With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, travelers are connected with the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay – including everything from apartments, vacation homes and family-run B&Bs, to 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos. Read our full Booking.com review to learn more.
Booking.com is a travel website that began in 1996 and originally did business as booking.nl. In 2000, Bookings Netherlands merged with Bookings international and became Booking.com. Later in 2005, Booking.com joined the mega travel empire Priceline.
Booking.com reports that 75% of nights booked are by guests who have already booked more than five times on their site. Now that’s loyalty!
Booking.com has expanded its website and mobile app to be available in 43 languages. Of the 29 million listings, fewer than 1.5 million are short-term vacation rentals.
As the #1 highest traffic travel website expands into the short-term vacation rental market, both hosts and guests are likely to get value. Every day, more than 1,550,000 room nights are reserved on Booking.com. Forty-two percent of the nights booked are for one of the homes, apartments or other unique places to stay.
Full Vacation Resources
Families love to make reservations on generic travel websites versus individual company sites. With Booking.com, travelers can plan seamlessly with flights, rental cars and restaurants. Competition is fierce in the travel industry. Booking.com offers the best vacation rental homes integrated with complete trip planning resources. Essentially, this website is your stop for every travel detail.
Booking.com has some great pros that customers frequently mention in their Booking.com reviews. Here are some of the best positives:
- 24/7 customer support: If you need help on your vacation, the last thing you want to do is wait for customer service to open. With Booking.com, you can contact customer support at any time you need to.
- Full vacation planning resources: Some people don’t mind planning, but others like to book this simply and easily with just one platform. Booking.com makes planning your entire vacation seamless.
- No customer fees: Most vacation home rental platforms charge fees to the customer. However, Booking.com does fees in a different way so you can save money on your next trip.
Unfortunately, Booking.com reviews also cover some negatives:
- Low inventory of vacation homes: If you’re specifically looking
- Low number of reviews: Many people like to base their booking decisions on reviews left by previous guests. Unfortunately, Booking.com does not have as many reviews to base booking on.
- No payment system: You can’t pay directly through Booking.com. You have to pay directly to the hotel or have the hotel charge your card before you arrive (depending on the individual hotel’s policy).
Quick stats about Booking.com:
- Founded: 1996
- Founder: Geert-Jan Bruinsma
- Countries with properties: 230
- Number of Properties: Under 1.5 million
- Location of Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Number of Employees: 17,000+
With over 143,344 destinations represented, Booking.com has been busy. It appears Booking.com is positioning itself to introduce a massive amount of new short-term vacation rental properties soon, and its features set it apart in Booking.com reviews.
Search functionality on Booking.com doesn’t immediately show you vacation rental homes as an option. When looking for accommodations, you can search for up to a group of 30 travelers. Your first results will show pricing for eight separate hotel rooms for a group of 30 individuals. After four hotel results, Booking.com has a banner ad promoting, ‘Traveling in a group? Want more space? Our vacation rentals might be the best option for you.”
Savvy users could also filter the property type to only show vacation homes, but only after searching for all accommodations.
All vacation rentals on Booking.com are instantly bookable. Guests are much more likely to reserve a location that allows instant booking.
Instantly bookable properties also allow Booking.com to push vacation home availability to Google and airline consumers traveling to the area. Targeted advertising using traveler data is likely to be a huge benefit to hosts, and it also helps travelers find what they’re looking for.
Booking.com emphatically believes great properties deserve to be discovered. Part of the vetting process for new properties involves sending a secret code to the address being listed. This additional step helps prevent fraud that exists on other platforms. There also has to be additional proof that the person listed has the right to rent the property. While Booking.com can’t guarantee a vacation rental is legitimate, the company makes a solid effort to ensure guests have a valid property to sleep in. You’ll find fewer investors and more real folk renting their homes on Booking.com.
On the flip side, there is a high level of spam rental requests that hosts have to respond to. Hosts receive regular requests asking if they will accept certified checks and to provide a mailing address or banking information. Classic Craigslist scams have taken over the email inboxes of Booking.com hosts.
Guests should be aware of the high level of scams in case a host seems suspicious of you. Sometimes it is hard to identify real guests. A couple of grammar mistakes or a slight change in story from a traveler is enough to keep a vacation host on edge.
Don’t take this extra caution personally. In exchange for a little extra vetting from the vacation home host, you will be rewarded with zero added fees! Your vacation budget will thank you.
Customer Price, Host Income and Fees
Customer Pricing and Fees
Great news! Reserving a vacation home on Booking.com comes with no additional guest paid fees. The prices hosts list are the prices a traveler sees. Hosts may raise their prices to cover their own fees, but the transparency of accommodation costs is a great benefit for first-time vacation home renters.
Eliminating service charges, cleaning fees and additional costs per guest is smart. It mimics the process of travelers who book hotels. The closer vacation homes can get to matching the hotel booking process, the better. An average guest will be expecting taxes as an additional cost, but they might not expect all the other additions that make short-term vacation homes seem confusing.
Host Income and Fees
The host is responsible for all Booking.com platform fees. Host fees are not revealed prior to registering as a host. Instead, an individual host commission percentage is given during the agreement process.
Booking.com does not have tax relationships in place to remit transient occupancy taxes to vacation home jurisdictions. Property owners are responsible for setting prices and tracking remittance of local taxes in relation to the short-term rental activity.
Pick the Best Booking.com Rental
International options are plentiful on Booking.com. The wide array of language options make it easy for hosts to appeal to an international audience. A host in Japan might not be able to communicate with a traveler from France, but Booking.com bridges that language gap. However, listings aren’t filled with as many narrative details as other vacation rental platforms. Your best source of information will be Booking.com reviews.
As you travel the world, read carefully to check for minimum necessities. Some countries find it absolutely necessary to have air conditioning while it is virtually non-existent in other areas. Some vacation homes require toilet paper to be put in the waste bin and not flushed down the toilet. Some toilets are not in the main residence. You may even run into compost toilets in a vacation home. There is a wide array of culturally acceptable options, and it is your job to ensure you don’t end up renting a home that is beyond your comfort zone.
New Horizons to Pursue
Immersing yourself with another culture is one of the biggest benefits of staying in short-term vacation rental homes. In years past, travelers might have stayed in one location for months to integrate with the “locals.” Now a vacationer can have instant local friends with Booking.com.
The tourist trap pizza joint might offer a great photo opportunity and a decent tiramisu, but a local will have the inside scoop on the REAL best-kept secret pizzeria. Hotel concierges get financial compensation for promoting specific attractions, restaurants, or shops. You’ll get to avoid those less desirable referrals by utilizing your vacation rental hosts.
As you search for your perfect Booking.com vacation rental, you will notice a lot less narrative descriptions. Pictures speak a thousand words, and reviews fill in the blanks.
Booking.com reviews are more comprehensive than you’ll find on other vacation rental platforms. Guests on Booking.com seem invested in telling their story and helping future guests have a memorable vacation. Read every review before you commit.
Booking.com Review Conclusion
Booking.com is the global travel industry leader in online vacation reservations. As Booking.com enters the vacation home rental market, it is positioned to convert travelers from hotel guests to short-term rental home guests. With more eyes searching Booking.com than any other travel website, this change could happen quickly.
Eliminating guest fees makes Booking.com a real competitor in the vacation home rental marketplace. Hosts will have to rework their pricing structure because the money still has to come from somewhere, but reservations will feel more transparent from the traveler perspective.
We highly recommend vacation rental hosts get on board with Booking.com as an early adaptor. Early homes have the opportunity to stack positive reviews quickly and position themselves as a premier listing. Travelers should keep checking Booking.com for great deals as new hosts are trying to gain credibility on the site. When a home first lists itself on a platform, it may start with low prices to build positive reviews. Travelers could potentially score some great deals as the Booking.com vacation rental category grows.
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