The Best Booking Sites to Use
The two sites we use the most are Booking.com and Agoda.com. While these two sites seem to be somewhat in cahoots, they both have different properties and different reviews for the same properties. They can even have different pricing on the same property; so, make sure you look on both sites! The methodology for searching described below will work on both resources (with some minor differences. All screen shots are from Agoda!).
1) Obviously, start with searching for the city and date range that you are looking for. This will bring up hundreds to thousands of results. Don’t be intimidated! We will narrow them down shortly.
2) Next, we want to filter the results to only accommodations that have received an 8 or above user rating. No one likes staying in sketchy hotels and the user rating is the best way to kick those out.
3) As a digital nomad, the next most important thing besides our general safety is that the place has WiFi. Naturally, we can eliminate all accommodations that do not offer Wifi. Feel free to skip this step if you don’t work from the road!
4) The last filter that we typically apply is for the price range. We look for places under $20 USD and usually have no issue (at least in SE Asia) but feel free to narrow it down to whatever fits your budget. The importance of applying this filter cannot be understated! It ensures that you are staying within your budget. We have all fallen victim to booking a place that is “only $10 more per night” but that $10 can be spent in better ways. Stick to the budget!
5) The above filters should have severely narrowed your results! Maybe you have 10-20 to look through now as opposed to 750. Nicely done! After all the filters are applied, I like to sort by price, low to high so I can start at the top of the list (lowest price that meets my filter criteria).
6) Now, don’t get all click happy yet! Even though we have drastically narrowed our options, we still only want a few serious options to consider. This is where we look at the number of reviews for each property. I will scroll down the list of options and open any that have more reviews than the others. Look for accommodations that have 50+ reviews. This means you can trust the user rating.
7) After you have selected 2 or 3 good accommodations, leave them open in your browser and repeat the process described above on the other site (Agoda or Booking). You may find 1 or two more to consider!
8) Last step! Read through the recent reviews and make sure everything seems kosher. Do people like the location? Do they find the WiFi stable? Is there hot water? There are lots of other things to consider that you can’t filter for unfortunately.
After you have chosen a few, just book one! Or two! They almost always have a free cancellation policy so you can decide later. Just don’t forget to cancel later or you will be paying double!
So, there you have it! This system is tried and true and hasn’t let us down yet! We would love to hear any other tactics that you find useful as you dial in your technique. Thanks for reading!