Considering an end-of-summer vacay? You may be scanning hotel discount sites for the best rate on a quick getaway, but a new study by travel site InsureMyTrip shows you may get more bang for your buck on some versus others.
Using data from 1,000 hotels across 20 cities, InsureMyTrip compared rates of three major booking sites to see who offers the cheapest deals on average — in addition to how much and how often. The study also compared discount booking sites with the cost of booking with hotels directly.
Here’s the ranking from most expensive to least expensive, per the study:
4. Booking.com — Average price (for a double room for 2 people): $250.14. Booking.com had the cheapest rates about 7% of the time.
3. Booking directly with the hotel — Average price: $222.87. Using a hotel’s website was cheaper than the three other sites about 39% of the time. Direct booking is also about $6 more expensive than the top 2 discount sites.
2. Expedia — Average price: $217.28. Expedia offers potential savings of about $32.87 and was the most affordable option about 579 times (or 58%), according to InsureMyTrip.
1. Hotels.com — Average price: $217.01. The difference between Hotels.com and Expedia is pretty marginal, though Hotels.com had the cheaper rate about 69% of the time.
It’s important to note both Expedia and Hotels.com are owned by the same parent company, Expedia Group, and thus, had similar or identical average rates in many instances.
Booking.com representatives did not immediately respond to Nexstar, however, Booking.com Managing Director of Asia Pacific Laura Houldsworth told CNBC the company aims to be transparent with customers and that “our property partners are free to set their own prices on Booking.com.”
Additionally, Houldsworth said Booking.com honors its “promise to price match, [which] also means that if a customer should ever find a lower price on another website, Booking.com will refund the difference.”
It depends which city you’re going to
InsureMyTrip’s analysis found customers can expect specific savings depending upon which city they’re visiting and which site they’re using.
- Direct booking — Booking direct is the best option if you’re staying in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles.
- Expedia — Most affordable cities include Boston, Orlando, Chicago and Honolulu.
- Hotels.com — Most affordable cities include New York, Miami and Las Vegas.
Internationally, Expedia and Hotels.com split the difference for best city deals.
“Of the 20 cities analyzed, we found seven were the same price on Hotels.com and Expedia. This shows that either site can be used to find a great deal, especially traveling to capital cities around the globe,” the study concludes.
Meanwhile, a stay in Istanbul, Turkey, is cheapest if booked with the hotel directly.
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