You may be planning your next European vacation from abroad and your curiosity has you wondering: is Booking.com legit?
As an avid traveler of Europe for the past seven years, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring some of the most beautiful destinations from Montenegro to Iceland. Germany is the perfect launchpad to see all the things. I’m so lucky.
And, TBH, I always start with the “Booking” website. Are there issues sometimes, yes. Of course. This is tourism and things do sometimes go wrong.
✅ 26 year company owned by legitimate business, #1 Tourism website in world
✅ Largest selection of rooms
✅ Excellent user interface and reminders
❌ Flights getting cancelled can be quite difficult to rebook
❌ Not always the lowest rate – sometimes direct bookings are cheaper
❌ Cancellations and refunds are strict – As posted.
This company has been around 26 years and is owned by Booking Holdings.
What You Will Learn
So, is Booking.com legit and Reliable?
Yes. And it’s very simple to stay organized without secondary apps.
From hiking through the rugged wilderness of Portugal’s Alentejo coast to strolling the streets of Bari Italy in Puglia’s tasty Mediterranean seaside, I’ve relied on multiple platforms, but I always start with booking to help me plan and book my city and my Adventure trips.
One of the best and most popular platforms I’ve used is Booking.com, which offers a wide variety of accommodation options, flights, car rentals, and airport transfers. Not everything works on booking.com – especially hut to hut hiking in the Dolomites.
In this article, I’ll share my experience using Booking.com for both adventure trips and city breaks, and provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the platform.
Is booking.com legit? yes. Most def!
Is Booking.com a Scam?
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first trip, this guide will help you decide if Booking.com is the right platform for your travel needs.
The answer is no, Booking.com is not a scam and is a legitimate platform for booking hotels, apartments, and other types of accommodations.
In fact, it’s one of the most trusted and reliable online travel agencies available. The company was founded in the Netherlands in 1996 and has since grown to become one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world.
Related Reading: Save space in your luggage with this review of the best hiking travel dresses that are stylish and multifuntional too.
What is Booking.com?
The Booking platform is a popular travel booking platform that enables travelers to search and book accommodations, flights, car rentals, and other travel-related services. Founded in 1996, the company has become a go-to resource for travelers who want to plan their trips in advance and save money on their bookings.
One of the things that makes it unique is its vast selection of properties. The platform offers over 28 million accommodation listings worldwide, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels and resorts.
Whether you’re looking for a private apartment in the heart of the city or a cozy cottage in the countryside, Booking.com has something to suit every budget and preference.
Booking.com works with a vast network of accommodations providers, from small bed and breakfasts to large hotel chains, to offer a wide range of options to travelers. It’s easy to use and offers competitive pricing, making it a go-to choice for many travelers.
Additionally, the site’s reviews and ratings system helps ensure that accommodations are of high quality and meet the needs of guests. Booking.com has a team that verifies the authenticity of reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews from being posted.
However, as with any online platform, it’s important to take precautions when using Booking.com. Always make sure to book through the official site, as fraudulent third-party sites may attempt to mimic the Booking.com interface to steal your personal and financial information.
Who is Booking.com For?
Booking.com is suitable for a wide range of travelers, including individuals, families, and business travelers. It is also a great resource for anyone who wants to save time and money on their travel planning.
The platform is especially popular among budget-conscious travelers who are looking for affordable accommodations without sacrificing quality. With its user-friendly interface, travelers can easily compare prices, amenities, and location to find the perfect accommodation for their needs.
Booking.com is also great for those who like to book their travel plans in advance. With its flexible booking policies and free cancellation options, travelers can book their accommodations and make changes to their plans as needed without incurring extra fees.
Pros of Booking.com
Booking.com offers several advantages that make it a popular choice among travelers. First and foremost, the platform offers a vast selection of accommodations worldwide, making it easy for travelers to find the perfect place to stay.
They also allow sustainability factors to be noted so you can make the best travel decision.
Another advantage of Booking.com is its user-friendly interface, which allows travelers to filter their search results by price, location, amenities, and other criteria. This makes it easy to find accommodations that meet their specific needs and preferences.
Booking.com also offers flexible booking policies, including free cancellation options, which can be especially useful for travelers who need to make changes to their plans at the last minute.
Cons of Booking.com
While Booking.com offers many advantages, there are also a few potential drawbacks to keep in mind. One of the main concerns that some travelers have is the lack of direct communication with the property owner or manager. This can make it difficult to get specific information about the property or make special requests.
Another potential downside of Booking.com is the commission that the platform charges for each booking. While the commission is typically included in the price of the booking, it can still add up over time, especially for frequent travelers.
Many family owned huts in the high elevations of the Dolomites or Alps will not participate in booking.com. Also, some interesting German Mosel River glamping and/or Finnish style yurt stays don’t participate.
Finally, some travelers may be concerned about the reliability of the information provided on Booking.com.
While the platform does take measures to verify the accuracy of its listings, there is always a risk that the information may not be up-to-date or accurate.
How to Use Booking.com
If you’re planning a trip to Europe, you’ve likely come across Booking.com in your search for the perfect accommodations. You can book on desktop or use the app. I’d recommend to use the app as it will track all of your nightly rentals and send you travel reminders along with some discount codes.
I just got a 100 euro code sent to me today!
Are you an adventure seeker who’s always on the go and looking for a simple way to book your travel accommodations? Then the Booking.com app is perfect for you!
With the app’s easy-to-use interface, you can effortlessly search for Accommodation or Car Rental options by entering your Destination, Dates, Rooms, and number of Guests. And if you’re a business traveler, simply check the circle and submit your search.
You’ll love the convenience of the app’s Home page, which displays your recent searches and even allows you to list your property to make money while you travel or subscribe to members-only deals.
The app’s listing page is loaded with features, including the ability to sort properties by popularity, distance, star rating, price, and more. Filters like budget, star rating, facilities, and even advanced features like online payments, review score, and free cancellation, give you full control over your search.
Is booking.com legit? Here’s how…
Maps show each property, tagged with the cost for the duration of your stay, and an option to select your currency.
And if you’re using the app, you might even get a discount on your booking! Listings sometimes offer special mobile-only deals that you won’t find on the desktop website.
With the app, you can browse photos of the property, read reviews from other guests, and save your favorite properties for later. You can even select the room type that best suits your needs and view its payment and cancellation policy.
Once you’re ready to book, hit the “Select” button and follow the easy process to log in and finalize your reservation.
Are you an adventure lover searching for a place to stay during your next outdoor excursion? You might want to consider Booking.com, the popular online travel agency. But what happens if you need to cancel your booking? Here’s what you need to know.
Reservation for Hotel, Hostel, House, Apartment
|Type of Reservation: “Your Choice”
|How to Cancel
|Free Cancellation Until (Date) Every Hotel Varies
|Cancel prior to the date
|Free Cancellation Until (Date) – Passed
|Same as Non-Refundable
|Travel Insurance Claim
|“Non-Refundable” – No Insurance
|Write a letter – see below
ProTip: Create an account because they will send some freebies once in awhile like 100 euros off a stay!
To see the cancellation policy on your booking, enter the check-in and check-out dates. You may be able to cancel your booking for free up to 48 hours before your arrival, depending on the property’s cancellation policy. If you’re not sure about the details, be sure to check the property’s cancellation policy in your booking confirmation.
Some properties may not require pre-payment, which means you can pay when you arrive. If you need to cancel your booking, the property will determine the fees, which are listed in the cancellation policy. Remember that you’ll pay the property directly for the cancellation, not Booking.com.
Non-refundable bookings typically incur a charge if you cancel. However, you may be able to request a free cancellation, which sends a request to the property to waive your cancellation fee. If the request is successful, you might be able to re-book your desired dates.
After you cancel a booking, you should receive a confirmation email within 24 hours. If you haven’t received it, be sure to check your Inbox and Spam folder. It’s also a good idea to confirm with the property that they received your cancellation.
Note that taxes, charges, and VAT are included in the price, so you don’t need to worry about any additional fees. With these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to cancel your Booking.com reservation and plan your next outdoor adventure with ease.
Are Booking.com reviews fake?
In order to submit a review, it’s required that you have stayed with that hotel or flight via their platform. They offer star reviews.
That being said, there are some people who stay and leave negative reviews regardless of their experiences. This is unfortunate, but positive reviews take more effort on behalf of the user, so it’s expected and common in the travel industry.
Conclusion: Is booking.com legit?
Almost every place for rent is on booking.com in Europe. It was the first recommendation I received when I moved here in 2015 to plan trips and it’s remained the most reliable for normal trips. In the US other websites seem to be more useful.
However, if you truly want to get off-the-beaten path, you may find that mountain hut owners, glamping along Mosel Valley vineyards and other more “local” places will require a back and forth email to arrange, or a bank transfer to make a deposit or simply want you to pay in cash when you arrive.
Is it safe to book a hotel through booking com?
Absolutely. I’ve made many, many hotel and apartment reservations through booking.com. Sometimes I even try to book with the hotel directly and they refer me back to booking.com. Gone are the days when you contact the hotel directly to get a discount.
What are the disadvantages of booking.com?
You will miss out on loyalty program from hotels that offer loyalty reward points.
Is it worth it to use booking.com?
Yes. Booking.com stands out above almost every timeshare available. DO NOT BUY A TIMESHARE. They are a scam.
Is it cheaper to book a hotel directly or through booking.com?
This completely depends. Some hotels may offer a special rate if you contact them directly, however this is rare as the administrative costs are high to manage this. If they operate in this way, they probably don’t offer their accommodation on booking.com to begin with.
Can I get a full refund from booking.com?
If your booking has been cancelled, Booking.com refunds you immediately. The processing time may take 7 to 10 days and depends on your bank. If you have questions, contact your bank directly.
Is it hard to cancel with booking.com?
It’s not possible to reject a reservation. Depending on your policies, a guest may be able to cancel their reservation using a link in their confirmation email or via their Booking account. In some cases, you can initiate a cancellation request if a guest asks you to, or if there’s an issues with a guest’s payment.
Does booking.com have hidden fees like Airbnb?
No. On booking.com the fee is fixed at 15% with no hidden costs.
Have you seen my other Europe Travel Guides?
- Curious about the shoulder season? Where is hot in April in Europe?
- How to cancel a booking platform reservation
- Can you bring hiking poles on an airplane?
- A power bank is an essential travel companion as it ensures your devices remain charged and functional, allowing you to navigate, capture memories, and stay connected even while on the move.
Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.