March 16th, 2012

Traveler's Tip: The Smartest Website for Booking Hotels

I recently took a job at a small adventure tour company and have an upcoming business trip, which will take me to Houston, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Boston, New York and Washington, DC in a span of two weeks, I spent a good chunk of last night booking hotels. Using old standbys – Orbiz and Expedia I was able to find decent options while staying under budget, so I was happy enough. I had to wait an hour or so to book my last hotel in DC, as we hadn’t confirmed the address of the event I needed to attend. As I waited I played around on my latest internet distraction, StumbleUpon, and came across an article by Golden Book Traveler titled The 20 Best Travel Websites. Included on this list was a hotel search I had never heard of called HotelsCombined. I took it for a test drive once all my DC plans were set and the results were pretty surprising. While HotelsCombined wasn’t cheaper for every hotel, there were certain cases in which the savings were over 50 percent

Washington DCStar RatingExpedia PriceOribitz PriceHotelsCombined PriceThe Normandy Hotel3$362$323$152L’enfant Plaza3$213$214$110

I ended up booking a room at the L’enfant but decided to continue playing around on the site to see if my findings were a fluke or not. A search for a room in San Francisco on a Friday night in March revealed similar results; shockingly low rates for some very nice hotels:

San FranciscoStar RatingExpedia PriceOribitz PriceHotelsCombined PriceArgonaut Hotel4$299$298$194Clift Hotel4$293$292$145

Last I decided to check an international destination to see if there was a difference. The savings in Buenos Aires turned out not to be as significant, but still cheaper:

Buenos AiresStar RatingExpedia PriceOribitz PriceHotelsCombined PriceMelia Recoleta Plaza5$283$283$256Axel Hotel4$149$145$121

HotelsCombined doesn’t actually book the rooms; rather they seem to be an aggregator finding rates on websites such as EasytoBook, Olotels, Octopus and RatestoGo. I had never heard of any of these sites either but will certainly continue using them for future hotel bookings. Speaking of good deals, starting today Eagle Creek is giving away gear on facebook so be sure to like us and enter to win today.  

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