When it comes to travel, the internet has opened up a whole lot of new opportunities. You no longer have to rely on booking your accommodation through a travel agent or by phoning around hotels. You can use the internet to find the cheapest prices, look at photos and read reviews of the hotels and resorts and most importantly book online direct from your sofa!
On the other hand, trying to book travel on the internet can often make you feel overwhelmed. So many websites selling the same things, all with different prices, some with search facilities and others without, some with instant online booking, others without, some with lots of photos and others with no photos. It’s easy to become frustrated!
To help you sort out the wheat from the chaff, I’ve listed some of my favorite hotel booking sites below. All of these sites allow you to book your hotels, securely online and have photos of hotels and decent search facilities.
Trip Advisor – the best thing about this site is the hotel reviews. Before you book a hotel, make sure you visit Trip Advisor first to check out what other people are saying about the hotel. The reviews are written by real people who have actually been to the hotel, so you’ll find out many important things that you won’t find out from the hotel website. The reviewers also rate the hotels between 1 and 5, so if you go to the page for a specific city you’ll see a list of the top hotels based on review ratings.
Expedia – this site is always my first stop when booking hotels. It isn’t always the cheapest, but it provides a comprehensive easy to use travel search, has a good selection of hotels, photos of the hotel rooms and hassle-free online booking. It’s always worth checking this site out first to get a benchmark price, then have a look at some of the other sites to compare the prices.
Travelocity Hotels – This is another good all-round travel booking site that allows you to book flights, hotels, and car hire. There are a good search facility, secure online booking, and good photos and descriptions of all the hotels.
Lastminute.com As the name suggests this site is good for grabbing last-minute bargains. You can often get 4 or 5-star hotels here with more than 50% knocked off the price. Despite the focus on last minute deals you can still book hotels quite far into the future.
After you’ve chosen your hotel, it’s often worth doing a quick search in Google for the hotel’s own website. You’ll often find some additional information here and sometimes they will have special offers
You can learn more about booking hotels online and find out information about the best hotels in Florence in the Ultimate Guide to Florence