10 Hotel Booking Sites to Get the Best Deals

When you plan a vacation, finding the right hotel – one that’s got the amenities you want and fits into your budget – can be a time-consuming endeavor. You may even spend more time looking for hotel deals than you do finding a flight or a rental car.

Our Additional Financial members often ask us questions about online booking for travel and one we hear a lot is this:

“What’s the best hotel booking site?”

We think there’s more than one answer depending on what you want and where you’re going. So, here are some tips to help you book a hotel and ten hotel booking sites to help you get the best possible deal on your next trip.

Tips for Saving Money on Your Hotel

Before we reveal the best hotel booking sites, let’s review some general tips to help you save money on your next hotel stay.

Make Your Hotel Reservation on the Right Day

If you want to know how to get hotel deals, the first thing you need to know is when to book your hotel stay. According to Kayak, the best time for booking hotels is on Saturday for domestic travel and Friday for international travel. Tuesday and Sunday are the most expensive days, respectively.

Schedule Your Check-in for the Right Day

Another way to find the best hotel deal is to choose your check-in date carefully. As is the case with flights, there are days when it’s simply less expensive to check in. You can save money if you check into a domestic or international hotel on a Tuesday – which is also one of the cheapest days to fly.

Don’t Book Too Far in Advance

You might think that booking far in advance of your trip will save you money but in fact, the opposite can be true. If you’re not overly concerned with where you stay – for example, if you’re only going to be in the hotel to sleep – then a little flexibility can save you money. You’ll get the best deals on domestic hotels if you book one to four days in advance of your domestic trip or one to seven days in advance of your trip abroad.

Track Hotel Prices

Some people may not be comfortable with a last-minute booking, particularly those who are flying internationally and have already booked a flight. If that’s the case, then pick a couple of hotels that you’re interested in, track the prices and book when you feel comfortable that you’re getting a great deal.

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10 Hotel Booking Sites and Apps to Try

One of the best ways to get a bargain on your hotel stay is to track prices using hotel booking websites and apps. That way, you can monitor hotel rates, compare your options and find the best possible deal for your next trip.

The good news is that there are plenty of options available, both online and on your phone. Here are ten to try.

#1: Kayak

Kayak is one of the best-known websites to make travel arrangements. It has an easy-to-use design that allows you to filter your results based on an array of factors. You can search for hotels as well as resorts, vacation rentals and guest houses. You can sort your results by hotel price, reviews or distance from a chosen location. You also have the option to search by styles, which makes it easy to find a hotel chain, luxury hotel or family-friendly hotel.

We should note here that Kayak is owned by the same company as Priceline, Booking.com and Agoda, but prices may not be the same on all sites, so make sure to broaden your search for the best results.

#2: Trivago

Trivago is a hotel booking site where you can compare and buy flights, hotel stays and rental cars. You can search your destination and sort results by price, rating or distance, and with or without recommendations from Trivago. The ability to combine recommendations with other filters is useful because it makes it easy to eliminate poorly-reviewed hotels from your search.

Trivago makes it easy to narrow your search based on hotel amenities and features. If you need a Paris hotel that’s wheelchair accessible and family friendly, you can find one by applying filters to find the hotel that’s exactly suited to your needs.

#3: Google Hotel Search

Google Hotel Search is a meta search engine that allows travelers to access hotel prices and deals across multiple sites. It is fully integrated with Google Maps which makes it useful if you want to be sure to get a hotel in a specific location in your destination city.

You can implement a variety of filters to find what you need, including options to sort by price, rating, hotel class and eco-friendly travel. It’s also easy to find family-friendly hotels and pet-friendly hotels. Best of all, Google Hotel Search offers tips for seasonal travel and can help you find locations where you can travel affordably.

#4: Hotwire

Hotwire is a well-known hotel booking site that is best suited for people who are bargain hunting and willing to be flexible with their hotel choices. It may be less ideal for family travel because the website makes it a little difficult to find family-friendly accommodations.

What we like about Hotwire is that they offer “Hot Deals,” which can allow travelers to save a lot on their hotel stay if they’re willing to book without knowing the name of the hotel. That might sound like a gamble but if you want a cheap hotel to keep your budget in control, it’s a good option.

#5: Priceline

Priceline is an extremely useful site if you’re someone who wants to find a hotel based on what you’re willing to pay. You can enter a price and Priceline will find a deal for you that fits your budget. But, like Hotwire, you’ll need to be willing to take a chance on their recommendation, since you won’t get the name of the hotel until you make a reservation.

You can search for a traditional hotel or expand to include rental apartments, bed & breakfasts and apart-hotels. You can also search by amenities, star ratings and location.

#6: Booking.com

Booking.com is a travel website that also has a terrific hotel booking app where you can search for hotels and book your stay. You can use it to search for hotels and alternative vacation rentals, including apartments and Airbnb-like locations.

One of the great features for international travel is the ability to view the name and address of your accommodations in the local language. This option is particularly useful if you need to communicate your address with a cab driver who doesn’t speak English. 

#7: Hotels.com

Hotels.com has both a website and an app, and we like that they reward repeat bookings with a complimentary stay. (Through their rewards program, travelers get a free night for every 10 nights they book on the website or app, although there is a $5 fee if you use the website.)

The site and app feature accommodations in more than 200 countries around the world. You can also use the app to view your current reservations and make changes to them as necessary.

#8: Expedia

Expedia is one of the oldest online travel sites and they also have a free app that offers exclusive mobile deals and discounts. Specifically, they offer a 30% mobile discount when you book a hotel room, and you can save 43% if you book your flight and hotel together. 

In addition to hotels and flights, you can also book your rental car, tickets and tour through Expedia. They’ll send you notifications about your flight, so you can stay on top of delays and gate changes, too. And, if you prefer to pay at the hotel instead of in advance, you can take advantage of their convenient “buy now, pay later” feature.

#9: HotelsCombined

HotelsCombined is a mobile app that sets itself apart by offering travelers a robust collection of pictures, making it an ideal choice for people who want a clear image of where they’ll be staying. They have a price alert feature that will notify you if your chosen hotel’s price drops by 10% or more

What we really like about HotelsCombined is that they offer a price guarantee. If you book your hotel on the app and find a better price within 24 hours, they’ll match the price you found and refund the difference. They also offer secret deals for app users.

#10: HotelTonight

HotelTonight is an app ideal for anybody who needs to make last-minute travel arrangements. If your Airbnb suddenly cancels, you can use the app to book a hotel for the same day or up to 7 days in advance.

All the empty hotel rooms in your chosen city are aggregated on the site and made available for up to a 50% discount. If you’re okay with a bit of uncertainty in your travel plans, or you need to deal with a last-minute flight cancellation, then this app can help you find a place to stay.

Booking hotels doesn’t need to be stressful and it can be easy to find accommodations that suit your budget and provide the amenities you need to be comfortable during your trip. The ten travel booking sites and apps we’ve listed here will help you narrow your search and find the ideal place to stay on your next vacation.

Do you want to start saving for your next vacation? Addition Financial has the account for you! Learn about our Holiday and Summer Savings account now.

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