Why I Always Book with Hotels.com
Secret tricks that can help a budget traveler save, save, save and a person full of wanderlust dream of what "might" be
My guess would be that you have purchased flights, hotels and even car rentals on sites such as Expedia, Orbitz or Kayak. I’d also be willing to bet that you rarely walk away feeling like you have found a screaming deal. But hey, at least you have a decent place to lay your head in San Antonio next weekend. Am I right?
I’m convinced that none of these sites are really out there to give us true deals, no matter how much William Shatner tries to convince us otherwise. I think they exist to just make us loyal enough that we keep coming back time and time again purely out of habit. Just like we “Google” everything without thinking, ‘wow, it seems to me that Google would be the smartest place to go and search for the NCAA March Madness brackets,’ I think we instinctively go to Expedia (or your site of choice), too, when we need a hotel and car rental because we have built the habit.
Well, when I started paying just a little bit more attention to my habit a few years ago, I quit Expedia and became loyal to a less popular travel companion. She has been saving me money ever since. Meet Hotels.com. (Note: I am not paid by or affiliated with Hotels.com or anyone else. I just like her a lot) Also, let me say that I don’t always stay in hotels. I often prefer Airbnb and even hostels, but if I want a hotel, I go the route of booking with Hotels.com for more reasons than just habit.
4 Reasons I Use Hotels.com For Booking Hotel Stays On All Of My Adventures
I am now a Hotels.com dedicated patron because I’m hyper-focused on the overall savings of each of my trips and somewhat obsessed with gaining the bragging rights of taking a 2 week trip to somewhere like Europe for under $900. To do this, I have to save cash in every little hidden place I possibly can. And what does Hotels.com offer that causes a significant savings? Rewards, Reliable Reviews, the Option to Choose Hotels with Free Breakfast in the City Center (which is ALWAYS a money-saving must) and Free Cancellations.
After 10 nights, your 11th night is free! Let’s say you travel to Austria for 12 days. The average cost of your room is $72 per night. That’s an estimate of $792 for 11 nights. BUT after 10 nights with Hotels.com, your next night is free. So that brings your overall hotel expense down to an estimate of $720. Not bad. And of course, the 10 nights can accumulate over time as well. You don’t have to gather all 10 nights on one holiday.
Hotels.com hasn’t failed me yet on reviews. There is usually a large amount of honest reviews to read about each hotel. As long as I take time to sift through a good number of them before booking, I am always happy with my choice.
Option to Choose Hotels with Free Breakfast in the City Center
These filter options are extremely valuable to me. Being adamant about staying in the city center not only saves time, but can save tons of money on Uber, train and subway rides, especially if I am traveling through a big city for the first time and most of the sites are near one general location.
That’s one. But my biggest MUST is choosing a hotel that serves FREE breakfast…Okay, maybe not if I’m in the US, because free continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn…ewwww! But free European or Asian hotel breakfast…yes, please! I’ll take your generous offerings, free flat whites and bread or pho all day long! Seriously, I plan all of my trips around being assured that if I’m staying in a hotel it provides free breakfast. I eat HUGE! I grab yogurts and more bread and cheese to take back to the room for later and often I can get away with only needing one more good meal near the end of the day (plus deserts and drinks along the way, of course). That’s the plan. No, it’s not the luxury travel plan. It’s the budget travel plan, and I’m all about doing whatever it takes so I can do it all again next year.
Though I’m not sure how much money I save with free hotel breakfasts, it’s got to be significant…especially when traveling with multiple people. Hotels.com lets me filter to find the free food AND gives me reviews to let me know that it’s going to be yummy.
I love the option for only booking a hotel that allows FREE Cancellation. Each hotel is different, but many on Hotels.com allow free cancellation up to within a few days of arrival. Low Risk is always a plus, especially when you can’t afford to throw your money away.
Finally, let me say that I know other sites offer similar options as Hotel.com. This one has just never let me down. That goes a long way towards making me a loyal patron. Tip: Whichever site you choose, I promise that if you just simply keep in mind the city center and free breakfast trick when traveling abroad, you’ll surely save the bucks in the end.
O yeah…and one more thing about FREE cancellation….
One Way Hotels.com Helps To Satisfy My Wanderlust
Maybe you’ll think me a little crazy with this next one, but c’est la vie. It’s just that I’m the kind of travel lover who always needs her next adventure on the calendar. It can be 18 months away, but if I know there is strong potential for another holiday on the horizon, I’m settled and good to go. If I don’t have that hope of the next journey in my sights to dream towards, then I’m restless and out of sorts. Hotels.com helps me dream and plan, even if I eventually have to cancel and chalk it up to a fun day of travel daydreaming.
Example: I’m planning a trip to Italy in November. Weeks before I decided to purchase airline tickets and make it official, I started thinking of my itinerary and checking out hotel prices on Hotels.com. I was amazed at how cheap the good hotels were. This was in February and I was looking ahead to November. Because of Hotels.com FREE Cancellation I was able to dream of my perfect itinerary, peruse my hotel options and go so far as grabbing the best and cheapest deals. Knowing that the commitment level was actually zero towards the trip still because I could cancel and lose nothing with their “pay at the hotel” option, I booked great rooms…zero money down, zero risk and the cheapest prices at the best hotels available.
As I’m writing here, I just went back to the site to take another look at the places I reserved in November. I booked a hotel in Florence with free breakfast and in the city center with a 9 out of 10 rating for just $188.06 total for 3 nights! My Rome hotel has breakfast, a city center location and 8.6 out of 10 rating - $215.58 total for 4 nights!!!! A month later the Rome hotel has ALREADY increased in price for the same reservation to $328 for 4 nights. So I have technically already saved $112.42 and the trip is still 8 months away. I wonder what the rooms will cost 6 months from now? Always book waaaaaay early if you can. O yea, and definitely take advantage of the “pay at the hotel” instead of online option.
Finally, one last note that could probably go without being said, but I need to say it anyway…please make sure that if you book a hotel and then can’t go…don’t forget to CANCEL before the Free cancellation window ends! :-)
That’s all for today, friends. Whether you have a typical way of booking your travel somewhere other than Hotels.com that makes you happy or you are now, forever going to be a Hotels.com patron like me, I hope there were a few nuggets here to help you save lots of travel $ so you can afford to go back again and again.