Expedia vs. Hotels.com vs. Orbitz: Which Travel Site Is Best?
Travel sites let you book trips to places all over the world on an unprecedented level due to new technologies. Here are a few major travel sites, including which ones are the best at what they do.
Expedia has access to booking for over 290,000 hotels worldwide. You can call them for help at 1-877-429-7383.
- Best Price Guarantee: If you can find a cheaper flight, hotel, rental car, vacation package or vacation activity within 24 hours of booking, not only will you get a refund for the difference, but Expedia will also give you a free travel coupon for $50.
- Expedia Rewards: This program has gold, silver and blue parts to it. The highest level, +gold, gives you free amenities like VIP access and spa discounts. Most of the levels give you double value on VIP hotels and the ability to book travel for other people. You can earn points on just about any booking, with percent bonuses for each level.
- Scratchpad: This service allows you to go back to previous searches you’ve made through Expedia. This makes it easier to remember what you were thinking before so you don’t waste time trying to find the same hotels. The service is useable across multiple devices.
- Live Booking Chat Agents: If you want help with booking you can click on the Expedia booking chat option at any time.
Hotels.com focuses more on hotels than anything else. You can call them at 877-903-0071. This number is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
- Buy 10 Nights Get 1 Free: When you get the Welcome Rewards program you can earn 1 free hotel night after you purchase 10 other nights.
- Currency Information: It’s easy to change your nationality and currency at the top of the site so you can get currency info on deals for dozens of different currencies.
- Deal Finder: This lets you search for over 10,000 deals specifically. It will return information for hotels that are specifically on sale.
- Deal of the Day: If you’re feeling spontaneous in your travel plans, there’s also the Deal of the Day feature that lets you find last minute deals in whatever cities the come up in. This includes cities like New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego and Washington. These deals are often 50% off of the normal list price, though you have took within 24 hours in most cases.
- Customer Feedback from OpinionLab: If you want your opinion of a particular page on hotels.com you can write one up and even leave ratings about content, design, usability and so on.
Orbitz focuses on finding cheap travel listings without spending too much time on it.
- Orbitz Rewards: This program lets you save as much as 5% on hotels and 2% on flights. You can also get as much as 1% back from packages. The program offers 5% on Rewards Dining as well.
- Frequent Contests for Free Trips: The site offers contests that let you win trips to areas like Cancun, including free hotel stays. A current contest also lets you potentially win $100 in Orbucks, a prepaid $100 Visa card or hotel stay vouchers. You have to have an Orbitz Reward number but then it’s free to play.
- Security Assured with TRUSTe and Verisign: These are trusted companies in Internet security and they help to make sure your private info used on Orbitz remains private.
- Frequent Rewards Deals-Deals often come up that are similar to how you can earn 3x the points in Orbucks if you fly on the Qantas airline to Australia.
- Free App for Android and iOS: There are some deals on this app that are specific only to the app as well. They have deals including saving $25 on certain hotels if you book it for the first time through the app with the right promo code.
- A+ BBB Rating: This is the highest rating that the Better Business Bureau gives out, and it means that the site is not only legitimate, but that the agency deemed that the site does a good job resolving customer complaints.
- Price Comparison with Other Sites: One nice feature on Orbitz is that it will actually show you if the price is cheaper with a different booking sight. This way you can tell with more certainty whether you’re getting a good deal or not.
Head to Head
A flight from Boston Logan Airport into Miami leaving late in the summer of 2014 ranges from $43 to $566 on the site. You also get deals when you combine flights like this with hotels. The site lists deals and it lists the flights, hotels and other holiday trappings in terms of which is the cheapest. A flight hotel combination goes for about $668. A single night stay in Boston for 4 stars is around $200 or $169 on sale for the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.
The Boston Park Plaza Hotel through Hotels.com had availability for exactly the same price at $169. There were also listings for 296 other hotels in Boston.
Orbitz also has the same deal for the Boston Park Plaza Hotel for $169. The listing page shows you how much you would earn back in Orbitz Bucks if you booked the hotel though, in this case $5.80.
Most of these sites have similar deals since they all point back to the travel institutions like hotels and airlines.
Expedia’s Best Price Guarantee is unique because of how far reaching it is. For example, they now offer it even if the lower price you found was because you combined holiday package deals from multiple different websites or mobile apps. Regardless of how you do it, they’ll give you a free $50 travel certificate and a refund for the difference if you show them a better vacation price elsewhere.
Hotels.com has a goodly many deals for hotels, and it has an extensive filter tool for finding the hotel you want. You can sort findings based on Neighborhood, Landmarks, Accommodation type, star rating, average nightly rate and even a keyword search. The site’s 10 Nights deal is fairly unique within the industry as well.
Orbitz has a generous rewards program and price matching which puts them ahead of other sites when it comes to purely spending as little as possible in terms of both time and money.