Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Left Lane
WHOSE GOT THE BEST DEALS?
As an avid Traveler, you’ve probably heard all the arguments on who’s the best Travel Booking Website in the game. It’s a valid question, because we all want The Best Travel Deals.
We’ve all been there, sitting in between two friends arguing about who got a better deal on this trip, the friend who used Expedia, or the friend who used Hotels.com. Which friend is correct, & who should you book your travel through?
THE BEST IN THE TRAVEL GAME
Very few people fail to recognize, that even though there may be a wide variety of Travel Sites on the web to choose from. There are really only two who rule the Travel Game. That’s the Expedia Group, & Booking Holdings, the Big Two.
The Big Two have bought, merged, & currently own just about every major travel site in the game. Especially the websites that are most argued over.
You can Bookmark this post, or Add it to your Reading List & use the links provided below as your one stop Travel Booking page.
You can check each site for the best price, & land the best deals on Travel. There’s even a chance you can find that specific hotel room you want on one of these sites, even when it’s sold out on another site. Each site has a different amount of hotel rooms to sell.
Just because one site is out of rooms, doesn’t mean the other sites are sold out as well. Now let’s talk about who owns what, & which sites I’m talking about. Here’s a list of the top 12 booking sites to land the best travel deals.
Expedia Group owns:
Booking Holding owns:
If you need any Travel documents, to go along with the vacation your planning, like Passports, Visas, or Health Declarations check out my article: HERE
DOUBLE THE TROUBLE
The two biggest names in the game. Expedia Group, & Booking Holdings each own even more companies then I listed. I only listed the six most known travel booking sites owned by each company.
The Big Two purchased the majority of the travel booking sites on the web. There are still travel sites who remain free from either of the Big Two like Airbnb. Which makes money off commission, by linking travelers with property hosts, who are willing to rent for lodging.
What it really boils down to, is the fact that there are only two major Travel Authorities operating the vast majority of travel booking sites. Although each site differs just slightly, by appealing to different groups of consumers.
With the vast majority of travel sites being owned by the Big Two, this allows the user interface across the sites to feel similar. Which allows you to switch from one site to another and compare prices, without even a moments pause to figure out the setup, or how to conduct a Destination Search.
Some sites are made just for booking hotels & lodging only. For example Hotels.com appeals to those who don’t need transit, & already have a way to their destination. Which makes it appealing if you only need to reserve a room.
While on the other hand, travel sites like Priceline, and Expedia are better for package, or bundled travel. Meaning you can purchase, hotels, lodging, flights, & rental cars all in one place.
WHO OFFERS THE TOP DEALS?
This is where it gets really interesting. There are a number of things that can define which site offers the best travel deals. One of those factors is your departure location, or the location of your final destination.
It matters if you’ve had a membership with one company longer then the other, because this can effect rewards status. Another influencing factor is what time, and date you purchase on. One site may be running a sale on trips to the Caribbean, when the other is running a sale on European getaways.
I’m personally partial to Expedia (I Like their Phone, and Customer Service Support), but it possible there’s a site you haven’t used before. In that case, it’s best to check it too. Because it may be offering a new member discount on package stays.
The number of days you want to stay makes a difference on the price you see. Less days, does not always equal cheaper. I’ve personally booked stays, where I’ve had to increase my days from 6 days, to 8 days in order to save money (Price dropped from $850 to $680). There are also certain days of the week that are cheaper to book on.
For instance Tuesday, & Wednesday are the best days for booking deals. Where as Friday & Saturday are usually the highest. Because they are the most popular days amongst weekend getaway travelers. More people are off work on weekends, causing it to be less room vacancies, driving up the price due to supply and demand.
THE BIGGEST NAMES IN THE GAME
All that being said, I’m also an investor. Which means I watch a companies overall market capitalization. In terms of size & money Booking Holdings (BKNG) is bigger then Expedia Group (EXPE). Booking Holdings is worth, on average 85 Billion dollars.
Where as Expedia Group on average, is worth 17 Billion dollars. A lot of this has to do with the demographics of the customer base of each company. While Expedia gets the majority of its business from U.S. customers. Booking Holdings receives a large swath of its business from European customers.
Booking Holdings is able to make more money because Europe has less major chain hotels then the U.S. does. European hotels tend to focus more on small boutique style hotels catering to the customer experience. Allowing Booking to control the majority of contract negotiations in their favor.
While Expedia, doing a majority of its business in the U.S. and has to deal with major hotel chains like Marriott, Wyndham, & Hilton who tend to partner up for negotiations, allowing them to drive down commission prices in their favor.
HOW TO GET THE CHEAPEST PRICE, And Best Travel Deals
The best advice I can give, is to personally shop all the Travel Site options available to you at the time of your purchase. This ensures that you get the best travel deals. Due to the number of variables in booking prices. No one site is always going to be the cheapest.
Another trick to getting a cheaper price is to always clear your device cookies, & history before booking travel. Most of these Travel sites monitor your cookies to see if you’ve visited them in the past, & what you were trying to book.
If you continue to click on the site for the same package without purchase, it can cause the price to rise. Trying to trigger a consumers hurry up & buy instinct, before prices go any higher.
I can personally say that I’ve used this tactic to save money on travel bookings, & can verify that it works. The more patience you have, & the more sites you’re willing to visit before purchasing a getaway. The better your chances are of getting the best travel deal possible. This allows you to know what prices each site is charging, and check for special offers.
Keep an open mind towards travel & don’t just blindly use the same site. Without first checking the price on other sites. For instance I’ve personally used 9 of the 12 sites I listed at the start of this article, because each one was offering a better deal then the others at that particular time for my destination.
In conclusion, the best deal, is whoever is offering you the best price at the time of your booking. Chances are, it’s one of the Big Two. No matter who you may choose, shop wisely!
The Roving Gypsy®
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