Before I knew about TravelBook.ph, I always thought that the only way to book a hotel was through a traditional travel agency, book through the hotel’s website, or call the hotel’s reservations. It came as quite a revelation that there is such a thing as an online travel agency and that they are a legitimate medium to book hotels. Like most people, I am adamant when it comes to online shopping or purchasing anything online that requires a credit card. With so much news about identity theft and people getting your credit card number, it’s not surprising why.
I stumbled upon TravelBook.ph by accident. A friend of mine had shared an article on Facebook about something travel related and I clicked the link to read it. To my surprise, I discovered that the site was actually an online booking site for hotels and that their articles were just one part of it.
Flash-forward later a few weeks and I had already forgotten about the site. A long weekend was coming up and my friends tasked me to book a hotel in Baguio. I only knew one hotel in Baguio, The Manor Hotel, because that is where my family and I would usually stay at during New Year. I knew it was not an option because that hotel was very pricey so, like any millennial, I took to Google to help me. I typed “budget hotels in Baguio” and to my surprise, TravelBook was the first on the search results. It was a blog post about a couple of budget hotels in Baguio.
After viewing all of the hotels on the list, I thought Casa Vallejo was the right fit in terms of budget and the hotel itself looked decent. I clicked the link and found myself on the hotel page. I booked a room and was now at the booking page. I was still adamant about putting my credit card details to pay for the booking, and I even thought about asking my friend to be the one to use their credit card so that if anything would happen, at least it wasn’t on my account. In the end, I didn’t have to do that because I discovered that there were different ways I could pay for the booking. There was 7/11, Robinson’s Business Center, bank deposit and you can even pay at the hotel. The last option meant that we could pay for the booking once we got to hotel before we checked in. To me, that option was the most convenient. Before I made my decision, I decided to research more about TravelBook and I found out so many things about it.
I went back to Google to look for TravelBook.ph reviews. I looked at three sites to get an overall consensus. I wanted to check if the website is legitimate, and thankfully there was a TripAdvisor post where a user asked if AsiaTravel (another online travel agency) and TravelBook.ph were trustworthy and all the responses say they are.
Seeing this made me feel at ease, so at least I was on the right track. Intrigued by the mention of Cebu Pacific being TravelBook.ph’s sister company, I did a little more research and found out that TravelBook.ph was a former subsidiary of Summit Media. It’s now owned by Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd., a Japanese publications, HR, and advertisement company. TravelBook also have an office at Mandaluyong with a 24 hour call center.
On the other hand, TrustedCompany.com had a listed a few negative reviews about the site, where users talked about overbookings and bad customer service.
At first glance the review can seem daunting and will turn you off but then I remembered that there were a lot of people who still considered the site to be trustworthy. Upon further investigating, the concern about overbooking seems very common to all online travel agency. This Global Traveller review put me at ease once again, as it was just one of many several positive reviews.
Though I still had my doubts about the site because of the negative review, I decided to just push through and make the booking. After the extensive research, I already knew who to contact if there would be any problems. I went to the booking page of Casa Vallejo. I choose the Family Room which was good for 4 people, perfect for me and my friends. It only cost around PHP 3,400++ and I even earned around 170 points. I chose the pay at hotel option because it seemed to be the most convenient option. Overall after making the booking and receiving the conformation emails, everything else went smoothly.
I may make more bookings with them and may be even check out other OTA’s like Agoda, Expedia, or Traveloka. How about you guys? Have you tried using TravelBook.ph’s service? Please feel free to share your story if you have used TravelBook.ph.