During the coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced a bit of cabin fever. We want to leave our troubles behind, get out and explore somewhere new. However, closed domestic and international borders mean that we’re stuck where we are for the most part. However, the light at the end of the tunnel is that some Australian states are beginning to re-open their borders for travel. In light of this, it’s expected that Australia’s tourism industry will receive a massive boost. Booking companies come hand in hand along with travel. They are one of the most convenient ways to book a holiday – but there’s also a lot of them! Have you ever wondered what the difference between various booking companies was? Well, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’re going to discuss all things booking companies and the best features from each.
Booking.com is an online travel agency for lodging reservations. It is one of the largest booking platforms there is – with a whopping 28 million listings on its website! Booking.com is an international platform owned and operated in the US with headquarters in Amsterdam. With Booking.com it is easy to find just what you need, all you have to do is enter your destination, intended dates, number of people and rooms, and hit search. It’s not just hotels either – the platform also offers services for flights, flight and hotel combinations, car rentals, and more. Their loyalty program offers rewards such as discounted rates and free room upgrades to its loyal clients. Although their commission percentage varies depending on the country, their average is 15%, which is among the lowest in the industry.
No upfront payment
On other booking platforms such as Airbnb, you have to pay the full amount of your stay upfront when booking. Meanwhile, with Booking.com, many hotels don’t require upfront payment which means you can book accommodation without spending anything!
Platforms such as Airbnb are usually considered the cheaper option, however, when you book in advance on Booking.com, you can often find some great deals. You may be lucky enough to find significant discounts on budget hotels, especially if you’re traveling outside of peak travel periods.
Expedia is an American online travel shopping company for consumer and small business travel. It offers a similar range of booking services as Booking.com, including stays, flights, cars, activities, and cruises. In particular, they provide a range of helpful services for those who have had their travel plans affected by COVID-19. Clients can change or cancel a trip, use airline credit, or track their refund. Not bad, right? Even better is that you can book packages, such as a stay and a flight, and save! You can also view customer reviews of hotels to help you make your decision. Guests can make ratings based on cleanliness, staff and service, amenities, and property conditions and facilities. Owners can respond to the reviews, which is an excellent way to show that they care about their customers’ satisfaction.
Flexible payment plans
Depending on your circumstances, you may not want to pay the entire payment of a holiday upfront. Expedia allows you to make monthly payments towards your vacation and offers “book now, pay later” hotel deals to encourage guests to make a booking even if they have concerns about accommodation costs.
Travel Insurance can protect you from unexpected medical expenses and cover disruptions to your trip. Expedia makes purchasing travel insurance easy. Travelers have the option of purchasing a travel insurance policy that covers their entire tip, giving them quick access to car rental, hotel, cruise, and flight protections.
Last minute deals
Something that allows Expedia to stand out from its competitors is its impressive availability of last-minute deals! Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a spontaneous holiday, and this is where Expedia comes in! You can find a wide range of offers valid for stay dates within the next 14 days. Offers are sorted by the cheapest options available – so your wallet will thank you too!
TripAdvisor is an American online travel company founded in the United States in 2000 and is currently headquartered in Massachusetts. It also offers a mobile app. Pretty convenient, right? TripAdvisor offers online hotel reservations, bookings for transportation, lodging, travel experiences, and restaurants. You’ve likely heard of it – it’s the world’s largest travel platform, after all! So, what makes it so great? Let’s have a look at TripAdvisor’s main features.
When we are booking a holiday, we want to get the best value for our money. Different booking websites can vary significantly in the prices they offer, so it’s helpful to compare prices before making your final decision. TripAdvisor makes this easy! When you are searching for a hotel, you can see a list of the various prices offered by various booking platforms.
Users from all over the world can share their thoughts and experiences in the form of reviews. This allows for a broad and diverse range of opinions to be heard, which also comes in handy to decide where to book. TripAdvisor also allows customers to share photographs from their trip so that others can get an accurate view of what a particular hotel room or resort looked like. Sometimes, photographs on the hotel’s website are glamorized and may not be an accurate representation of the actual experience – which is where customer photographs are helpful! As with any travel site, there is a possibility that reviews could be faked, perhaps by the owners themselves, to boost their ratings.
HotelsCombined is a hotel metasearch engine founded in 2005 and headquartered in Sydney. In 2018, it was acquired by Bookings Holdings and became part of its KAYAK division. Like TripAdvisor, HotelsCombined offers the feature of price comparison. HotelsCombined has been awarded the world’s best hotel comparison site. They also specify which platforms provide which benefits, such as free wifi or free cancellation. Customers can refine their search by filtering results from anywhere between 1 and 5-star rating averages.
When it comes to accessibility and the user-friendly aspect, HotelsCombined stands out. You can view search results either on a map or sorted by cost, with taxes already included for your convenience. HotelsCombined also informs the user of any upcoming events that may cause an increase in room rates. The platform also helps users to save money by suggesting alternate dates to receive the best deal. If you’re looking to browse a wide range of deals, you may find HotelsCombined useful as it also offers deals from obscure booking sites which may have flown under the radar of other platforms.
Airbnb is an American vacation rental online company based in San Francisco, California. It connects people who want to rent out their homes to people who are looking for accommodations in that area. It currently spans an impressive 100 000 cities and 220 countries worldwide. For hosts, Airbnb is an excellent way to make some extra income, although there is a possible risk that guests could damage their homes. On the other hand, Airbnb offers relatively in-expensive accommodation for guests, although there may be a risk that the accommodation doesn’t look the same as the photographs.
Although many booking platforms charge a commission to list on their website, on Airbnb, hosts can list their properties for free. Hosts can include written descriptions, photographs with captions, and a user profile in which guests can get to know more about hosts.
Finding a suitable property for your needs has been made easy with Airbnb. Guests can search the Airbnb database and easily filter by date, location, price, property type, amenities, and the host language. To narrow their search, they can also add specific keywords.
Airbnb has a messenger system to easily keep an open line of communication between hosts and their guests. Hosts can send specific instructions, such as how to pick up the key, how to check-in, where to find parking, and how they should leave the property when checking out. This messenger system is particularly useful if the guest has a question or concern, as they can easily get in contact with the host to resolve it.
Protection for guests and hosts
An advantage of using Airbnb is that it protects both guests and hosts. As a protection for guests, Airbnb holds the guest’s payments for 24 hours after check-in before releasing the funds to the host. For hosts, Airbnb’s Host Guarantee program protects up to $100 000 in damages to covered property if the guest is at fault in eligible countries.
Choosing the best booking company for you
After reading this blog, you may be wondering, ”well, which booking company should I choose?” The short answer is that it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a platform where you can list your property for free or find a wide range of budget accommodation options, Airbnb may be for you. If you’re a spontaneous traveler and want to find great deals for a holiday as soon as possible, you might want to check out Expedia. Or, perhaps, you’re interested in comparing prices and reading all the customer reviews that you can before you make a decision – TripAdvisor may be the perfect match for you! Whatever your needs, there’s a booking platform out there that will help you book your dream holiday with a minimum of stress.