Planning even a short weekend getaway can be a frustratingly tedious task. With so many different hotel websites to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to look for the very best deal. If you tend to book directly with a hotel or use one of the big online aggregators, travel expert Matt Kepnes, author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, says you could be losing out.
We hear you—no one has time to trawl multiple sites and crunch the numbers, so Kepnes has done it for you. In a post on his site, he reviewed the booking data on six major booking sites—Expedia, Hotels, TravelPony, Booking, Hotwire, and Priceline—and discovered which site offers the very best hotel deal most of the time.
"I went into this experiment with the assumption that Hotels.com and Expedia would have the most expensive rates and Hotwire would be the cheapest. But the data proved my theory wrong," he writes.
Kepnes found that lesser known booking website, TravelPony, usually beat its more popular competitors, especially in the three- and four-star categories. "They blew the competition right out of the water. In many instances, they are substantially cheaper than their competitors," he says.
As for the worst? Kepnes says to avoid Trivago, because "they consistently overrated their hotel listings. Because Trivago sends you right to the booking page on another website, this change of class would be easily missed by consumers. You might end up in a two-star hotel when you wanted a four-star."
What website do you use to score the best hotel deals?