Our Top 5 Websites To Use For Booking Accommodations

By thistlesandcoos | Mar 2, 2020

Schloss Mittersill in Austria

Schloss Mittersill in Austria

People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.
~Dagobert David Runes

In our travels, we have stayed in a variety of places: castles, BnBs, hotels, hostels, a shepherd's hut and apartments. Each one had its own personality and we enjoyed our varied experiences. Below, we have listed our top 5 websites we use to reserve our stays.

Booking.com

Lissyclearig in Kenmare, Ireland

Lissyclearig in Kenmare, Ireland

Booking offers a variety of accommodations: hostels, BnB’s, hotels, and apartments. A nice feature Booking offers is filters. The filters allow you to narrow your search by price, location, type of place, and amenities. Our favorite feature is to use the map. For example, you may have found the “perfect” place only to realize it is 10 miles from the city center or public transportation. Back to square one.

Pros

  • You can also book airport taxis and restaurant reservations, in addition to hotels, flights and rental cars.
  • Easy to navigate the website.
  • Review score and price sorting option
  • It does have a price-match guarantee, however, so if you find a lower price after booking, you’ll get reimbursed for the difference.
  • Bundle flights and cars together with your hotel to save money.

Cons

  • Lack of reward programs so no real way to earn points
  • Can't get updates about pricing changes

**Some policies have changed for example, the cancellation policy might be nonrefundable or paid upfront. We have made these mistakes, so we want to be sure you don't relive our mistakes.

Airbnb

Piper's Cove in Gartymore, Scotland

Piper's Cove in Gartymore, Scotland

Airbnb is an excellent choice when you want to rent a house or maybe something unique. You also have the choice of just renting a room or part of a house for a discounted price. When renting the entire house, you have everything accessible to you: kitchen, living area, game rooms, etc. Be sure to check the fine print - is there a cleaning fee, a service fee or a minimum reservation required.

Pros

  • The website is so easy to use
  • Lots of choices from places to stay, experiences to try, and restaurant reservations
  • Great communication with hosts
  • Helpful customer service

Cons

  • Some require minimum stays of more than one night
  • Service fees can be high

Glamping

Shepherd's Hut on the Rock Farm Slane, Ireland

Shepherd's Hut on the Rock Farm Slane, Ireland

Glamping aka Glamourous Camping offers many unique styles of accommodations. You can rent a Yurt, Treehouse, or Shepherd's Hut to name a few. This is a major step up from what you may envision as “pitching a tent” camping.

Pros

  • Tent already set up and it looks PERFECT
  • If it is a fancy tent you are glamping in, expect it to be furnished with a bed, chairs, fluffy pillows, the works
  • Some are furnished with food
  • Expect to have running running water.
  • You are outside with all kinds of amenities

Cons

  • If you don't come prepared, then you may be S.O.L.
  • Some may not come with electricity

Celtic Castles

Carberry Tower, Scotland

Carberry Tower, Scotland

With numerous locations in Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, and France, you have the option of self-catering, a room in the castle, or the entire castle. Customer service is phenomenal. Communication is efficient.

Pros

  • Opulence
  • Feel like a queen/king for the day!
  • Most are updated for today's standards
  • Elegance
  • Attention to detail
  • Great selection of castles
  • Easy to cancel
  • Great communication

Cons

  • Can feel a little drafty in places
  • Floors cans be a little uneven (watch your step)
  • Can have interesting smells.. remember, these are OLD places

Hostelz

Tobermory Hostel (pink) in Scotland

Tobermory Hostel (pink) in Scotland

They are known to be the largest hostel database and they make things easy by comparing other booking sites so you can get the best price. It pinpoints the area and surrounding areas for your ideal search location.

**Hostelz will pay you $10 if you provide a full review with pictures.

Pros

  • The huge selection
  • Earning money
  • Huge database

Cons

  • Some hostels would come up booked on the site and then contacting the actual hostel, it would be available

Before we make our reservations official, we check TripAdvisor for reviews for other travelers. We have found most people are brutally honest when leaving a review and can be trusted. Reviewers will list the good, the bad and the ugly.

**Many times I have oohed and awed looking at a professional website and was ready to book. After checking TripAdvisor, and see the REAL pictures from travelers, like us, are posted. FTS. We have complete faith in these travelers. Dirty rooms, holes in the wall, or maybe rude owners. You will then book at your own risk.

Hotels Combined

The Hub by Premier Inn, Edinburgh

The Hub by Premier Inn, Edinburgh

This website will compare prices and “save you money”. After finding the hotel you want, contact the hotel directly. See if you can save more money.

Pros

  • Provides a wide range of pricing through other booking sites
  • Works with you to minimize your hotel search online
  • List and map results
  • You receive alerts when prices change

Cons

  • Doesn't offer rewards
  • Cannot filter through hotel brands

Honorable Mentions

  • Hostelworld
  • BedandBreakfast.com
  • Hotels.com
  • Priceline
  • Vrbo and HomeAway

Comment and share some of your tried and true methods on finding the perfect accommodation.

Bed And Breakfast Hotel Accommodation Hostels

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Written by thistlesandcoos
Natalie and Connie have been providing people with travel services, itineraries, advice, cultural insight and important tips when traveling. Thistles and Coos invites you to join in on our journey to appreciate the beautiful world and the amazing people it contains. #travelsimpler

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