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Travel and bookingEurope Travel Checklist: Don't Leave Home Without ItSo you've heard of all the great sights and tourist attractions Europe has to offer and decided to travel there? Great choice! But now things get practical. Below we've created a comprehensive checklist of items to bring and things to consider when you plan a trip to Europe. It's of vital importance that you use a checklist like this one to keep track and ensure you're covering all your bases before you set off on your journey. » Discover how to get the best online hotel deals Quick Check 1. Documents and PaperworkPassport and visa requirementsTravel insuranceHealth documentsEmergency contacts2. Access to Your MoneyCredit/debit cardsCurrency exchanges/ATM access3. Technology EssentialsAdapters and converters for European outletsEssential devices (power banks, laptops, phones)ChargersNavigation and translation apps4. Clothing and AccessoriesClothing for all weather typesComfortable shoes for walking/hikingBags/backpacks5. ToiletriesSoaps and shampoosToothbrush and toothpasteSunscreenMoisturizer 1. Documents and Paperwork First things first, you need to get all the proper documentation required to travel to Europe. Without these, you won't be able to book flight tickets or be allowed into Europe at the border. Passport and Visa Requirements Your passport is the most important document you have, and you should keep it with you at all times. It's a no-brainer that you need one of these to travel to any country outside your own. Visa requirements for entering the Schengen zone (which includes most of Europe) will vary depending on the country your passport was issued in. If you're from Western countries like the USA, the UK, or Canada, you won't need a tourist visa for short stays. See the EU's official list here. I've learned that getting a visa is a lengthy process that requires many documents depending on the specific type of visa you need and what your current status is, so start this process as soon as you can. Travel Insurance A Schengen visa requires you to have sufficient travel insurance, and even if it wasn't required getting insurance is still a good idea to keep you covered in case of any eventuality. Health Documents Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries require proof of vaccination and/or a COVID-19 test before you enter. However, the EU currently imposes no restrictions and doesn't require any proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Emergency Contacts/Important Phone Numbers As with travel insurance, having emergency contacts in place in case of an emergency is a must. Keep a list of your emergency contacts' names, international phone numbers, addresses, and relation to you with your documents. Other Documents There are other documents you might need depending on your specific situation (like an unabridged birth certificate if you're traveling with your child). Be sure to do some research and talk to a travel agent about your trip beforehand. » Using Booking.com? Here's how to get the best Booking.com deals 2. Access to Your Money Part and parcel of travel is spending money, and you'll want to have quick, easy, and inexpensive access to it in the local currency. It's also essential you understand the expected costs, as they can be influenced by many different factors such as region, planned activities, and travel duration—one month in Europe will cost much more than a couple of weeks. Credit/Debit Cards Your credit or debit card is your best friend on trips like these. They usually offer great travel perks, inexpensive currency conversions, and almost universal usage options at card machines in shops, hotels, and restaurants. This is much safer than carrying cash or travelers' cheques (which are being phased out). This has saved me many headaches and stress over carrying cash. Currency Exchanges/ATMs You can use currency exchanges at the airport or in town, but these often come with hefty fees and bad conversion rates. If you need hard cash, withdraw bulk sums at ATMs to save on fees and always use bank ATMs (not "independent" ATMs like Travelex, Euronet, Moneybox, Cashzone, and Cardpoint). » Short on cash? Learn how to travel Europe for less money 3. Technology Essentials Adapters and Converters for European Outlets You need power adapters to fit your chargers and cables to European standards (a flat, two-pole, round-pin plug) and then convert the voltage as necessary (Europe uses 250 volts, while the USA uses 110 volts). After forgetting this once, I now always bring a multiplug with me that can handle many different countries' standards. Essential Devices and Chargers Don't forget to bring your phone and any other devices you may need (such as power banks, laptops, and tablets) as well as all chargers and accessories. Navigation and Translation Apps You're not guaranteed to have an internet connection when you get to Europe, so install navigation and translation apps beforehand and download maps and languages offline just to be safe. » Traveling Europe alone? Here's how to plan your trip 4. Clothing and Accessories Equipment for All Seasons and Activities Europe is home to many different climates, so you'll want to research the weather conditions of where and when you're going to be sure you're packing the right stuff. Cold climates (Scandinavia) These countries are cold even in summer. Be prepared for snow, chilly winds, and cold rains. Layer well and buy good quality jackets and grippy shoes. I've made the mistake of just bringing sneakers before and had a sore bum to prove it!Temperate climates (Central, Western, and Eastern Europe) Most of Europe is more temperate, with cold, snowy winters but warmer summers. You should still pack warmly but have cooler clothes for the summer.Warmer climates (Mediterranean) The Med is usually nice and warm, even during the winter months, so pack lighter, cool clothing. Still, don't forget a jacket or two. Remember to pack any formal wear if you're planning on going to formal events or fancy restaurants. If water activities are involved (especially in the Mediterranean), pack swimsuits as well as hats and sunglasses to protect yourself. If you're going to be doing any activities like skiing, hiking, or cycling, be sure to pack the right clothes for that too. Comfortable Shoes for Walking and Exploring Walking and exploring are part and parcel of traveling and your feet will be going through a lot. Pack comfortable shoes (waterproof, grippy ones if you're heading to snowy places) that can take a beating and still keep your feet comfortably on the ground. Bags/Backpacks It's very important you have good bags and backpacks to store all your possessions in. Have some travel bags and comfortable backpacks for carry-on during the flight and keep your essentials in while you explore. I prefer bringing strong and spacious hiking backpacks even if I won't be actually hiking. » Travel often? Make use of the top hotel rewards programs 5. Toiletries Toiletries are essential since you never know what will be available for purchase in the country you're going to. You'll certainly find the basics, but it's best to bring your own: Soaps and shampoos You're probably going to get dirty, so keep your shower or bath items close by. Soaps, shampoos, conditioners, gels, and more all need to be packed.Toothbrushes and toothpaste Nobody likes stinky breath. Pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash if you need it.Sunscreen Even in colder climates, you can burn easily. The sun reflecting off of water and snow can turn you into a red tomato in no time. Always pack sunscreen and remember to apply it.Moisturizer Flying and colder climates tend to agitate and dry your skin. Pack some skincare products like moisturizers to keep your skin soft and fresh.Beauty products and perfumes/deodorants Don't make the mistake I made: remember to only pack travel-sized bottles for your carry-on luggage! Airlines have restrictions on how big the bottles can be, usually 100mL/3.4oz. You can buy travel-sized plastic bottles at some stores and then pour out your soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and more into them. Save Our Checklist for Future Use And your list is done! Good practice is to make a personal packing list, pack well before your trip, and then walk around your house to see if you've missed anything. Print out our handy checklist and add whatever essential items you don't want to forget, and don't forget to make your bookings through CashYo to save extra cash for your European holiday.
Travel and bookingTraveling Europe Alone? Here's How to Plan Your TripWhether you’re a seasoned traveler or just starting out, traveling alone in Europe can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also come with some challenges. However, planning for your trip can help make your journey smoother and minimize any risks. While planning your adventure may seem daunting at first, especially if you're a go-with-the-flow type of traveler, the helpful tips below can simplify the process. » Using Booking.com? Here's how to save money through Booking.com Pick Your Destinations Before booking a hotel room or your flight, research your desired destinations. Knowing exactly what you want to visit and what activities you'll undertake can help you pick the best places to stay. When picking your destinations, consider your purpose for the trip—do you want to explore the local culture and history and try out local cuisines, or do some soul-searching and hike a few trails? Once you settle on that, picking a destination that offers what you're after the most will be much easier. Best Places to Solo Travel Europe It's important to prioritize personal safety when traveling alone, especially if you're a female traveler going solo for the first time. Some European places are generally safer than others, so research your destinations thoroughly beforehand. Prague, Czech Republic Prague is a well-known solo travel and backpacker-friendly destination due to its general affordability, ambiance, and large expat community. The city's Bohemian culture gives it a laid-back vibe, while the historical spots offer a rich cultural experience solo travelers can enjoy.Budapest, Hungary Known as the "spa capital of the world," Budapest offers an excellent spot for solo travelers looking to unwind and drink at local bars, visit bathhouses, and mingle with friendly locals.Amsterdam, Netherlands Amsterdam is the perfect destination for those looking to party. Known for its vibrant nightlife, Amsterdam has a lot to offer, from museums to scenic attractions. The city also has an excellent biking infrastructure and public transport system, so getting around on your own is super convenient. » See our top places to travel without a passport Safest European Countries for Solo Female Travelers According to a report by the luggage brand Kipling, some of the top European destinations for solo female travelers based on activity offerings, transportation options, popular attractions, equality, and safety include: Germany Hamburg and Munich were hailed as the top two destinations for solo female travelers. Apart from Munich being the eighth safest city in the world, both cities offer great culture and entertainment options for solo female travelers to enjoy with peace of mind.Scotland With reports of street harassment and theft being rare, Edinburgh is known as a great city for women and LGBT+ solo travelers in particular. Plus, it boasts rich history and cultural scene, and solo travelers can enjoy picturesque cobbled streets, buildings, gardens, coffee shops, and thrift stores.Ireland Ranked the tenth safest country in the world, Ireland is incredibly welcoming and inclusive, so female travelers should feel safe while exploring it solo. Dublin, in particular, is home to literary greats (like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce) and the legendary Guinness, guaranteeing an experience rich in history, good beer, and great food. Plan Your Stays and Book Accommodation Having chosen your perfect travel destination, the next step is to find accommodations suitable for solo travelers. The best accommodation type for your trip will depend on your needs, budget, and preference. Other than the usual options like hotels and hostels, alternative accommodations like Airbnb offers a unique and homey experience but might require more advanced planning. Some other alternatives include eco-lodges, homestays, and farm stays that will allow you to immerse yourself in local culture better. » Looking for a cheaper stay? Here's how to get the best online hotel deals Plan Travel Options To ensure the best experience while exploring Europe as a solo traveler, consider using available train services or budget airline options when planning your transportation needs. Book travel options well before your trip and make an itinerary to maximize your time and avoid last-minute stress. Stay Safe While Traveling Europe Having fun doesn't mean foregoing safety, so take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Make sure to take the following precautions when traveling alone: Always let someone know about your travel plansCarry an up-to-date map and make sure you have a reliable source of communicationAvoid walking alone or at night in unfamiliar or isolated areasResearch public transportation schedules Make the Most of Your Solo Europe Trip Traveling not only helps you experience new things but also builds lasting relationships, so traveling alone doesn't mean you'd be lonely or scared. In fact, there are many ways for solo travelers to meet friends, such as joining local tours, attending social events hosted by hostels or cafes, or even taking language classes. When traveling through Europe alone, planning your trip beforehand will ensure a safer and more organized experience so you can focus on exploring your destination, meeting locals, and making new memories. » Earn cashback on your flights and accommodation through CashYo
Travel and booking5 Best Hotel Rewards Programs for Frequent TravelersTraveling is expensive, and when you do so often, every penny you save can make a difference. Luckily, there are various loyalty and cashback programs that allow frequent travelers to save money by rewarding them for doing precisely what they love—traveling. If you find yourself constantly choosing flights and booking hotels, these loyalty programs may be worth it to make the most out of your travel budget. » Looking for cheaper stays? Here's how to get the best online hotel deals A Quick Look at Our Top 5 Booking.com's Genius Program: Best for price discountsHotels.com's Rewards Program: Best for free night staysAgoda's PointsMAX Program: Best for multiple rewards programOrbitz's Rewards Program: Best for cashback-style rewardsExpedia's Rewards Program: Best for simplicity 1. Booking.com's Genius Program Best for: Price discounts Booking.com is one of the largest online travel agencies that allow you to book flights, accommodations, vehicles, and other travel arrangements. ProsFree to sign upFirst-tier rewards applied on signupWide variety of hotel and travel optionsUp to 20% discount on staysFree breakfast, late checkouts, and room upgradesConsNot all hotels on the platform participate in the programThe Genius program doesn't offer rewards points that can be used at a later stage How It Works The Booking.com Genius program is a unique rewards program that offers travelers discounts on stays with participating hotels through 3 levels of loyalty. Genius level 1 is achieved simply by signing up. On the other hand, you can achieve Genius levels 2 and 3 when you complete 5 (tier 2) or 15 (tier 3) stays in two years. The rewards each tier offers include: Genius Level 1Genius level 2Genius level 3Booking discount10%10%–15%10%–20%Eligible for free breakfast NoYesYesEligible for free room upgradesNoYesYesDedicated booking supportNoNoYes » Get cashback from Booking.com 2. Hotels.com's Rewards Program Best for: Free night stays Hotels.com is a popular online travel agency that offers you a simple, one-stop location for all your hotel reservations, flights, and unique loyalty rewards. ProsA double rewards system offers additional benefitsFree to sign upIncludes cashback, price match guaranteeSecret prices available to membersConsProgram rewards are valued for only 12 monthsFree night stay is valued at the average of your staysDeals are subject to availability, which could limit your reward use How It Works Hotels.com has a rewards program that offers you a free stay for every 10 completed stays and a tiered rewards system you can use to get more rewards the more you use the platform. You earn one point for every completed stay, which is known as a "stamp." For every 10 stamps, you're rewarded with a free night's stay to the average value of your previous 10 stays. Additionally, you're offered the following rewards as your stamps increase: Rewards (0–9 stamps): Instant savings on stays and rewards nightsRewards Silver (10–29 stamps): All of the above, free breakfast, Wi-Fi, spa vouchers, priority customer service, and price match featuresRewards Gold (30+ stamps): All of the above, free room upgrades, and early check-in and late checkout » Earn Hotels.com cashback 3. Agoda's PointsMAX Program Best for: Multiple rewards options Agoda is an online space comparable to platforms like Priceline where travelers can book global flights and stays online in multiple languages and currencies. ProsVariety of rewards platforms to earn fromNo additional membership feesEasy to useConsRewards expire at different times depending on the programThe redemption process is external to Agoda and may be complicatedPointsMAX rate isn't always the cheapest option on Agoda How It Works Instead of its own rewards system, Agoda offers rewards programs offered by external parties. When using the PointsMAX rate, you can select your preferred rewards program and have it redeemed upon completing your stay. Different programs offer different rewards, so it's important to take note of the specific program's details. As it stands, Agoda.com is partnered with the following rewards programs: » Save money while traveling with Agoda cashback 4. Orbitz's Rewards Program Best for: Cashback-style rewards Orbitz is an online travel agency for booking all your travel essentials, including flights, hotel stays, vehicles, cruises, and activities. ProsEarning rewards for every booking you make through OrbitzNo restrictions on when and where you can use your rewardsAdditional rewards above cashback for more loyal customersConsRewards expire after 12 months of no booking activityLess variety of stays than on other platformsSometimes more expensive to compensate for the rewards program How It Works Orbitz's rewards program works as a simple cashback-style reward, where you're credited with virtual money known as Orbucks. Each Orbuck is worth $1 and can be redeemed when making future bookings. The percentage of Orbucks you earn is directly related to the cost of your booking and whether you booked online or through the mobile app. Rewards are as follows: Additionally, the more stays you book and complete, the more rewards you're offered through a 3-tier loyalty program. The additional benefits include: Silver – Achieved upon signing upGold – 4 stays per yearPlatinum – 12 stays per yearMember-only pricesYesYesYesEarn OrbucksYesYesYesDedicated customer serviceYesYesYesFree WiFi, breakfast, and more at participating propertiesNoYesYesUp to $50 back on seat selection or baggage feesNoNoYesFreeTSA Pre✔® applicationNoNoYesFree room upgrades and early check-inNoNoYes » Benefit from Orbitz cashback 5. Expedia's Rewards Program Best for: Simplicity Expedia is a website that helps you book flights, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, and activities, with access to a wide selection of options at leading competitive prices. ProsPoints are earned for every bookingMember tiers allow for additional earningMembers have access to exclusive deals and hotel optionsConsPoint value changes depending on how it's redeemedTier requirements can be high for some and don't offer a wide range of perks How It Works Expedia makes use of a traditional points system, granting points for every dollar you spend on the platform. Once you collect enough points, you're able to redeem them for discount vouchers, which can be used for future stays and flights. Alternatively, points can be used directly at checkout with no minimum requirement. Additionally, you'll receive one trip element for each completed stay, flight, cruise, or rental. Trip elements are accumulated to earn additional rewards and perks as follows: Blue (Activates Immediately): Up to 10% discount on participating hotels, earn 1 point for every $1 you spend on eligible bookings, and double points when you book through the mobile appSilver (10 Trip Elements): All of Blue perks, plus 2 points per $1 spent, free breakfasts and spa credits where applicable, and access to VIP Access propertiesGold (25 Trip Elements): All of Silver and Blue perks, plus 3 points for every $1 you spend, as well as free room upgrades and late check-outs » Boost your savings with cashback from Expedia Reap the Rewards of Frequent Travel As a frequent traveler, it's a no-brainer to take advantage of loyalty programs and accumulate rewards for cheaper future trips. What's more, combining these rewards with cashback sites like CashYo will open up a world of great deals and savings, so choose your program and start earning simply by traveling. » See our top tips for getting the best hotel deals
Travel and bookingTravel Europe for Less: 5 Tips for Affordable HolidaysWe've all been there: wanting to plan a trip to see new places, but stopping short because of the high costs involved, like transport and accommodation. While traveling can be expensive, especially to first-world places like Europe, you can pull it off and save some cash while you're at it with these five tips for affordable holidays. » Traveling Europe alone? Here's how to plan your trip 1. Plan Your Holiday Around Cheaper Locations Europe is known for its rich cultural history and modern advancements, and the lifestyle perks it offers make the cost of living high in many European places. However, while many travelers can find this off-putting, there are still some European countries with much cheaper costs, especially if you live in a wealthy region like the US. Best European Budget Vacation Spots While there are many cheaper destinations in Europe, here are some great tourist spots that are generally more budget-friendly than the rest and offer great value for money: Czech Republic Those looking for quaint scenes are bound to be wowed by this country's Romanesque, gothic, renaissance, baroque, and classicist architecture styles enduring side by side. The nation also boasts many UNESCO world heritage sites and welcoming locals, in addition to inexpensive food and drink options.Estonia If you're looking for something more Baltic, Estonia may be the ideal spot with affordable accommodation choices. The country has been rising to prominence in the past few decades with its technologically advanced economy (a haven for digital nomads) and breathtaking national parks among its 15th-century towns.Croatia For the warm-blooded Mediterranean types, Croatia won't disappoint. A popular stop-off for cruise ships, the country can be expensive unless you avoid the crowds and stick to exploring the magnificent coastal towns on foot. 2. Search for Hotel Deals Once you've chosen your location, the next step is to book a place to stay. Mainstream hotels may offer luxury with a price tag to match, but you can still get by on a budget by looking for hotel deals. A great place to start is by comparing booking websites like Hotels.com and Booking.com. Both offer price-beat policies and will let you sign up for their newsletters to stay on top of great deals for your destination. If you want to get the cheapest hotel prices possible, consider going off-season or staying a little outside of the city and relying on public transport, which is generally safe and cheap around Europe. » Here's how to get the best online hotel deals 3. Pick Cheaper Travel Options Flights can easily become the biggest cost of your trip, but you can pay less if you fly with budget European airlines like Wizz Air, Ryanair, and Eurowings. Once you've got your feet firmly on the ground, opt for public transport like buses and trains. These options may be less fast and convenient than flying, but they're often significantly cheaper, usually offer season passes with heavy discounts, and are great for taking in the scenery while traveling. To save on transport around a city or town, use online cab services like Uber or Bolt instead of renting a car. » Need a platform to simplify travel planning? See our comparison of Agoda and Priceline 4. Avoid Tourist Traps To avoid falling into traps designed to profit off of unsuspecting tourists, research the location you want to visit first before booking the trip. Many government-run heritage locations such as cathedrals and castles offer free tours, so don't fork out money for the first "tour guide" who approaches you. You'll also always find hawkers outside popular places trying to sell you souvenirs, which you can purchase for much cheaper in legitimate stores in town. What's more, remember that touristy restaurants are often overpriced with lower quality, so try searching for the places locals go to instead to get local food at the best prices. 5. Stay Longer or Centrally If you have the time, plan for a longer stay. This way, you can find many hidden gems since you won't be in a rush, and you'll pay cheaper per day for accommodation during longer stays. If you can't stay longer, try to stay at least stay at a central location and do day trips to other places you want to visit instead of booking accommodation in each place. Travel Europe Without Breaking the Bank You can enjoy the perks of travel without spending too much money by putting in some effort to make your holiday more affordable. While traveling Europe can come with a hefty price, you can still plan an enjoyable European journey at a reduced price by using our top tips and getting great deals online. » Here's how to save money with Booking.com cashback and Hotels.com cashback
Travel and bookingHow to Get the Best Online Hotel Deals: 7 Tips for Cheaper StaysGoing on holiday is an expensive proposition. There are many things to sort out: from flight tickets, shopping, and fancy dinners to suitable accommodation. But finding a hotel online doesn’t always have to put a massive dent in your wallet. There are many ways to save some money with a combination of research, cross-referencing, and understanding a good deal when you see one. 1. Check Multiple Sites Booking sites are a great resource for finding hotel rooms, and prices can vary immensely depending on the time of day or the website you land on. Websites usually track your activity and identify that you’re planning to book a hotel room, then often alter the prices depending on your urgency. For this reason, conducting a ton of research before you make the final booking is essential. Check several websites and compare prices. Sometimes, the best deals are available on hotel websites themselves, so it’s worth giving that a check. 2. Consider Other Forms of Accommodation At the end of the day, a hotel room will always be expensive, but there are many other forms of accommodation that can measure up to your standards and offer the same level of amenities at much more affordable rates. Cheaper options include B&Bs, apartments, guest houses, dorms, cabin rooms, and even glamping tents. For example, Hotels.com offers hotels as well as B&Bs, apartments, guest houses, dorms, cabin rooms, and even glamping tents, all at great rates with the added bonus of feeling like a local. » Earn up to 4% cashback from Hotels.com 3. Use 3rd-Party Services Some websites offer you additional discounts when you use their services. For example, browsing your favorite travel and booking platform through CashYo can offer you great deals and money returned to you at no extra cost. Other websites and services like Survey Yeah, Survey Junkie, and Groupon even offer vouchers when you complete specific tasks, such as surveys, or based on your previous purchase history. » Learn more: Earning cashback from Hotels.com and Booking.com 4. Be Flexible With the Location Some hotels may offer the most basic facilities despite costing upwards of hundreds of dollars a night, the only difference being a prime location. When looking for the best deal on a hotel room, especially when trying to save money, consider broadening your radius. It’s possible to save money by finding a cheaper spot further away from the main city center. Depending on how connected the city you’re traveling to is and the public transport options, this can be an extremely effective way of saving money. 5. Sign Up for Hotel Loyalty Programs If you’re a frequent traveler and often stay in hotel rooms, it may be worth checking out if a particular chain has a loyalty program you could sign up for. This could be a great way to get discounts in the future, especially if you travel frequently. Some booking websites, such as Booking.com, also offer loyalty programs for repeat bookings. Loyalty programs can offer discounts that reach as high as 20%, often meaning the difference between you booking your ideal room or getting stuck with something below your standards. » Earn up to 4% cashback from Booking.com 6. Book Longer Stays If you have the luxury to extend your holiday or travel period, it may actually work out cheaper to book more nights in a single hotel room. Some hotels recognize that a longer stay eliminates the need to constantly clean the rooms, and may offer discounts on the overall price. It also guarantees the hotel that they will have a confirmed booking, especially in the off-season. » See our comparison of Agoda and Priceline 7. Check in at the End of the Day If you’re traveling during the day and only plan to check into a hotel by evening, it may make sense to hold off on the booking until you’re ready to check in. Once hotels have a good idea of the number of free rooms they have for the night, and provided they aren’t booked out, they may be willing to slash prices for you or upgrade you to a better room. For the hotel, it makes business sense while giving you a chance to get a good deal out of it. Don't Overpay for Your Hotel Stay Finding the best online hotel deals can be daunting, but with these seven tips, you can significantly reduce the cost of your next hotel stay. Use price comparison websites, sign up for loyalty programs, and consider booking directly with the hotel, helping you make the most of your trip and have more money to spend on what you want.
Travel and bookingHow to Earn Cashback and Save Money on Your Hotels.com BookingsBooking a hotel stay is often a stressful experience, especially if it's your first time. Staying at a hotel can also be expensive, which is why we'll be showing you how to save money and earn cashback when you book through popular travel website Hotels.com. Subscribe to the Hotels.com Loyalty Program Hotels.com itself offers a unique loyalty program with several great perks such as price discounts, free extras, and reward nights. Membership is free and doesn't come with any extra fees since tiers work similarly to their reward nights program that gives you one stamp per night for a free reward after ten nights. The three Hotels.com membership tiers offer the following compound benefits: » Hotels.com not for you? Check out our comparison of Priceline and Agoda Hotels.com Rewards (0 to 9 stamps) Instant savings with lower prices on eligible propertiesAccess to reward nights—the value is determined by the average value of the stamps you collected Hotels.com Rewards Silver (10 to 29 stamps) Free breakfast, Wi-Fi, spa vouchers, and more at VIP Access propertiesPrice Guarantee Plus matches a better price and refunds the difference if you find one for the same booking you made (until the point of your check-in time), even if that cheaper price is on Hotels.com at a later datePriority customer service lets you skip the queue and receive quicker assistance Hotels.com Rewards Gold (30+ stamps) Complimentary room upgrades at VIP Access properties (subject to availability)Early check-in and late check-out at VIP Access properties (when available)Free upgrade to Avis Preferred Plus membership for a year, giving you boosts for certain rental vehicles You can help boost your stamp count by booking stays for family and friends through your Hotels.com account. Note that stamps are only valid for a year. Make Use of 3rd-Party Cashback Services Cashback services are one of the hidden gems of saving money when booking stays online. With Hotels.com, you can get all the above benefits and extra real cash deposited into your account when you use a cashback service. Booking with Hotels.com through CashYo is a surefire way to find the best deals with an added bonus for all bookings. » Earn up to 4% cashback from Hotels.com Look for Great Discounts and Last-Minute Deals Another perk of Hotels.com is that they often run special offers, discounts, and last-minute deals to entice you into making a reservation. Since last-minute deals are, well, last-minute, it's usually not wise to wait until then to make your bookings with the assumption that you might get a cheaper price. What you can do is book your stay and then check regularly to see if there have been any discounts or deals and then price match them with your booking. Either way, you save! The off-season is also a time when hotels are desperate for customers, so if you can plan your trip around these periods then you're sure to get good prices and special offers. If you don't want to check the Hotels.com website constantly, just sign up and opt-in to receive their newsletters and emails. You'll then be notified of any special deals. Download the Hotels.com Mobile App You can check prices while on the go and take advantage of exclusive mobile discounts when you download the Hotels.com mobile app. Few people are aware that many hotels on Hotels.com provide a 10% mobile-only discount. Also, having the app handy wherever you go will provide you access to last-minute discounts, mobile specials, and a convenient support team ready to assist you should you have any concerns about your reservation or any of the Hotels.com services. » Didn't find what you're looking for? Try out Booking.com instead Don't Lose Out on Hotels.com Savings Travel no longer needs to be an overly expensive experience. If you use our tips above with Hotels.com and always shop through CashYo, you can save a lot on your trip and even get cash back while you sunbathe on the beach or dine in style.
Travel and bookingBooking.com Cashback: How to Save Money on Your Hotel StaysSaving money is the name of the game when it comes to traveling, especially if you find yourself often adventuring around the world. Rewards systems and cashback programs are a few of the most significant drawing factors that bring travelers to any particular online travel agency. Booking.com, one of the largest online booking agencies, has a unique rewards system that rewards travelers the more they use the website, along with various other methods of saving some of your hard-earned cash. Subscribe to Booking.com's Rewards Program Booking.com makes use of a unique, 3-tiered rewards system called genesis. By signing up for the rewards program, travelers are presented with various rewards, depending on their genesis level. Rewards and reward tiers are structured as follows: Genius Level 1Genius Level 2Genius Level 3RequirementsUnlocks automatically upon signing upUnlocks after staying for 5 stays in a 2-year periodUnlocks after staying 15 stays in a 2-year periodBooking discount10%10% - 15%10% - 20%Eligible for free breakfast NoYesYesEligible for free room upgradesNoYesYesDedicated booking supportNoNoYes To take advantage of the Genius loyalty program, all you need to do is head over to the Booking.com website or install the app, and sign up using your email and credentials. Your discount will be automatically added to participating stays. In the case that you are receiving a reward for your credit card, the reward will be sent 30 - 60 days after you checkout from your stay. Rewards sent you your Booking.com wallet will be sent immediately after you have checked out. » Hotels.com not for you? Check out our comparison of Priceline and Agoda Use 3rd-Party Cashback Services Although the Booking.com rewards system is indeed a "genius" way to save on your travel costs, the website doesn't offer cashback on your bookings. To receive a cashback reward you will need to make use of a third-party cashback service, such as a credit card or cashback website. Credit Card Visa is well known for offering their customers cashback rewards for purchases, and this privilege includes bookings on Booking.com. Websites Cashback websites are becoming more popular as consumers hunt for deals across the internet. If you are wanting to earn cashback with Booking.com, then making your bookings through Cashyo will give you a 4% cashback on all your purchases. » Earn up to 4% cashback from Booking.com Make Use of Booking.com's Price Match Feature Another great way to save money on your hotel stays is through Booking.com's price match feature. In a nutshell, this feature guarantees that Booking.com is the cheapest place for you to book a particular stay. If you find your desired stay cheaper on another site, Booking.com guarantees that they will match the cheaper price. To take advantage of this feature, you will need to make your booking and then report the cheaper price to Booking.com. Once they have received and confirmed the cheaper listing, a discount will be received on your stay. You are eligible to claim this booking anytime up to 24 hours before your booked stay. Other Tips for Saving Money on Hotel Bookings Although cashback and rewards programs are great ways to save cash on hotel stays, there are other things you can do to lighten the load on your wallet: Be flexible with your dates: When possible, remain flexible with your dates. It's always a good idea to check the prices for your stay a few days before and an after your favored stay. You may find that prices are significantly cheaper on variating days.Book early and keep checking: When you find a good deal on a stay, it might be a good idea to book early. Many hotels on Booking.com offer free cancellations. Keep an eye on the listings, and if a cheaper stay comes up, cancel your first one and jump on the better deal.Combine deals with credit cards: Most credit card companies offer some sort of cashback/ points rewards system for using them when booking flights and hotel rooms. Use these cards to earn double rewards when booking through sites like Booking.com.Download and use travel-booking apps: Most travel agencies will offer a discount or added rewards to those who make use of their mobile apps. Take note of the offerings from your favorite online travel agency. » Didn't find what you're looking for? Try out Hotels.com instead Conclusion Traveling is expensive, but it doesn't need to be as expensive as you think. By taking advantage of cashback programs and rewards systems, booking a holiday through sites like Booking.com doesn't need to break the bank.