With the surge of new travel-deal websites offering you a promo code for nearly everything, it’s hard to know where you can get the best deal for your money. Because all of these travel booking companies claim to make it their mission “to help you find cheap hotels” and “help you find the hotel that is right for you”, it’s not always clear which sites are truly the best for finding cost-effective lodging.
After doing a lot of research, it turns out that there are some booking companies that truly help you find hotel rooms at bargain rates. And these sites feature some of the best hotels in the world!
I’m going to cover the top 3 booking websites who are doing it right and are dominating the travel booking market. I’ll tell you where you can get the best hotel deals, with minimum effort.
Here’s where to search for cheap hotels:
Hipmunk: The up-and-coming premiere hotel site
Hipmunk is a growing American company that has been gaining widespread recognition since its founding in 2010 – and for good reason.
Forbes called Hipmunk “the world’s best travel site” in 2012, and co-founder Steve Huffman phrased it perfectly when he said, “Our main philosophy is that we want you to spend as little time on our site as possible with the least amount of pain.”
Compared to other travel booking sites, Hipmunk is one of the simpler sites to navigate through, and results are filtered based on the traveler’s needs (ratings, price ranges, distances, etc.)
Many travel booking sites are overwhelmingly full of ads. We’ve all been bombarded with ads from one point or another, but some sites are just ad-overload. Hipmunk steers away from advertising and focuses on producing results for the best flights and hotels… simple as that.
Hipmunk features an easy-to-read map that pinpoints where the best hotels are located in your destination, so you can decide whether a hotel is close enough or too far away from the places you want to see and from the things you want to do.
Hipmunk search results are also paired with TripAdvisor ratings, which means that those researching results with Hipmunk are getting supplementary information and feedback about the deals that interest them.
KAYAK: A classic metasearch engine for cheap deals
KAYAK has been linking travelers to discounts and great hotel rates for a while, and it’s a big player in the game of travel booking. It’s a major metasearch engine for travel, and it made its reputation on helping travelers find cheap rates through a simple process.
It goes like this: You type in your destination, your arrival and departure dates, how many rooms and guests you are requiring, and within seconds, KAYAK processes your request, produces the results you’re looking for, and stays up-to-date with the ever-fluctuating frequency of hotel rates.
The fact that KAYAK stays on top of the fluctuating rate system makes it one of the better sites to book hotels. KAYAK is also known for helping travelers find and purchase the cheapest flights in the world.
The possible downside of KAYAK: the ads. Over the years, KAYAK has increased its number of ads, and though it isn’t exactly a bad thing, it can make the process of browsing and shopping for hotels a bit of a headache.
trivago: A growing, multinational company
trivago features the most simple and straightforward search engine online. Your navigation for the best hotel deal can be very easy and productive with trivago. When you first access trivago, the first thing users come across is a search engine on a practically blank page. Users simply type in their destination, and then trivago uploads results of hotels in your destination.
(Bonus point: trivago features little to no advertisements!)
Users can expand their searches by using a more unique variety of filters. Filter categories include, but are not limited to, distance calculators, free-wifi, swimming pools, spas, and breakfast. You can also use filters for pet-friendly hotels, hotel themes, or corporate chain hotels.
trivago shows a hotel’s rate and the competing deals made by other travel search engines and online travel agencies. When you’re ready to book your hotel, trivago links you to its affiliated booking site, Expedia.com.
Yes. trivago is partially owned by Expedia, Inc. A few years ago, Expedia, Inc. bought over half of trivago. Expedia is one of the most prominent parent travel organizations in the world, and booking trips with Expedia through trivago has made both the navigation and booking process easier – and more reliable – for travelers.
trivago was the first travel-related start-up search engine in Germany, and since becoming part of the Expedia, Inc. parent company, it is one of the fastest growing companies in the world.
How do I choose from these 3 travel booking sites?
Since hotel rates fluctuate daily, you should look at all 3 of these websites for your next vacation to ensure you’re truly finding the best deals available. You’ll find some sites work better for you, or that you like one site’s navigation and booking process better than the others.
From our research, we found that these websites were the easiest to use, the easiest to navigate around, and were the best companies that offered the most affordable rates for hotels. Though the rates for hotels will fluctuate and will depend on what time of year you’re traveling and how far in advance you’re booking, you are guaranteed to find the best deals possible through at least one of these travel booking websites.