What’s the best booking site?
What it offers: This number-one price-comparing booking site not only offers some of the best rates for a wide variety of accommodations, it also goes several steps further by providing 24-hour human customer support. This means that if you have an especially complex booking or need assistance of any kind, you can contact a representative that will help you with your issue quickly and directly. For those who do a lot of traveling, there is the extra benefit of RCLUB, which gives members additional discounts and special offers, and also gives them access to Travel Advisors. Travel Advisors are knowledgeable associates who act as personal travel agents, helping travelers navigate their destinations easily and enjoyably. Need advice about what to pack? Ask your Travel Advisor. Want to know the best route to a particular attraction? Ask your Travel Advisor. This service combines the speed and efficiency of online booking with the expertise and human touch of comprehensive concierge service.
What it offers: Booking.com is a wide-ranging accommodation site that offers a variety of results – from private rentals to hostels. It provides some of the most cost-effective options, so young travelers with very little to spend can find creative places to stay that fit even restrictive budgets. However, because the search feature doesn’t automatically filter out certain results, users who are looking only for hotels will have to manually filter out B&Bs, hostels and other unwanted accommodations. However, it offers a price-match guarantee, so if you find a posted rate lower than what is featured on the site, they’ll refund the difference, even up to 24 hours before your date of check-in. Be aware: if you are booking rooms in a major hotel that offers loyalty benefits, you may miss out on them if you use this site.
What it offers: TripAdvisor isn’t an online travel agency – you don’t book your hotel or flight using this website. It’s a search engine and consumer review site that curates information from different hotel and hotel booking sites. When you find the accommodations at the price that suits your budget, you simply click on that price. Its search features are quite reliable in finding the best prices and the most appropriate searches, and it has the added benefit of online customer reviews. While it isn’t exactly convenient that the user needs to visit additional sites to complete bookings, the reviews are robust and well-vetted, giving the user a fairly accurate representation of what the experience is like.
Ultimately, finding a hotel/accommodation booking site that offers the lowest prices consistently is a challenging – if not impossible – task, since prices tend to vary wildly between sites. It’s best to find a booking site that offers services that add value to the booking experience, particularly if you’re a frequent traveler. Reservations.com RCLUB provides access to Travel Advisors that give users added assistance even after the hotel is booked. Regardless of which criteria you prefer, even the most well-maintained site can’t substitute for due diligence – make sure you check around before committing to the first result you find.
I’m a semi-intrepid traveler, wife, and travel blogger. Besides traveling, my hobbies include sketching and trying – and immediately abandoning – new meal kit delivery services.