Last Updated on January 6, 2022 by Henry @ The Getaway Lounge
This post is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure a high level of accuracy.
We often encourage our members to book via the platform, but just how safe is booking.com?
Booking.com is a very safe and reliable platform for you to book accommodation. In fact, they are one of the biggest and most active booking sites in the world, meaning they are well equipped to safely manage a range of enquiries and potential problems.
Booking.com have been established for many years now, and they are very reliable.
In fact, they’re one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world.
Yes, they’ve been accused of pressure selling techniques in the past – but this is a practise which is common with most public companies across the globe!
And following various investigations undertaken by the Competition and Market Authority’s – booking sites have now agreed to being more honest and transparent.
The changes have been swiftly implemented, and it’s clear to see that all involved will continue to be monitored, with ethics being improved.
There’s no hiding from the fact that booking.com have accumulated a lot of bad reviews over recent years.
But then again you have to put this into perspective.
Each day (pre-Covid), more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved on their platform!
That’s a lot of bookings, and it’s inevitable that many of those who have a bad experience will share it online.
But the real problem does not lie with the platform – it lies with the accommodation itself!
A lot of the time it will feel like booking.com have cancelled your reservation or got mixed up with dates and preferences.
When in a matter of fact, it probably wasn’t their fault at all.
They are a reservation site and have no say in how the hotel is operated, nor do they have any authority to argue on your behalf.
So, the best way to avoid any nasty surprises is to read the hotels reviews carefully – the people you’re relying on to deliver what you’ve paid for!
Besides, those who don’t have any problems will rarely feel the need to post anything in the platform’s favour.
Those who have a great stay might hand the accommodation itself a positive review through booking.com, but they’re unlikely to review the platform direct!
The law states that your holiday must be protected if it is a package holiday.
And so if you decide to arrange a trip yourself and book your flights and accommodation separately, you won’t be ATOL protected with booking.com.
ABTA is designed to cover holidays bought in the UK that don’t include flights.
Booking.com do not sell “holidays” and therefore they are not a member of this scheme.
Booking your accommodation with the flexibility to cancel or change at short notice is extremely useful.
And one of booking.com’s most attractive features is that the vast majority of properties offer Free Cancellation on its platform.
Absolutely – your credit card information and personal data is secure in the system.
They only collect your information in order to make a reservation with the accommodation itself.
In fact, you could argue that making a reservation through booking.com is actually safer than going direct!
Especially if you’re travelling abroad to places without the best functioning websites or technology.
Booking.com have an incredibly user-friendly interface, an impressive selection of accommodation and competitive prices.
Not only do they offer great flexibility in terms of where you can stay, but you can really focus in on your preferences.
For example, you can sort your search by lowest price first, read online reviews and enable other useful filters such as proximity to the city centre.
The latter is one of our favourite filters which many people overlook.
Especially if you’re just going away for a short break, we think it’s usually best to be within walking distance from the centre if possible.
That said, these properties often come with a price.
Not unless you sacrifice other luxuries like space, or an ensuite bathroom for example.
Otherwise, you can always have a scan through the interactive map to see if there’s any public transport nearby, like a metro!
This is particularly handy if you’re staying somewhere famously expensive like Rome or Paris for instance.
And that’s what we love about booking.com.
See below for an example of the choices you have when looking at Barcelona.
You can have a play around to see what’s available in your destination with the correct number of people and dates.
Simply hit search and apply some filters!
Traditionally, travel arrangements were booked through an agent who specialise in hotels, flights and everything else in between.
Today, sites like booking.com handle all your accommodation to provide much greater flexibility with the help of their easy-to-use platform.
It just takes a little bit more digging around, but once you’ve gotten used to the platform, you’ll be glad you took the time to master it.
Each listing should have plenty of images you can flick through, with a comprehensive description on the location, things to do around the property, and facilities etc.
Make sure you take a good look at the reviews left by guests and you’ll soon have a good idea as to where you’d like to stay.
Assuming you’ve done a little research before booking your accommodation, 99% of the time you shouldn’t have to worry about anything.
That said, there would be no harm in taking some precautions to mitigate any miscommunications between booking.com and the hotel.
For example, you could confirm directly with the hotel that they have received your reservation.
If you have any further requirements such as the balcony view, or breakfast included – you could even go as far as double checking this with the accommodation provider.
This way you can be even more certain that they’re expecting you, and everything should be in order.
You shouldn’t have to do any of the above, but I guess you might find it necessary.
Booking.com is an incredibly safe platform for you to book your next trip.
They might not be ATOL or ABTA protected, but this is true for all “non package” holidays!
If you don’t like the idea of not being covered however, then a travel agent may be your best bet.
Similarly, if you don’t like the idea of having to browse through the platform, we would recommend a travel agent.
Otherwise, booking.com is a great option.
It will take a bit of time getting used to, but you’ll soon pick it up.
And you’ll start to enjoy the control you have when booking your own accommodation!