Let's start with the main thing: Booking and AIRBNB are not completely gone. With their help, you can no longer book accommodation in Belarus and Russia. But in other countries, hotels and apartments are still available.
Yes, Russians may have difficulty paying with cards. But it depends on the particular bank. But with most Belarusian cards, all bookings go through as before.
Simply put, if you are traveling from Belarus to Poland, Turkey, Georgia or another country, then you can book accommodation as before. The most difficult thing is to find options within the Republic of Belarus, as well as in neighboring Russia. But we will deal with this now. Booking and AIRBNB have quite a few alternatives.
Where to look for accommodation in Belarus?
First of all, check two sites:
- and Sutochno.ru.
The first is an alternative to Booking. The second is AIRBNB. “Daily” focuses on apartments and apartments. And Ostrovok collects everything on its pages at once. They work great in the regional cities of Belarus. But in small towns (like Pinsk, Mir or Nesvizh) here you can find just a few options.
We will talk about the pros and cons of these two services in more detail later. In the meantime, I’ll tell you about a few more local players that add color to the Belarusian market.
The thing is that in Belarus there are still such catalog sites. Usually you can't book a hotel there. But you can find his phone, e-mail and photos. There are usually no reviews either. That's why I don't like these sites. But you already think for yourself. Here are some examples of such sites.
- belarushotels.by< /em>
If we are talking about small towns, then You can also find a hotel for the night on the websites of local district executive committees. Yes, this is a fierce anachronism and that Spanish shame. But sometimes this method really works.
Where to look for housing in Russia?
Let's start again with our magic couple:
- and Sutochno.ru.
In my opinion, these are the two best sites for booking accommodation in Russian cities. Sutochno is actively luring away owners who used to rent apartments on AIRBNB. And Ostrovok has the largest database of hotels in Russia.
As an alternative, I can also recommend the Bronevik website. There are fewer filters and reviews of tourists. Yeah, I don't like the name either. But often this site offers the best prices.
Another site that should be given a chance is Yandex Travel. Here you can book everything at once (both accommodation and tickets in Russia). In addition, all bookings are credited with cashback points. Subsequently, they can be spent in Yandex Plus and other services of the company.
In general, I’ll be honest: all the sites I write about here are inferior to Booking both in terms of the number of offers and the number of actual reviews. Therefore, it is better to check all sites one by one. And then see which one you like better.
Hotel Own Sites
Another option for booking accommodation abroad, I discovered relatively recently. These are the hotel chains' own websites. An excellent example of this are hotels of the Ibis Budget and Mercure brands, which are available in a number of countries (from Poland and Russia to the USA and the UAE). You can book them through all.accor.com, which brings together all the hotel brands of the Accor group of companies. And this is just a single example.
Other hotels around the world also have their own booking platforms. To find them, just open a Google map and see what hotels are generally available in the city where you are going. And then start checking them one by one.
For example, we need to find a hotel in Chisinau. So, we enter “hotele chisinau” (in Moldavian) in the search and find out that there is a good Ezio Hotel in the capital of Moldova. We enter this name in Google and after 2 seconds we find our own hotel website (ezio-palace.hotel-chisinau.com). There is a booking form and an e-mail address with which you can book a room.
I agree that it is not very convenient to write to all hotels by e-mail. But what times, such decisions.
Which sites to look for accommodation in other parts of the world?
As I said, Booking and AIRBNB are still available to Belarusians. But for the Russians, the situation is a little more complicated (due to problems with cards).
In some cities, Ostrovok can become a solution to the problem. It accepts Mir cards, so you can book accommodation anywhere in the world.
For example, in Antalya, with his help, I found quite good hotel options. But in less touristy cities and small towns, this site is very weak. For example, in Denizli you can find just a few hotels. The same situation was in neighboring Pamukkale.
In Turkey and Georgia, you can look for housing in various groups on Telegram and Facebook. In Poland there is a site like noclegi.plwith a wide range of housing options. There are also Polish cities and neighboring countries. Therefore, if you are planning a trip to Europe, you can also look here.
I also recommend that you take into service the Hotellook website. This is a hotel aggregator that collects offers from many different systems on its pages. The thing is that the same number can cost differently on several different sites. Therefore, Hotellook automatically collects all relevant offers, compares them with each other, and then suggests where a particular room is cheaper.
That's all for now. If you know other sites that would be worth adding to this article, write about it in the comments. And also share your experience of booking accommodation in different parts of the world. Peace to all of us. And let's travel more often.