay in a central area so we can walk to most of the attractions and be close to dining options.
Features we look for when choosing a hotel is free WiFi, free airport shuttle, free breakfast, free cable TV, laundry facilities, a pool, 24-hour reception, a fridge, microwave, and coffee machine.
The cool thing about Booking.com is it allows you to search for hotels based on different themes, such as:
- Family Hotels
- Business Hotels
- Romantic Hotels
- Beach Hotels
- Luxury Hotels
- Budget Hotels
- even Golf & Sports Hotels
This is one of our favorite strategies for saving money when we book accommodation, particularly for families or small groups.
Apartments are more practical than a hotel and often cheaper. If you’re traveling with other family members or another couple why not get an apartment big enough and share the cost!
My parents visited us often on our trip around Australia and we stayed in apartments with three bedrooms which reduced our per-night rates and was much cheaper than two separate hotel rooms.
And with apartments you get benefits such as:
- Access to a full kitchen (saves you money by not eating out every night)
- Separate bedrooms make it easier to put the kids to bed
- You have your own laundry
- More space and privacy
Booking.com have a large inventory of apartments to help you find the best deal, wherever you travel. And you can filter your search results based on what’s important to you.
I must admit, I have become a bit of a fan of staying in a resort. After all those years in my 20’s roughing it as a backpacker, and with two kids, I appreciate the extra level of comfort and amenities most resorts have on offer.
However, I’m not one to lay around a pool all day and not leave the confines of a resort for days on end. So I like staying in resorts that are not isolated but are located within easy access of the local world outside.
Check out all the resorts on Booking.com from around the world here.
Before we had kids, we stayed in hostels often to save money on accommodation. Not only are they a great budget sleeping option, but good for meeting like-minded travelers.
On occasion, we still stay in family-friendly hostels but only in private or family rooms.
Staying in hostels may not be a great option for the USA due to the lack of quantity and quality, but in places like Australia, Europe, and Asia the network is extensive and the quality is ever increasing.
And don’t think of hostels as just dorm rooms for backpackers. Many offer private and family rooms.
Benefits of hostels include:
- Located in great locations close to public transport and tourist sites
- A private or family room is typically cheaper than a hotel room
- Most have cheap and free services such as wi-fi, a laundry, luggage storage, tours
- Fully-equipped kitchen and laundries
Booking.com also have an extensive inventory of hostels around the world.
Another typical budget friendly option is to stay in a Motel.
Like me, you’ve probably stayed in your fair share of motels over the years, some good and some a little shady. They can range greatly in service and cleanliness depending on the location, the management, and of course price.
The Motel industry basically developed in the 1920s. When long-distance road journeys became more common, the need for easily accessible and inexpensive overnight accommodation on main routes led to its growth.
On our previous road trip across the US in 2006, we stayed in motels often. The money we saved allowed us to spend extra on experiences and activities.
You can find plenty of motels , including over 9,000 just in the US alone, on Booking.com
6. Vacation Rentals
As a family, we appreciate the benefits of staying in a vacation rental (holiday home).
If you’re not familiar with vacation rentals, what you are essentially doing is privately renting a property on a short or long-term basis from the individual owner who has listed their property on a site like Booking.com.
These properties could be a home, a condo, a lodge, a cabin, you name it. You have all the comforts of home, except you’re on vacation.
Having a “home away from home” gives you the extra space to relax and unwind with living rooms and separate bedrooms, your own full kitchen and laundry facilities, and maybe even your own deck and backyard.
Holiday homes can be another great way to share accommodation with others and split the costs. That’s what we’ve done on numerous occasions.
Go to their website, enter your destination and dates, and filter by ticking the box for “holiday homes”.
A homestay is an opportunity to live like the locals do. You either rent a room or the whole property from the owner, similar to what Airbnb has to offer.
By living where the locals live, rather than say in a hotel or apartment, homestays can provide a more authentic cultural experience. Homestays can range from a few days so you can see the sights, or it could be a longer-term full blown cultural immersion where you stay and learn the language.
Booking.com has a list of top homestay properties around the world.
We’ve experienced three farm stays as a family, one in Ireland and two here in Australia. And what a fun and educational experience they turned out to be.
Basically, a farm stay is any type of accommodation on a working farm. Lodging options can be:
- Converted barns/outbuildings
- Farmhouse guest rooms
- Platform tents
- Tent camping
Our kids loved the interactive experience of a farm stay, with opportunities to feed animals, collect eggs and learn how a farm functions. However, some farm stays don’t allow children and instead offer a peaceful retreat for adults and do not actually have any animals.
They can offer a cost-effective and fun family getaway – and if you’re from the city you’ll appreciate the fresh air and wide open spaces for your kids to run around.
Check out all the farm stay options here.
As you can see, Booking.com really is more than just hotels. In my opinion, not only are they the best hotel booking site, but the best accommodation website.
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