Trip.com Hotels Review
Ease of Use
Trip.com is backed by the massive Trip.com Group, the world’s second largest online travel group which also owns Ctrip, the largest online travel agency in China. With such backing and excellent buying power, Trip.com is undergoing a rapid worldwide expansion, and if you haven’t heard of them in your own country yet, it’s probably just a matter of time.
Trip.com’s hotel product is quite mature, and compares well with its main rivals of Booking.com and Expedia. It allows you to either prepay or to pay directly at the hotel depending on what you prefer, although it depends on the hotel. It features a relatively powerful search which allows you to search by city, region, landmark, airport and more although we sometimes found some strange results when testing. Where Trip.com falls down is by featuring a large number of the same room with different booking conditions making it difficult to work out what the best deal – for a great solution to this problem they should look to Expedia. Typically the differences between the options are that some include breakfast and some don’t, some are non-refundable while others offer free cancellation, and some are confirmed instantly whereas others have longer confirm times. In this aspect Trip.com is quite transparent, often other travel sites don’t have you how long it will take to confirm your room. Disappointingly, on the main search results page they only offer a single picture for each hotel, whereas the others feature multiple images or image sliders. While it’s not going to make a huge difference, these little features add up to a much nicer booking experience. Speaking of images, Trip.com is also lacking up-to-date and high quality images of a lot of hotels when compared to the competition. For hotels in Asia, Trip.com offers a reasonable range of reviews, but outside of Asia the reviews can be seriously lacking compared to the competition. When I say this, there’s actually a lot of reviews for each site in Chinese which are most probably bought across from their Ctrip brand, with a handy button to translate these if you require. Trip.com clearly marks rooms as either having free cancellation or being non-refundable, so they’re pretty good with transparency. Interesting, Trip.com offers what they call a service guarantee on their hotel bookings, which includes significant compensation if things go wrong like you turn up to hotel and there’s no room available for you. A cool feature that we’ve noticed lately on Trip.com is that you can set price alerts on a hotel, so that when the price drops below amount they’ll let you know through email – there’s not many other travel sites which offer this. Unlike a lot of the smaller hotel booking sites, almost everything can be done by yourself on Trip.com including cancellation, date changes and updating your personal information which is hugely useful and time saving. As with most of the competitors, you can filter by just hotels, or to include things like services apartments, hostels and villas. The location filters are also quite powerful, especially in Asia where they have the data to back it up. You can filter by metro line and even metro station, as by attraction or airport. One thing Trip.com doesn’t offer that some of the other major sites do is a Best Price Guarantee where they offer to match the price of their competitors.
You might have seen Trip.com frequently showing up of comparison sites due to their sharp pricing. Speaking generally, their pricing is extremely competitive with the other major players, although they tend to have the best prices in the Asia Pacific region, while Europe and the US are typically similarly priced to Booking.com and Expedia. Trip.com doesn’t add an extra service fees in the case that you need to deal with their customer service which is always nice.
Trip.com uses booking their own hotel contracting as well as that of some of it’s competitors. This means that once again it has excellent inventory in Asia (and particularly greater China) and reasonable inventory in other markets too.
Trip.com is available on Desktop, Mobile and through their mobile apps for both Android and iOS which they market aggressively. Due to their parent company being China based (where mobile apps are almost the ONLY choice), they too deliver an excellent app experience. In terms of languages they are available in around 20 – much less than Booking.com, but still very commendable.
Trip.com charges no booking fees on all of it’s hotel bookings which is definitely a plus. They also don’t add credit card fees on top which can save you a few percent, although of course if you choose a pay-at-hotel room it will be down to the hotel itself as to whether or not you a charged a credit card fee. Payment is available in 20+ currencies and they accept all major credit cards, as well PayPal (major currencies only), iDEAL for the Europe market, and Apple Pay and Google Pay if that’s your preference.
Being a newer player in the international market, Trip.com probably hasn’t built up it’s reputation the same way that more established online travel companies have. Having said that it’s mobile app in particular gets quite good reviews, and it’s TrustPilot score is also reasonable.
Trip.com offers customer service in a huge range of languages, however only the major languages offer 24/7 service. In additional to phone service, they also offer email support and mobile chat through their app or website.
Trip.com is absolutely a site which you should be considering if you thinking of booking a hotel. With massive buying power, there are some great deals to be found at times, and their mobile app experience is award winning. If you are looking at traveling in the APAC region this should be one of your first choice, however it’s definitely worth taking a look at no matter where in the world you’re traveling.
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