How To Find The Best Deals On

As frequent travelers, we book most of our accommodation through We know that out of the many options on that website sometimes it is not only difficult but close to impossible to find the perfect accommodation. You might spend hours or days looking for a place you like, but ultimately you can easily end up in a dark and stinky place. So in order to help you make your trips enjoyable, we put together a quick tutorial on our process to find the best deals on the giant travel website.

And I’m not only talking about the price. Of course, as you will see, this process can definitely help you finding good deals in terms of price, but we also want to make sure that you find the type of accommodation that you are really looking for. A lovely, charming room or apartment that you’ll always remember.

To each there own – there are plenty of different types of lodging that you can book with even more options to choose from. With this article, we want to help you sort out quickly and easily everything that’s not right for your specific needs. So no longer will you end up in a hotel that looked nice on the pictures, but was anything but a great experience that lived up to your expectations.

The 12 Steps You Need To Follow

Here I give you a quick roundup of the process. Read the whole article to have a full understanding, or simply click on one of the links below to learn more about that particular step.

  1. Initiate a broad search
  2. Make a list of your preferences
  3. Filter for your preferences
  4. Sort by price (lowest first)
  5. Go through every listing except for…
  6. Check room pictures
  7. Check for alternative dates
  8. Check the location
  9. Read the reviews
  10. Read the whole listing
  11. Save it if you love it
  12. Book your best accommodation

There is nothing special in this step, the only reason I even treat it as a separate step is so that you can see the whole process.

First you need to make a simple search, providing the location, the dates, and the number of persons who wish to travel.

Best deals on Booking step 1

We mainly travel on fixed dates, but if you’re flexible, use the “± days” or even the “I’m flexible” option to find more good deals.

This first rough search will obviously give you a very extensive list of available accommodations, including places that are not right for you. But what we want is an initial list that we can then filter down in the following steps to find the best accommodation for you.

Best deals on Booking step 2

Step #2: Make a List of Your Preferences

Your preferences are not only personal but they can change even between trips. But you have to have your own list for each of your trips if you want to find the place that’s perfect for you.

As this is subjective, you need to come up with your own list. I can only give you some examples so that you can better understand what you should be looking for.

  • We only search for accommodations with a review score over 8. According to our experience, anything below 8 on Booking will be some kind of a nightmare experience.
  • We often travel by car. In that case, we only want to see places with parking. I don’t want the hassle of parking my car on the street and the worry about the payment. On the other hand, if you travel by plane or train or bus, having a parking place is not important at all.
  • Last time when we explored Switzerland, we only wanted to stay in a place that had some type of kitchen facility. The country is famous about extremely pricey restaurants, and we wanted to have the option to prepare our own food at home.
  • On the other hand, when we stay at a hotel for just one night, we generally prefer to have breakfast included in the price so that we don’t need to worry about our food early in the morning.
  • On our last trip to Tuscany, it was more important for us to find a place with a swimming pool in the heat of the summer.

Tip: go through the left sidebar on your search result page so that you can see the filtering options. Use these to define your preferences.

Don’t be too finicky at this step. Only list those options that are genuinely important for you. You’ll still have options later in this process to filter out any accommodation that’s not optimal.

Step #3: Filter for Your Preferences

This step is very easy after the last one. Just filter the search results according to your own preferences. You find every option on the left sidebar, simply tick the ones that you want to limit the search for.

Best deals on Booking step 3

Don’t worry though if you see too many results at this point. As you can see on the picture, I found 304 different properties, which is of course a lot to browse through. But the more options you have, the better your chances are to find the best accommodation for your next trip. In the next steps I’ll show you how to find the real gems. So just follow along and I promise you’ll be happy with your booking!

My tip is not to use the budget filter at this point. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. As you’ll see at the next step, you’ll have the option to sort the lodgings based on the price.
  2. It’s always good to see an extensive list of accommodations at a particular location at a given time period. This way you can have a general understanding of how much the average price is. Or put it in another way, what you can expect for your money at that specific destination at your preferred dates.

Step #4: Sort by Price (Lowest First)

As the next step, simply sort the search results by price, listing the lowest first.

This is very important even if you have a bigger budget or if you think that cheap accommodation in that area will not meet your requirements.

Best deals on Booking step 4, and any other travel website for that matter, is very good in recommending you places that are good for them. But what we want is to find accommodation that is good for us. and unfortunately these don’t always match.

So forget about rating or any other factors, and simply sort the list by price. This way you can really find the best deal not only in terms of quality or requirement, but also in how much it will set you back.

You would be surprised to see how many times cheaper accommodation can actually be better than really expensive ones.

Step #5: Go Through Every Listing Except For…

Once you have your accommodation options sorted by price, start at the top with the cheapest one, and go through every item by clicking on them and checking out by the options detailed in the next steps.

Best deals on Booking step 5

I don’t recommend you to judge any place right here, except for two things:

  1. If one place looks really undesirable to you on the thumbnail picture, ignore it. You want to feel good there, don’t waste your time when you detest the first picture. On the other hand, don’t only click on “nice” pictures. Judging by one photo can be deceiving, you’ll have options later to check out the place more extensively.
  2. Check the bedding options and leave out the places that don’t meet your requirements. For example, in this listing there was a place with only a sofa bed that I skipped as it was not an option for us.

Step #6: Check Room Pictures

In my opinion, this is the key step to find the best accommodation that’s right for you. Unfortunately, this is also a step that most people simply ignore.

When I’m looking for our next place to stay, I don’t even look at the general pictures. According to my experience, those can be more deceiving than useful for the following reasons:

  • Often the most expensive room is featured on most of the pictures. But if you’re going to book a standard room, don’t want to base your decision on how the private suite looks like.
  • Mostly lobbies, restaurants, food, the building, surrounding etc., photographed by professionals, are shown at the beginning. These can give you a much better feeling that you’ll eventually experience at your room or apartment.

On the other hand, if you start by checking out the actual room or apartment pictures, you’ll have a first hand experience of the actual place where you’ll spend your nights. Also you’ll see the different room options, if available, so you can choose according to your personal preferences and budget.

You can find the different room options under the “Availability” section. Click on the name of the room option (e.g. One-Bedroom Apartment) to see the pictures associated with that specific room type.

Best deals on Booking step 6

Here are our tips on what to look for:

  • Now it is time to follow your gut feeling. Would you like to stay at that specific room or wouldn’t?
  • Avoid places where there is no picture of the actual room but only about the building, surroundings etc.
  • Look for specific things that are important for you in a room. E.g. how the bed looks like, how big the windows are, what type of stove-top they have.
  • Use caution if the pictures are too professional. This doesn’t mean that pics taken by a pro cannot represent a decent accommodation, but often times professional photographers deliberately and successfully hide the weak points.

If for any reason here or beyond this step you decide not to go with that specific accommodation, simply go back to step #5 and follow with the next property.

Step #7: Check for Alternative Dates

This step is kind of optional, but it can be a nice tip if you are somewhat flexible with your travel dates.

Click on the date section right under “Availability”, and see a date grid with possibly different prices for each day. Sometimes you can find a 50% price difference at the same place just by booking 1-2 days earlier or later.

Best deals on Booking step 7

Step #8: Check the Location

I always recommend you to check the location on the map, even if you don’t know the city or region you plan to visit.

Here is where you can realize that the accommodation is at the city center or contrary, a long way out of town. Or if it is next to a nice park or maybe facing a huge railway terminal.

There are no set rules here, and I guess everyone has different preferences. But after the 4th or 5th property at one city you’ll have a general sense of where you actually would want to stay or where you wouldn’t.

Best deals on Booking step 8

Extra tip: will show you other possible accommodation options with price tags on the map. This is another possibility to check out and find new places you might want to stay at.

Step #9: Read the Reviews

If you still like the property, at this step you should go ahead and read the reviews.

There are two things we generally check:

  1. The ratings. Not only the overall score but how each individual section, e.g. staff, cleanliness, WiFi, performs. I prefer having the same overall score to having good scores for almost everything and a very bad rating for one trait. Also if something is very important to you, like free WiFi or cleanliness, check the rating for that particular service.
  2. Individual comments. These can be very useful to see how real people felt when staying at this place. Also make sure to read the cons to find out whether that particular thing would bother you or not.
Best deals on Booking step 9

Step #10: Read the whole listing

If you’ve made it up to this point, chances are that this accommodation is pretty close to the perfect match.

This is the time to read the whole listing. This is generally not that long, it should only take 30-60 seconds. But it can give you more information and it can definitely help you in deciding whether you want to continue with this place.

Best deals on Booking step 10 a

Make sure to also read the “Host Info” and “Facilities” sections as sometimes you can find hidden information here, like parking fee.

Best deals on Booking step 10 b

Step #11: Save it if You Love it

Now this is the time when you shouldn’t be too enthusiastic. I know you went through all these steps and if you haven’t yet ditched this particular property, it means it is pretty close to your heart.

But give yourself a chance to find one that’s even better. Don’t book this one right now, even if it looks perfect.

Click instead on the heart icon at the top of the property page to save it to one of your lists. I like to create one list for every destination, but this is up to you.

Best deals on Booking step 11

Take your time, go back to step #5 and check the next property. You’ll thank me for this when you find something even much better for maybe only a couple of dollars more.

Step #12: Book Your Best Accommodation

Once you’ve checked out a lot of properties, sorted out any that did not meet your personal preferences and requirements, you’ll end up with a list of only the best.

As you went through the accommodations by increasing price, there will be a point when you say that’s it. You don’t want to pay more for lodging on that trip.

Now go back to your saved list, open all the places and check them again. You can even do this a day later so that you’ll have a fresh mind to decide. You might want to redo the same steps that you made earlier to check out your saved properties.

If you really can’t decide, cancelling option and payment time are always a good idea to look at. Even if your plans are 100% sure, you might never know if anything comes in the way. It’s always better to have the option to cancel the accommodation up until the latest point, as it is always preferred to part from your money at the last time. I personally love places with the option to pay at the property, but this is not always possible.

And finally, it is time to pick that special place. Choose the one that’s closest to your heart, and do the booking process.

And don’t worry. If you went through all these steps, you’re gonna love it no matter what!