Expedia may be one of the best sites for booking travel, but booking websites are competitive for a reason; it seems there’s always a place to find a better deal. If booking travel accommodations with Expedia leads to more jet lag than enjoyment, here are 9 other popular sites like Expedia for you to try.
Priceline one of Expedia’s competitors that is as famous for having celebrity spokespeople (notably Star Trek actor William Shatner) as it is for its uniqueness as an Expedia alternative. Sometimes called "the eBay of travel booking websites," Priceline allows users to bid on some travel accommodation bookings, which may result in even deeper discounts than usual. Also, its signature "Name Your Own Price" program allows you to book travel accommodations based on how much you're willing to pay for them. Be careful, though... since accommodation companies don't want to be seen advertising below-retail rates, you won't be able to see some details of your accommodations until after you book them if you use "Name Your Own Price."
Be sure to check out our free course on how to use Priceline if you want to learn more information.
Orbitz is a site that is very similar to Expedia, in that it allows for the booking of travel accommodations such as airline flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages. Like Expedia, Orbitz has a rewards program that earns you "Orbucks" (on-site currency), which you can then use towards the price of hotel bookings. Orbitz also has a price guarantee system, so if you find a better price on the same accommodation elsewhere, tell Orbitz and they'll give you Orbucks equal to the difference in prices, plus a little extra! Orbitz is also notable for having relatively good customer service, despite being part of an industry that is often maligned for its lack of support in this area.
FlipKey, associated with TripAdvisor, is a website where you can rent properties from owners, meaning you book directly with the person who owns the property. Using this method of booking, you can typically save a lot of money over the traditional method of booking with hotels. FlipKey has over 30, 000 property listings in 1100 cities worldwide – so there’s definitely something for every travel need. They even offer 5000 booking deals per day, so you can save some money with your bookings.
FlipKey also takes security very seriously compared to other property booking websites, as they make an effort to verify the identity of every property owner. The FlipKey staff takes extra steps to ensure there is no fraud taking place, so you aren’t taking risks while choosing a property, and can book with confidence.
If you aren't a very picky traveller and just want to save as much money on your travel accommodations as possible, then try Hotwire. This is one of the websites like Expedia that many travel companies turn to when they are trying to sell off their bookings at any price to avoid taking a total loss. This means that you can get accommodations for extremely low prices, but the catch is that you won't know some of the details of what you book until after you're finished, and you can't cancel your booking. This means that you may have to do a little more research and forward planning than usual if you're going to use Hotwire. Or you just have to be lucky, or -- as we said -- not a nitpicker when it comes to travel.
Booking.com is an Expedia competitor that has become rather popular lately. While it only focuses on hotel bookings (and not flights, car rentals, or cruises), it has a much larger selection of them, partnered with over 650,000 properties worldwide. It offers its interface in over 41 languages, no booking fees on accommodations that you reserve, easy-to-use self-serve customer service for changing booking details, and free cancellation on most rooms. In addition, if you create an account on Booking.com and subscribe to their newsletters, you may be able to find even better deals! Booking.com also allows you to book non-hotel properties for rent, such as apartments, villas, bed & breakfasts, and more through its main site as well as its sister site, Villas.com.
As you may have guessed from the name, Hotels.com focusses on finding you hotels in cities all over the world. If you don’t need the big vacation package, but just want a deal on a stay in a hotel, then Hotels.com is right for you. Hotels.com also has a rewards program that offers its users additional discounts and deals, as well as giving one free nights stay in a hotel for every ten nights you book with Hotels.com.
Another alternative to Expedia, Trivago aims to show its users the lowest prices for travel, but they do it by compiling the offers from all of the major booking websites. Trivago compares the prices from these sites, even if they aren’t the lowest, in case you can find a price that’s close with a website you are familiar with and like to use. You can easily filter every minute aspect of your search, so if you don’t want to look through all the sites for the best deals, you can use Trivago to compile them, and then sort through.
TripAdvisor is another one of the great alternatives to Expedia, though it began as a review website where you could search for accommodations you were interested in booking, and research everything about them. The reviews are provided by people who have actually stayed at the venues, and includes information such as when they stayed and for how long, which rooms they stayed in, who they travelled with, what activities they did, and much more. They rate every aspect of their stay, and leave free-form comments, so you know exactly what it’s like at a place – before you spend the money.
Now TripAdvisor has grown into a booking website in its own sense, and partners with many other travel websites (including ones in this article!) to help find you great deals on places you’re interested in. Once you’ve done all your research on TripAdvisor, you can also check out which of the popular booking sites currently has the lowest prices, and book right on TripAdvisor. And if you want to learn more, be sure to give our free course on how to use TripAdvisor a read.
Have you booked travel accommodations with any of these Expedia competitors? Was it smooth sailing, or did you get stuck in layover limbo? Are there any other travel booking websites that you've used that you would recommend to our followers? Give us the details by leaving a comment below, or posting a message on our Facebook or Twitter pages!
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