If you’ve ever tried to plan a vacation, weekend getaway or any other type of trip, you’ve no doubt run into the struggle of booking a hotel room. Not only do you need to find one in a good location (nobody wants to stay at the hotel near a noisy highway 20 miles away from shops, restaurants
Luckily, there are tons of hotel booking sites to make the search a little easier. But then, you run into an entirely different struggle—choosing the best hotel booking site.
Contrary to popular belief every hotel booking site isn’t the same. The prices, options and information can all differ depending on the site you choose. The end result is 20 open tabs with every cheap hotel booking site you can find. But we’ve made that process easier on you.
Best Hotel Booking Sites
Here are 9 of the best sites to book hotels on. They offer fair prices, they’re easy to browse and you can trust the information on any of them.
1. Google Hotels
The best tool out there might be the Google search engine itself. That’s because you can set up the days that you are planning to check in, set a number of options and then get hotel names and prices without ever having to go outside of Google.
They will even show you the prices in ascending order so that you are able to see the hotels of the lowest prices first. You can choose from hotels that you recognize, hotels that have a high Google rating or hotels that you like the pictures of.
However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. You may notice that the first few results have a little purple section next to the title that says advertisement or “ad”. This means that you are looking at a hotel listing that has paid to be the top of the search results in this particular Google section. These listings may not represent the best of what is out there, particularly if you are looking for the best deal on hotels, but they almost always represent the best hotels in a particular city or town. After all, that’s who can afford to advertise against all the other hotels.
The first site outside of Google that we are going to discuss is booking.com. The reason that booking.com is at the top of the list is that it really keeps your search options open and allows you to look at all the different rentals that are available.
Whatever you are looking for, including hotels, hostels, apartments or shared spaces, booking.com really has you covered. They list just about everything that they can find on the Internet for you to choose from. This gives you a great deal of freedom and flexibility when it comes to choosing the type of place that you are going to be staying in.
Of course, you may not be willing to stay in a hostel or a shared room like with an
Kayak.com is another heavily advertised booking site on the television and radio. What makes a site one of our top contenders is that while other sites may contain only sponsored results, Kayak actually lists all of the available websites and their prices so that you can see what everyone is offering.
The site offers a clean interface with plenty of filters. However, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. When you look at the first few prices on Kayak, those aren’t necessarily the lowest prices on the list. You should always scroll down and see what is being offered below, because those listings often contain the lowest price.
The problem is that Kayak, like most sites, has their own sponsors. This appears when they have reviews that are called “Recommended.” While there is no evidence that those are advertisements, they almost always appear at the top and there are often lower priced listings down below. So, if you are going to use this site, then make sure that you scroll down. The other disadvantage is that the option to sort by price is hard to find. It is grey and it blends in with the background. However, besides the recommended results, they are usually in that order anyway.
Priceline has become well-known to consumers due to advertising icons like William Shatner and other celebrities appearing on television. What you have to remember is that all of the booking sites are pretty much the same, but there is a difference with this site and that is that is made to be visually appealing.
That may not be a useful feature if you’re just trying to save money, but can mean navigating the site is easier than other sites, and the usability of the site can go a long way towards improving your experience with it. The prices are pretty much the same as all the other booking sites that are out there and they were mainly focused on tourist areas in larger cities where people travel to all the time.
Priceline does have a couple of unique features that make them worth visiting. One of them is the name your own price tool. While this doesn’t always work, there are times that you can enter an amount that you’re willing to pay for airline tickets for hotel bookings and get results based upon the price you’re willing to pay. This can be pretty useful as long as you keep in mind that if you are offered a price through the name your own price tool, then it is possible that there is a lower price out there as well.
Another extremely well-known travel site is hotels.com. Hotels.com is pretty unique because it allows you to customize your search just about any way you want. Then a lot of different filters that you can use to narrow down your hotel results to exactly the type of room that you are looking for and exactly the location that you are looking for. Most of the returns that you will get will be mid-level to upper-end hotels that are located near the downtown area, but there will be lower budget hotels on the list as well. You are sure to find something that you want if you play with the sliders and the options enough.
One of the disadvantages with this particular hotel site is that even the hotels that are booked up are listed on the search results. The ones that are fully booked are greyed out, which can be useful, but the ones that are almost booked are not any different than the regular results. That means that you have to click on the result and look up the dates that you want to travel to find out if they are booked or not. However, there are lots of additional properties besides hotels that are listed on the site, and that is a major advantage.
6. Expedia and Travelocity
These two sites are listed together because they are nearly identical. These websites, along with Orbitz.com, are all owned by Expedia Incorporated and they had the exact same layout with almost exactly the same search results.
In addition, the pricing is the same for all of the sites even though sometimes the order that they come in can be a little bit different. You are not going to find much difference between what is listed here and hotels.com, but it is useful because the layout is simple and you can quickly find prices without having to worry about a whole bunch of options.
The main feature that makes these sites make our list is that they are really dependable. If you see a price on any of these three sites, you can be sure that that is what you’re going to be up to book your price set and you’re probably not going to find a lower site on any of the other hotel booking sites. There is definitely something to be said for consistency, and these sites are consistent across the board when it comes to pricing.
Agoda may not be the most advertised hotel booking site, but it is still worth checking out. However, the hotel bookings are limited to Asia including Malaysia, Thailand and other destinations in that region. Most of the options you will find are in those locations, but recently the site has expanded into the United States and actually can deliver a better experience than some of the major hotel booking sites. There are even times when this particular site has lower prices than the other booking sites out there.
While this may not be your to site to find hotel bookings in the United States and some of the more popular tourist destinations, this can still be an extremely useful website if you check it at the end of your search. It features a pretty decent selection of hotels around the world, mostly situated in Asia, with some deals that are much lower than what you will find on the other booking sites. This definitely makes it worth visiting even briefly.
8. Trip Advisor
Trip Advisor is a well-known website that is advertised heavily on television. This site does have some advantages over all of the other booking sites that we have looked at so far. For example, while you are able to find the same booking deals that you will find with any of the other sites listed here, you are also going to find a great number of reviews on this website.
You will be able to see what customers are actually saying about the hotel, the resort or whatever other property you are thinking about visiting and make a decision as to whether or not you want to visit.
What is nice about this site is that when you search for reviews for the location that you’re planning on going, the booking is built right into it. So you can read the reviews and then once you find the destination that you want based upon what people are saying about it you can easily find the lowest price for booking on the dates you want to travel and then book your trip. This makes it an extremely useful website for booking because it is based upon the reviews and not necessarily the price or other factors that other booking sites display results upon.
Finally, Trivago is one of the other booking sites it is advertised heavily on TV and online. If you watch television for any length of time in the past two years and you’ve likely seen the myriad of ads that are out there. This is another meta-search hotel booking site that surprisingly can offer lower prices than many of the booking sites at the beginning of this article. In fact, some of the lower prices found on Agoda could also be found on this site.
The strength of this particular service is the options that they give you so that you can see what all of the other booking sites are offering. Of course, that is their message on their radio and television commercials as well, but it actually is one of the features of this booking site. There are a lot of booking sites out there, but this is definitely one of the best, especially if you are looking to compare different prices across all the booking sites that are out there. Instead of visiting them individually, you can simply take a look at this site and see what they are charging.
Booking Your Next Hotel Shouldn’t be a Struggle
One of the biggest headaches associated with traveling is planning and booking your accommodations. Heck, that’s why travel agencies were setup in the first place. But you don’t have to pay a premium for someone else to do the legwork. Give any of these hotel booking sites a try and you’ll be relaxing in the comfort of an amazing hotel in no time!
Well, you can have further useful information if you have planned your trip to somewhere in