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using booking sites

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Feb 22nd, 2014, 08:45 AM
  #1
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using booking sites

I almost always use tripadvisor to research and pick my hotel but then use the hotels' website to make my booking. Have any of you consistently found better deals using the pop-up sites on tripadvisor, rather than the direct hotel site?
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 08:56 AM
  #2
 
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I may be off on this one, but it seems to me that when I've booked directly with a hotel, I was able to earn points for their program--e.g., Hilton Honors--but that when I booked with a booking site, that was not the case.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 09:24 AM
  #3
ira
 
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Hi S,

Have you consistently found better deals using the direct hotel site rather than pop-up sites on tripadvisor?

Have you tried www.booking.com
www.otel.com

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Feb 22nd, 2014, 09:55 AM
  #4
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Ira - whenever I've checked sites like that, the prices end up the same as the hotel - that is why I've pretty much stopped checking them but I'm glad to at least try the two you suggest.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 10:08 AM
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A booking site like booking.com just makes the reservation for you. It doesn't preclude you from earning points through a loyalty program. On the other hand, if you deal with a site like Priceline using their "Name Your Own Price" service, you may not be able to earn the points because you are basically buying it from the site not from the hotel.

I will usually book directly with the hotel, but in many cases I'm not staying with large hotels or chains, so a site like booking.com (which I have used for years) is much easier to deal with. Some of these places may have small websites but may not even have their own booking service and may prefer you use some other site. I have had that experience before.

Booking sites add to the cost of booking, but they have become a cost of doing business. I've noticed that a few places I've stayed in Europe in past years used to not use the services and you had to book with them directly, but now they are listed on booking.com .
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 10:18 AM
  #6
 
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All other things being about equal, I prefer to use booking sites (usually booking.com). If everybody used them only to check prices, and then booked directly, then we would no longer have those sites. And I want them to survive, because they make my life easier.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 11:45 AM
  #7
 
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I think that pegontheroad has had the same experience I have had-sometimes if you use the booking sites you won't get loyalty points-which we normally use to cash in on giftcards for bestbuy or amazon. I also know for sure that when I booked on Southwest airlines site for a car the agency told me that if I had booked on their site I would not have had an additional driver charge.

However when I use booking.com enough you get special deals pushed towards you-so like Padraig, I do tend to use them as well since I want them to survive. I haven't ever used TA for booking but haven't found the pricing as good generally.

One thing I can tell you is that we have just returned to the US in July after 2 years in the Peace Corps and don't presently own a car-so we have been renting cars for about 6 months in different US cities. And by far I have found the costco site the cheapest in every city practically. So if you have a costco membership, you should definitely check them out-they almost always beat AAA, Kayak, AARP/Expedia. I have never used them before somebody suggested I try them, so maybe this will be a good trip for other bargain hounds
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 01:00 PM
  #8
 
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I also use Booking.com a fair bit. Best thing about it for me is being able to reserve a room up front without paying a penny, which not all of the direct booking sites for the various hotels will allow you to do.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 06:32 PM
  #9
 
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You can also use www.trivago.com , which is a meta-search site (booking.com is one of the sites included in the meta-search, so you'll see Booking results there too). Rarely, you'll get a better deal elsewhere than what booking.com offers. But if it looks too good to be true, do a web search to check out the reliability of any company that is beating Booking by a bunch.
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