When you’re looking at different hotels for your next trip, there are countless resources available to find the perfect room for your price range. In addition to booking a room directly from hotel websites, travelers can use a variety of metasearch engines on travel sites or bookable online travel agencies to find the perfect room.
It’s easy to see how it can get overwhelming when there are so many options for websites to use on your search for a hotel. The best booking websites will be able to offer customers the best prices in addition to helping them find hotels that meet their specific needs.
Generally, the best strategy is to use multiple hotel booking sites to compare prices and options in order to find the right hotel at an affordable price.
Additionally, it can be fruitful to check a hotel’s own website to see if they are offering deals or rates that are not available on any third-party booking sites. In some cases, hotel websites may offer packaged deals for customers who book directly from them. Travelers are encouraged to shop around for a hotel using a variety of resources on hotel and travel sites.
Although there are hundreds of hotel booking sites available, some websites are more effective at finding cheaper nightly rates and specific accommodations than others.
Most travel websites will be able to help customers book a room and prices, but some have more optimized search engines, access to discount hotels or other defining features. Most websites for hotel searching are either an online travel agency (OTA) or a metasearch engine.
An online travel agency plays a pivotal role as hotel booking site by promoting destinations across the globe. Online travel agencies will advertise room rates, provide hotel descriptions and include photographs on their pages.
Customers can book their room directly through an OTA website, but hotels are required to pay a commission for each reservation. While it may cost hotels extra money to sell rooms through an OTA, it is one of the best ways for a hotel to get noticed by a larger population.
On the other hand, a metasearch engine is a specially designed search engine that helps customers compare the rates of different hotels with a quick glance.
Essentially, a metasearch engine will gather results from a variety of different websites and compile them on one easily accessible page. However, travel sites that use metasearch engines do not sell any inventory.
Here are some of the most helpful online travel agencies and metasearch engines available for booking hotels.
Booking.com has consistently been one of the most popular travel sites and OTAs for reserving accommodations, flights and hotels. The search results on booking.com are varied and diverse including a combination of hotels, apartments and even hostels in some cases.
Travelers who are just beginning their search or those who do not have any specific requirements will be presented with the most hotel options on booking.com. Booking.com brings an impressive amount results for hotels which makes it an incredibly effective hotel comparison tool. There are a variety of hotel properties and price ranges on Booking.com, which make it a good tool for travelers with a wide range of budgets for their lodging.
Travelers who visit Priceline.com will quickly see that the Priceline hotel search engine has one of the most appealing and accessible layout designs that makes it easy to book a hotel.
Since most hotel booking sites generally provide similar rates and prices, the easy-to-use website makes Priceline.com a customer favorite online travel agency. However, Priceline.com also has two unique features that are not available on any other website:
Although all three of these websites are huge hotel booking sites and OTAs, they are all owned by the same company, Expedia Inc. Customers looking on the Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia hotel search engines will likely find the same results.
Although hotels may be displayed and listed in a different order on each of these websites, they will all be offered at the same price because they are all powered by the same parent company.
Searching for hotels on any of the Expedia Inc. websites will usually yield consistent and dependable results. Customers may be able to save big on hotels if they find a deal or limited-time offer provided by any of the Expedia Inc. websites.
Trivago.com is a popular metasearch hotel booking site that searches lesser-known websites and can often find discounts that are not found through other engines.
For example, many Trivago hotels are found on the usual websites like Expedia, Priceline and Booking.com, but the metasearch engine also searches lesser known pages like Agoda.com. In general, Trivago provides a wide mix of search results that come from popular websites in addition to lesser known travel sites.
Customers can use the Kayak.com travel site to book everything from flights, cruises, hotels and even entire vacation packages. Kayak is a metasearch website that has a clean and minimal interface with a ton of filters that make it easy for customers to find the exact kind of hotel that they are looking for.
However, Kayak.com may not be the best option for customers looking for the cheapest rates they can find. Kayak hotels are presented and organized by search criteria, but they do not sort hotels very well based on prices.