What the Tech? Which Travel Website Is the Best?
Now that the numbers of COVID cases are going down and much of the country is dealing with frigid cold weather, many people are dreaming of summer vacation.
These days almost all vacations are researched and booked using popular travel websites such as Expedia, Travelocity, Trivago, Hotels.com, Kayak, and many others.
Is one better than the others?
I tried to find out by searching for hotels or condominiums in the Destin, Florida area for a week in June. My first stop was Expedia.com, one of the oldest and most popular travel websites in the United States. A room at the Embassy Suites with 2 queen beds is listed for $2,439 which includes taxes and fees.
Using that as a baseline I then checked Travelocity.com. The two brands are owned by the same company and they’re both advertising the same room for the exact same price.
I then checked Booking.com which is particularly popular for hotel stays. The same room is listed there for $2,506.56 with taxes and fees included.
TripAdvisor has the same room for $2,381. To get that price you must spend $99 for a year of a TripAdvisor Plus membership.
Then I visited Kayak, another travel site that’s a favorite for booking hotel rooms and condominiums. Kayak has the room listed through Agoda.com for the exact same price as Booking.com down to the cent, $2,506.56.
The reason for that is Booking.com and Kayak are both brands owned by the same company, Booking Holdings that also owns Cheap Flights, Open Table, and others.
The travel industry website is dominated by two companies with multiple brands. Expedia owns Travelocity, Orbitz, Trivago, Hotels.com, Hotwire, and VRBO.
I did not find that one of these travel websites did everything better than the other companies although Travelocity had the best price of the hotel I searched for. Your experience may be different depending on the type of stay you’re searching for (condo, hotel, house) and whether you’re also booking airfare. All of these companies offer some type of packages that can bring your cost down further.
My advice is to compare as many of the websites as you can and search for their discount packages. Also, if there’s a chance that your plans can change, make sure you can cancel your reservation for a full refund.