Is it Worth it to Use

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with trying to figure out where to stay when you are planning your travels, especially a road trip that has a lot of stops? I hear you. But is it worth it to use

Key takeaways

  • offers many accommodation options, including vacation rental stays such as homes and apartments.
  • Features like a map view help you easily locate lodging options and mobile-only discounts through the app will help you save money.
  • Carefully review listings for details such as parking fees and cancellation policies.
  • may not be the best choice for booking major hotel chains if you’re looking to use or earn loyalty rewards points.
Modern hotel rooms with many large windows looking out over water.

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Outside booking plane tickets (ugh) the part of travel planning that gives me the most anxiety is trying to figure out where to stay

There are so many things to consider: 

  • What’s the best area of town to stay in? 
  • Or for a road trip, where are the best cities and towns to stop? 
  • How are you going to find a good deal? 
  • Can I really be sure that I’m making a good decision when I book my accommodations? 

Sometimes the choice of accommodations can make or break your trip. After a long day of sightseeing, you want to know that you’re going to be able to sleep comfortably before you’re up and at ‘em again the next day. 

That’s why—when it comes to choosing accommodations—I start all my travel planning at If you can’t travel away from your hometown or very near it, you can try a hotel staycation.

Using for hotel stays is a popular travel booking platform for stays, flights, rental cars, attractions and airport taxis. Where they really excel is with booking accommodations. 

The company was started in The Netherlands in 1996. They claim to have more than 28 million (!) listings around the world, nearly a quarter of which are homes, apartments and other places to stay that aren’t traditional hotels. 

You can find a HUGE number and variety of places to stay through all over the world, and it’s available in 43 languages. 

At first, I found using rather overwhelming (there are so many properties to choose from). But after I dove in and familiarized myself with how the site works, I now always start planning for my hotel reservations on 

I don’t always choose to make my reservation through, but I always start there. 

Benefits of using 

  • You can find a wide variety of accommodations from tiny “mom & pop” B&B’s to large hotel chains and even vacation rentals and homestays. 
  • It’s a great way to book with very small, local businesses who don’t have a way to make reservations on their own website. Often these businesses list themselves with to find their perfect guest…you! 
  • If you have questions about a particular property that hasn’t already been answered, you can send a message to them through’s “Ask a Question” feature. 
  • It’s quite easy to search for accommodations in a particular area with the map view.
  • You can score mobile-only discounts if you book with the easy-to-use app. 
  • You can keep all your reservations together in one place (even if booking only independently owned B&B’s), which is perfect for complicated road trips with a lot of stops. 

I love using’s map view feature. With the Map View you can easily find the perfect accommodation at the perfect location. 

Screenshot showing where to find the map view on website.
It’s a cinch to use with their map view.

You can filter your search on the left, zoom in and out of the map with the “+” and “-” on the lower right and hover over the pins to get a snapshot of the property. 

A pin filled with red indicates the property is not available for the dates of your trip. 

Screenshot showing the map view on website.
One of the benefits of using is their map view to help you find the perfect property in the perfect location.

Challenges with using 

  • Depending on your destination there may be an overwhelming number of properties to filter through. 
  • There can be a lot of information to sift through to find what you need within each property listing. For example, you may need to scroll WAY down the page to find out if a particular hotel charges for parking. 
  • You need to take your time to make sure you are booking what you really want, particularly the property’s cancellation policy for the room and rate you are booking. (Although to be fair, I’d tell you that no matter where or how you book a stay.) 
  • When you first search for a property, options will be arranged in a scannable list but not necessarily in such a way that benefits the traveler. But you can get around this by filtering and sorting according to your needs. 
  • is not designed for booking major chain hotels where you might want to use your elite status or earn loyalty rewards points. 
Screenshot showing other ways to sort search results on website.
I like to use’s sort features like “Top Reviewed” to find properties other travelers love.

When searching for properties on, I prefer NOT to view the results by the default “Top Picks.” These properties are arranged in the way wants me to see them. 

Instead, I choose “Review Score & Price” or I click on the three dots on the right and choose “Top Reviewed.”  

This way I’m seeing results listed in such a way that features the best properties as chosen by those who have stayed there and supplied reviews after their stay. 

I believe that where excels is with providing a platform to book unique accommodations, and I use it almost exclusively for this. 

We have elite status and a lot of points with Marriott, so when we want to stay there, we book directly through the Marriott website. 

Check out my full discussion of which is better: or direct with hotel.

What about other hotel booking sites? 

Other sites such as Agoda,, and also offer similar services. None of them claim to offer nearly as many properties worldwide as 

For example, Agoda claims they have access to 3.6 million properties. That’s about 13% of what you can find through

While I could book stays with confidence with any of the other above companies, for sheer numbers of options alone I always go to first when planning a trip. FAQs 

Is it safe to book through 

Absolutely. is a reservations platform only. You will deal directly with the accommodations if you have questions and you can send messages to them through the platform. 

What if I need to cancel? 

You can cancel your reservation. But please pay very close attention to the cancellation terms before you book anything. They will vary based on where you book and also what kind of room you book. 

I once had to cancel a major trip, which meant I had to cancel several reservations I had booked with a flexible rate (free cancellation) but had also pre-payed for. I received a full refund for each and every one in a timely manner. No problems at all. 

I’ve seen bad reviews about on the internet. Should I be concerned about using them? 

I’d read the review in full and any responses to that review. Sometimes travelers forget that their reservation is not with but the actual property they booked and don’t communicate with the property when they have an issue. Or sometimes they don’t realize that they booked a non-refundable rate. 

If you have any concerns when you need to cancel your reservation, you should always communicate with the property to handle any issues. My own experience with booking many accommodations I had to cancel was nothing but stellar.

When I rescheduled my trip and wanted to rebook my accommodations, I went right back to 

Do you pay immediately on 

It depends. Your search results listing will indicate which properties offer free cancellation.  

And when selecting your accommodations, make sure you look at the notes in the “Your Choices” column when you click into the property.

It will tell you whether your selection offers free cancellation, no prepayment needed; free cancellation; or if it’s non-refundable. 

You can also filter your search results to only show those property that offer free cancellation. 

Screenshot showing where to find which properties have free cancellation on the website.
When using you can filter results to only see properties that offer free cancellation.

Can I earn rewards points through my preferred hotel brand loyalty program? 

You should check with your preferred hotel brand’s loyalty rewards program. Many, if not most, exclude third-party bookings from earning points for hotel stays. 

Is it worth it to use The bottom line. 

If you are looking for unique accommodations, I would absolutely use If you prefer to stay with major hotel brands where you can earn loyalty reward points, then I would recommend booking directly with the hotel. 

mockup image of a free printable travel planner

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Comfortable hotel bed with a lovely view and text that says "Is it worth it to use"
Comfortable hotel bed with a lovely view and text that says "Is it worth it to use"


  1. Donatella says:

    Hi Darcy, Thank you for your very useful information. I’ve been using for long time but mostly for business travels, when you stay in one place only. Now, travelling on leisure with family I’d like to book multiple hotels, let’s say, 2 nights at London, then 1 night at Birmingham, 2 at Liverpool and so on, covering all my travel.
    Do you know if this is possibile with one booking only, so to proceed with one payment only, or multiple bookings, one per each hotel, are required?
    Thank you for your help
    Donatella, from Italy

    1. Darcy Vierow says:

      That’s a great question. You’re not actually paying Booking for your hotel stay, you’re paying each individual hotel you’re staying in. Booking is just a convenient place to see and make all your reservations in one place.

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