There are a great number of sites you can use to book travel on the internet. Which site or sites you use depends on your style of travel, how much in advance you are booking, and where you are going. Below or some sites you should know about and how to use them.
There is no best hotel booking site. One site will have a deal this week and a different site will have a deal for next week… at the same hotel. Knowing some alternative hotel booking sites can save you on lodging, which is one of the biggest expenses in travel.
Hotel Booking Sites
- HotelsCombined.com – This is a meta-search site (that means it searches a lot of the other sites all at once and lets you compare them). My wife was stuck trying to find a place in Kyoto for a recent trip on Hotels.com and I got on a meta-search site and literally found something great in 5 minutes.
- Hotels.com – One of my favorite hotel booking sites. Book 10 nights and get a night free.
- Booking.com – The leading hotel booking site worldwide but mostly used outside the United States. Strongest in Europe.
- Expedia.com – The leading hotel booking site in the United States.
- Priceline.com – One of the leading booking sites. Priceline still does their “Name Your Price” but you can also book hotels without the auction process.
- tingo.com – Tingo is a newer hotel booking site from TripAdvisor that allows people to book early for their vacation then get money back if the hotel rates drop.
- Agoda.com – Good booking site when you book internationally, especially in Asia.
- TripAdvisor – the leading hotel review site, but now also supports direct booking for a growing number of hotels.
- Trivago.com – This is another meta-search site that Expedia bought. It started in Germany. They search Expedia certainly but also 199 other hotel sites for deals.
- Roomkey.com – Roomkey is only recently on my radar but I like what they are doing. They will find cheaper rates for hotel rooms, but the catch is that you have to be in the hotel’s loyalty program. But since joining the loyalty program is free you should join anyway.
Hotel Deal Sites
- Jetsetter.com – Hotel deals
- Groupon.com – Deals for hotels and all-inclusive vacations.
Hostel Booking Sites
- Hostelworld.com (US) – the leading hostel booking site since it merged with hostelbookers.com.
- Hostelz.com – Offers hostels in more than 54,178 listings in 9,534 cities
Last-Minute Timeshare Rentals
SellMyTimeshareNow.com – offers high-end resort timeshare rentals available to book online at up to 70% off. Check-in dates are within 60 days.
Last Minute Hotel Deals Booking Sites
- Laterooms.com – last-minute bargains at international hotels
- HotelTonight.com – Great iPhone app for finding hotel rooms tonight where you are
- Last-Minute Deals with Expedia
Vacation Home and Room Rental Sites
- Airbnb (get a $40 credit) – Rent a room or an apartment instead of a hotel room
- VRBO.com – Vacation Rental by Owner
- Villas International – Rent a villa or luxury accommodation
- Homestay.com – Paid hosted stays with a local
Cheap or Free Accommodation Bookings Sites
- Homeexchange.com – Swap houses with someone else
- Couchsurfing.com – Sleep on a spare couch for free
- Staydu.com – Staying with locals for help, money or free
- Trusted Housesitters – Stay in someone’s house in exchange for feeding the dog or watering the plants.
Other Helpful Sites
- Biddingtraveler.com The site helps you know what to bid on Priceline if you use the “name your price” feature
- TripAdvisor.com – Best site for reviews of hotels other accommodations