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Compare Online Travel Agents - Discount Hotel Deals - Travelocity - Cheap Tickets - Priceline - Hotwire - Internet Search For Vacation Packages

June 3rd 2006

Compare Online Travel Agents - Discount Hotel Deals - Travelocity - Cheap Tickets - Priceline - Hotwire - Internet Search For Vacation Packages

Paris Las Vegas

There are various online booking options for hotels, including Orbitz, hotels.com Priceline, Cheap Tickets, Travelocity, Hotwire and more.  So which is best?  Well, one thing nice about the Internet is that you can comparison shop. 

Priceline is unique in that they offer a name-your-own-price option.  Here you bid on a hotel room in a particular area (let’s say downtown San Diego or near the marina) for a particular class of hotel. 

According to Priceline you can save 40% or more on your hotel rooms and airline tickets, and up to 25% or more on your rental cars, compared to the other leading travel sites.  They pick the hotel and you are committed to following through on the purchase. 

 

Priceline has started a new service called “PriceBreakers”.  Here they say you will get the absolute best deal on the market for that day.  They also offer the standard services the other sites offer where you can shop for a hotel by date.

Then there are Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire, Orbitz, and Hotels.com.  They all offer standard booking procedures that let you compare hotels, nights and prices.  They all have “guaranteed low prices” and some may have an “un-biased” source say they are the best. 

 

For instance Frommer’s says that "Hotwire is likely to have the absolute lowest rates on three-star and four-star hotels anywhere in the US."  Forbes calls “Priceline the Best Travel Site for 2006”. 

The travel sites offer toll free numbers if you would rather call them. I recommend, if you do call them, to at least do some legwork investigating their prices first. 

 

Some of the sites may offer frequent-traveler discounts or rebate programs.  Cheaptickets.com offers a Cheap Tickets Gold program where if you sign-up, you can save 5%.  You can try the service for the first two months, for $1. The $11.99 membership fee, or then-current monthly fee, will be billed automatically each month to the credit or debit card you provide unless you call toll free during your 2-month trial to cancel. You can call any time to cancel your benefits and you will not be billed for any additional months according to Cheap Tickets.  You may want to read the fine print before signing up because the discounts are on “un-discounted” prices. 

All of these sites have become online travel agencies with special travel packages including airline tickets, car rentals, hotels, and more.  The advantage is that, with the Internet, you can compare prices and services before you choose your travel agent.    

 
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Dan Wilson
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