A famous quote from St. Augustine strikes me just now: ‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page’. Reading, writing and travelling are the only things that excite my hubby and me; and both of us are only too glad to be joined by our seven-year-old son, who smiles a little wider and squeals a little louder, with excitement when a trip is underway. Even with our busy work schedules, we manage to squeeze in multiple weekend outings within few hundred kilometres and one-fortnight getaway, every year. Every ramble is a motivation to work a little harder to be able to comfortably accommodate the next expedition.

With a seven-year-old kid who is turning 8 in January, there is a heap of things that have started to matter a lot more than it did when he was a baby. For example, our itinerary includes places which are fun for kids like some amusement parks, museums, aquariums, shows that are kids worthy, kid preferred restaurants for all meals, and so on.

But the highest preference award goes to the place that we decide to stay. My son is very particular about a couple of things and voices his opinion quite explicitly on what he expects from the stay; and the animation with which he expresses his desires, only make us oblige. Our choices of stays in India had always been very kid friendly, with a lot to do for adults too and daddy dear beams with pride whenever he shares his travel stories with his friends.

But October 2015 was a little different. We decided that it was time for our first international travel. Though my hubby has been overseas for work a couple of times, but never along with us. For my sonny and me, it was our very first jaunt outside India and we were thrilled, to say the least. Our first destination outside India was Phuket, Thailand.

While we could have easily taken up a package and joined a group, all traveling to the same destination, (people say that’s the safest and the best when you are journeying overseas for the first time) I was quite reluctant. For me, traveling is a time to unwind and relax. Getting up at my own free will, savouring the breakfast taking my own sweet time, reading a book while my hubby and sonny take a dip in the pool, are the things that make my holiday a perfect one. And when you travel with a group, all this is not possible, or so I assume. Well, to each his own! But because we chose not to take up any package tour, we had to face multiple challenges and this is where Booking.com came to our rescue! Let me tell you how!

So, we researched on various travel websites for almost a month. We had to look for everything on our own and also ensure that we don’t miss any activities since you don’t travel overseas every now and then. We spoke to a couple of friends, who had already been to Phuket. Everyone gave their share of advice. It is one of these friends who suggested that we use Booking.com to do all our bookings because it is supposed to be the most intuitive travel website. My friend also assured us that we would get the best deals on this website. Honestly, till that instant, we had never heard of Booking.com. I remember, after my conversation with my friend, I called my hubby who was at work and told him about this website. He was obviously busy and asked me to figure it out. I did, and am I not glad that I abided by my friend’s advice! Booking.com is not just simple, it is an answer to all your pre-booking dubieties.

We wanted at least a 3-star property with spacious rooms, lavish bathrooms, nicely done up balconies overlooking some green space, a well-maintained swimming pool, a children’s park, indoor games room, Wi-fi, breakfast, and easy accessibility to the main town and the beach. We got all this and much more at an unbelievable price on Booking.com.

Once you have entered the destination and the dates on the website’s home page, ample of stay options appear in front of you. You can review the stay alternatives based on their top picks or the lowest price, or stars, or distance from the City Centre or even the review score. These options show up just above the hotel names, starting from the top.

There are of course numerous filter options on the left-hand side of the page, which allows you to choose the type of accommodation you would prefer, your budget, meal options, facilities, accessibility to the popular hang-outs and much more. Please check out the page for yourself and you would know what I am talking about!

The reviews and photographs are candid, genuine, and very advantageous. It played a great part in our holidays. I had personally penned down my feedback about the Deevana Resort and The Crib, where we had put up during our stay in Phuket.

Initially, we had booked a 3-day stay at The Deevana Resort in Phuket and another 3 days stay at Koh Samui. But due to the expensive airfare from Phuket to Koh Samui, we canceled our booking at Koh Samui and booked The Crib in Phuket; all this without any hassle at all! No calls, no complicated terms and conditions, just clicks- book, cancel, book again. The best of all was sitting at Malaysian airport and realizing that we had not thought about how will we commute to the hotel from the airport. We still had few hours in hand till we reached Phuket. My hubby immediately went to his booking on Booking.com, requested for a pickup from the airport and our hotel obliged. Believe me, it was the best thing we did because our hotel was quite far from the airport. Booking.com made everything bother free! All that simple!

A new country, foreign language, non-English speaking crowd and yet a conspicuous tour, all thanks to Booking.com. It, not only offers you easy payment and cancellation options but also an option to book a stay without any advance payment. What more can one ask for, really!

phu1Make your little adventures and family holidays flawless with booking.com!

Sujata Sharma

An avid reader and a writer, I thrive on my linguistic skills. My ability to write just about anything is what I showcase here!

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