Booking with a travel bundle website like Kayak, Expedia, Booking.com seems like the best way to go. It is a quick and easy way to bundle your hotels, flights and rental cars but is it really the best deal? Yes, we know that when you bundle you can often get a discount across the board but are you trading a few dollars in savings for major perks down the road? This week we look at some reasons why should consider booking your hotel straight from the Hotel website versus a 3rd Party Site.

Here’s Why:

  1. Not all 3rd Party Sites are created equal. For example we booked a room at a very nice beach hotel in Southern California using Hotels.com. Upon check-in we were told that the room we thought we were booking on Hotels.com is not the room that Hotels.com booked for us. Meaning we got a partial ocean view room for what we thought was an ocean front room. While it was not the end of the world, it was still pretty disappointing but we learned a valuable lesson. In our experience Hotels often regard 3rd Party reservations as lower importance than direct reservations.
  2. Hotels often have to give a commission to 3rd Party Booking Agencies such as Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com, etc; so when you book direct from the hotel they will often offer you small perks that you will not receive otherwise (free parking, complimentary beverage from mini bar, free wifi, etc) This is not a guarantee, but we have definitely noticed the difference in service by front desk staff.
  3.  When you use a 3rd Party Site you usually have to pay for your room upfront. In most cases that sounds just fine, but if there is an issue with your stay, most hotels cannot refund your room since it was paid through a 3rd Party. This can be a major pain if the hotel isn’t as nice as you thought or has substandard service.
  4. Brand Loyalty can really pay off, if you find you are staying at a particular hotel chain more often than not then it makes sense to join their loyalty program and enjoy the perks they offer their customers that have status. Free wifi, free amenities and complimentary room upgrades are just a few perks you’ll get. Our favorite perk? Late Check Out.  We love to stay at the Dallas Omni Hotel, since we stay often we gained status with their hotel brand and we cannot even begin to tell you how well you are treated at The Omni Dallas. It’s well worth it. 😉
  5. Code share Partner Network, this is another great thing about booking straight through the hotel. There is something special about getting to use all your status points at partner hotels. You can even save up those free nights you earned on a business trip and then cash them in for an exotic stay in the Caribbean, South Pacific and more.

Hopefully these tips will help aid you in your conquest to get the best possible deal and go luxe for less. Good luck out there! 

If you have any questions or comments about how to do the upgrade for less feel free to tweet us @thewanderlusty or email here.