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.
We’ve all been there, sitting in between two friends arguing about who got the better deal on this trip, the friend who used Expedia, or the friend who used Hotels.com. Which of the two is correct, & who should you book travel through?
THE BEST IN THE TRAVEL GAME
What very few people fail to recognize is, though there may be a wide variety of Travel Sites out there on the web to choose from. There are really only two who are ruling the Travel Game. That’s the Expedia Group, & Booking Holdings.
Between the two of these companies, they have bought, merged, & currently own just about every major travel site in the game. Especially the ones that are the most argued over.You can bookmark this post & use the links provided below as your one stop Travel Booking page.
You can price each site for the best price, & land a deal. There’s also a chance you can find a specific hotel room you want on one of these sites, even when the others are sold out. Each site is allotted so many hotel rooms to sell.
Just because one site is out of rooms, doesn’t mean all the other sites are out. Now who owns what, & what sites am I talking about? Here’s a list of the top 12 booking sites.
Expedia Group owns:
Booking Holding owns:
DOUBLE THE TROUBLE
Each of 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.
After their consolidation, & purchase of the majority of the travel booking sites out there. Although there are still travel sites that are free from either of the two like Airbnb, which makes money off commission, by linking travelers with property hosts, who are willing to rent for lodging.
Really, when it boils down to it. There are only two major Travel Authorities running the vast majority of travel site bookings. All though each site differs just slightly, by appealing to a different group of consumers.
Since the most used travel sites are owned by two, this allows the user interface across the sites to feel similar. Which is the reason when you switch from one site to another to compare prices, you don’t need a moments pause to figure out the setup, or what you need to type, & where your search buttons are located.
Some sites are made for just booking hotels & lodging only. For example Hotels.com, it appeals to those who don’t need transit, & already have a way to their destination. Needing only a room for a short period of time.
While some of the other sites like Priceline.com are for package, or bundled travel. Meaning you can purchase, hotels, lodging, flights, & rental cars all on one site.
WHO OFFERS THE TOP DEALS?
This is where it gets real interesting. There are a number of things that can define who’s the better site to book from. It can be based off of your current location, or it can be based off of your final destination.
It matters if you’ve had a membership with one company, longer then the other. It also matters about the time of your purchase. 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 there Phone Customer Service), but it could be 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 off package stays.
The number of days you want to stay even makes a difference. Less days, does not always equal cheaper. I’ve personally booked stays, where I had to increase my days from 6 days, to 8 in order to save money. There are also 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 higher because those are the most popular amongst weekend getaway travelers. More people are off work on weekends, causing it to be less rooms available, driving up the price due to demand.
THE BIGGEST 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 the 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. 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.
Where as Expedia, doing a majority of its business in the U.S. has to deal with more 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
The best advice I can give, is to personally shop all the Travel Site options available to you at your particular time of purchase. 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 & verify that it works. The more patience you have, & the more sites you’re willing to visit before purchasing a getaway, will increase your chance of getting the best possibly deal. By allowing you to know, what all the sites have to offer.
Keep an open mind towards travel & don’t just blindly use the same site without first checking the price on others. For instance I’ve personally used 9 of the 12 sites I listed at the start of the 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 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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