This article was originally published on our site Nomad Paradise. As part of a rebrand, we are publishing all our travel packing and tips content in one place for you to enjoy - The Travel Method. For world cuisine and recipes, you can keep visiting Nomad Paradise.
Looking to book a hotel and get a good deal for an upcoming trip without spending too much time and energy scouring the internet? These hotel booking sites have everything you need to find accommodation options wherever you are heading.
Let these powerful search engines do the leg work for you and give you a range of options to stay throughout your vacation or business trip that align with your priorities, be it price, location, room type, or plenty of other preferences.
Where We Generally Book Hotels
When we book our trips, we generally book the hotels on Booking.com, on Hotels.com, or directly with the hotel. However, there are a number of other hotel booking sites and tools out there that may be more suited for you, depending on what you’re looking for. For example, we’ve used Priceline, Hotwire, and HotelTonight to score great last-minute deals. Keep reading for the pros and cons of each option below.
Book Directly on the Hotel Website
While not all hotels may have their own sites, those that do may come with advantages when booking directly. Firstly, some hotels only have a limited selection of their available rooms on other booking platforms, meaning that even if you see them sold out on these platforms, you may still find spots when checking their website.
Secondly, and most importantly, some hotels have more advantageous prices on their websites than on other platforms. So, before you rush and book on the first platform you come across, it may be useful to take a look if that hotel has a website.
Ideally, pick a hotel that has a price-match guarantee. That means if you find it cheaper on a third-party site later on, the hotel will match the lower rate and sometimes even give you an additional discount or points.
Search Aggregators and Online Travel Agent Sites (OTAs)
Booking.com is one of the most popular hotel booking platforms, and for good reason. Combining an easy-to-use platform with a variety of options for every budget, Booking.com is probably the best option to find competitive hotel prices.
The booking platform allows you to add several filters to find the option that best suits your needs, and it offers two different visualization options: by list or on the map. Furthermore, Booking.com has a great loyalty program called Genius, which allows you to get discounts or other perks like room upgrades or free breakfast.
If all this is not enough, here is a little tip if you are used to the desktop version. Some structures have a mobile-only price, so they are cheaper when booking through the app rather than the browser.
As the name suggests, Hotels.com specializes in accommodation booking and nothing else. The homepage is simple and straight to the point, making it easy to search for accommodation without distractions. While it doesn’t have any unique features, aside from a variety of filters, Hotels.com boasts a number of properties to choose from.
Like other booking websites, you can get additional discounts by registering for the rewards program. Aside from having access to instant savings, you can collect stamps for every night you spend at eligible properties.
For every 10 stamps, you get a free night. If you travel often, you can climb up to higher membership tiers and get access to even more benefits. The best part is the rewards program is free!
If you want to simply compare prices from different booking sites, Trivago does just that. In an intuitive interface, you can easily check for hotels either on a map or in a list that you can order as you wish.
Trivago does not allow you to book directly from their websites. Instead, it provides a link that leads to other booking sites. Before making your choice, you can check an overview of the property with photos and a list of amenities, and you can check the rating overview and, in some cases, read reviews of past guests.
One thing you need to be careful about is the final price. Additional taxes and charges may not show up in the price you see on Trivago. Before booking, make sure to double-check on the website you choose to book on if there are additional charges.
Kayak is a search aggregator and an online travel agency that allows you to compare prices from different providers. When searching for a property, Kayak gives you a breakdown of the prices offered by various OTAs, allowing you to find the most convenient offer. In addition to comparing prices, you can book directly on Kayak.
One interesting feature of Kayak is the unique stays filter, which allows you to search for unusual types of accommodation, such as boats, farmhouses, or castles.
Furthermore, it has an exclusive deals section where you can search for discounted stays. For instance, the Pricebreaker filter provided by Priceline allows you to find Top hotels with up to 50% discount.
Although it’s one of the oldest online travel agencies on the web, Expedia is constantly improving to provide a better user experience. The landing page is clean and intuitive, and the search results page is very easy to browse.
The property overview provides all the information you could need about the accommodation and the city without overcrowding the page. You can check property amenities, policies, reviews, and details about the location.
If you create an account, you can benefit from discounts and special offers. Signing up is completely free and only takes a few minutes.
Agoda is an online travel agency founded in 2005 in Thailand with a focus on Asian destinations. Nowadays, the website has a huge offering of accommodations all over the world, including hotels and apartments.
While the search results page may appear a bit overcrowded, it is actually pretty easy to navigate. You have several filtering options and can sort the list based on recommendations or price. The Deals of the Day section allows you to find unique limited-time deals.
In the hotel overview, there is an FAQ section where you can find answers to any question you may have about the property, location, nearby attractions, or restaurants. Finally, if you scroll down, you can also see how the property compares to others in the area.
Google’s powerful search engine allows you to browse through a nearly infinite number of hotels and holiday rentals and find the most advantageous prices. With a simple interface and a nearly endless number of filters, it’s hard not to find something to your taste.
You can choose the amenities you are looking for, select the Eco-certified button if you want to book environment-friendly accommodation, and adjust the price range.
You can even select to view special offers only. Google Hotels will point out the percentage of discount compared to the base rate so you can find the best deals. Clicking on a property opens it in a new tab where you can check additional details, alongside a list of booking sites with different prices.
When checking the location tab, you can get extra information about the neighborhood, top sights, nearby restaurants, and public transportation, all powered by Google Maps.
Trip.com allows you to book virtually anything you could need for your trip, from flights and hotels to attractions and tours. The accommodation booking section is very clean and intuitive. Several filtering options are available to help you narrow down your search to exactly the type of accommodation you need.
The hotel overview contains all the useful details, such as the distance from public transportation or available amenities. The list of the room types points out all the useful features for each option, like free cancelation or breakfast price. Just one thing to pay attention to is the final price. The big price you see does not contain taxes. The final amount is indicated under it, much smaller.
A good feature of Trip.com is that, if you register, you can access a series of discounts. If you plan on using the platform, creating an account is a good idea. You may even register directly with your Google account to speed up the process.
Hopper is an app that allows you to access deals on accommodation. As opposed to other booking platforms, you cannot use Hopper on a browser. The only way to book is to download the app on your phone (Android or iOS) and create an account.
The app has a simple and intuitive interface, with filters to adjust your search. The Deal Drops section has limited-time offers for select destinations, and the Exclusive Price Drops allow you to find hotels with flexible cancelation at up to 50% off.
If you’re new to Hopper, you will get a series of vouchers as soon as you sign up. For every stay or flight that you book, you’ll earn Carrot Cash, which you can later redeem on your bookings.
A search aggregator with one of the biggest ranges of search personalization, Momondo allows you to narrow down your search to the smallest details. You can filter by neighborhood, style, amenities, or booking providers. You can even select to view only properties that offer freebies, such as free breakfast, internet, or parking.
If you’re not in a hurry to book, you can use the price tracker to keep an eye on the prices and find the best deals. Activate the alert, and you’ll get an email informing you about price changes.
Momondo links to several booking sites where you can complete the reservation, including the hotel website when available. The main deal suggested by the platform is not necessarily the best one. However, you can check all the other providers below the short description and look for the one in green, which is the lowest price.
Initially born as a last-minute booking platform for same-night stays, HotelTonight later expanded its offer to include reservations up to 7 days in advance, and now it goes up to 100 days in advance. The default search is “tonight,” and that is the most interesting feature as it allows you to find deals.
Properties on HotelTonight come with labels such as “charming,” “hip,” “luxe,” or “solid” that give you an idea of the vibe. You can filter your search and look for top deals, the lowest price, or the most premium. While there aren’t many filters available, you can choose from a list of amenities and view the properties on the map.
The most unique feature offered by Hotwire is called “Hot Rates.” Through this feature, you can book heavily discounted hotels, but there’s a twist. You don’t get to know the hotel you’re booking until after the reservation is completed and paid for. However, you get plenty of details that can help you choose, including a list of amenities, the review score, and an approximate location of the property.
Hotwire also offers regular hotel booking, but the hot deals are much more attractive as they allow you to find really great prices for good quality accommodation. As they put it, you book 4-star hotels at 2-star prices.
Furthermore, Hot Rate hotels are even cheaper if you book through the app. And to convince you to get the app, Hotwire gives you a coupon for your first reservation.
Orbitz is now owned by Expedia Inc., so you will likely find many similarities between the two. Like Expedia, it has a clean, intuitive interface that makes it easy to explore hotel options and find the best deals.
In the Travel Deals section, you can find last-minute hotel deals, most of which have free cancellation, and vacation home deals.
If you register for the loyalty program, you can earn so-called Orbucks, which you can redeem already on your following reservation. Furthermore, if you book through the app, you earn 4% of the cost of your reservation in Orbucks, as opposed to 3% from the browser. Becoming a member also gives you access to discounts on select properties.
HotelsCombined is part of Booking Holdings Inc. and has an interface very similar to Kayak, Priceline, and Momondo. As both a search aggregator and an OTA, HotelsCombined allows you to compare prices from different providers while also offering you the option to book directly through them.
The hotel overview is very clean, with well-organized information about the property. You can scroll down to check an overview of the property, the room rates, the neighborhood, past reviews, and amenities.
Once you’ve made your choice, you can proceed to book. Note that although you are booking on the HotelsCombined website, your reservation is processed through different providers. When reaching the payment page, you will notice on the right side the provider of your reservation.
Priceline may seem like a hotel booking site similar to many others, and you can actually use it as such. However, it has a few interesting features worth trying.
The Pricebreaker feature groups together three similar hotels, although with different nightly rates, and allows you to book one at a very discounted price. You won’t know what hotel you get until you complete the reservation, so it’s great if you’re flexible and want to try your luck. The discount you get depends on the base rate as they all end up costing the same.
The Express Deals feature works like Hotwire’s Hot Rates. You get to book a hotel with up to a 60% discount, but the hotel is only revealed after completing the reservation. Just keep in mind that these deals are not refundable, so make sure to check all available details, like amenities and location.
Finally, you can subscribe for free for a Priceline VIP membership. As a subscriber, the more you book, the more benefits you can access, including discounts on select hotels and coupons.
Whether you’re eager to find the best hotel deal for your stay or looking to stay in some unique accommodations, these hotel comparison sites go above and beyond to find you the best deal on hotels and other types of accommodation.
Use these smart and cost-saving sites to book hotels, guest houses, vacation rentals, boutique hotels, and so many other options with confidence.
Each site brings a little something different to the table, while all are capable of finding a wide range of deals, allowing you to list and display them in order of your preference. Go forth, and see what amazing hotel stays you can find!
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