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What is the best hotel booking site!? | Expedia vs. Hotels.com vs. Booking.com

it used to be a pain to compare and book

accommodation but thanks to the internet

we now have comparison sites with

powerful tools to filter down and book

your perfect stay however there are now

so many comparison sites it's hard to

know which does what best so in this

video I'm going to compare the

comparison sites themselves giving you

my opinion on some of the biggest

contenders Expedia hotels.com and

booking comm as well as discussing why I

don't really use price aggregates sites

like trivago and TripAdvisor I'll be

explaining and comparing key areas such

as their review systems filters prices

reward schemes and the quantity and

variety of accommodation available to

see which is best for different tasks

and therefore help you to easily

navigate and find the best deals for

your future travelers

so as someone that evidently loves to

travel I'm always on these booking sites

trying to find the best deals and there

is a lot of things I've noticed and

picked up whilst doing that over the

years whilst I'll be giving a lot of

information about these sites and how

they work it is worth pointing out that

this knowledge is mostly my opinion and

based on how I like to travel so it may

not apply exactly to you nonetheless it

is save me a lot of money over the years

and hopefully it can save you some -

I'll start by quickly discussing price

aggregate sites like TripAdvisor and

trivago these don't actually carry out

the booking process but clay and compare

prices information and reviews from lots

of other sites whilst these can be

useful for getting a general overview I

don't actually tend to use them very

much for several reasons my first

problem is with the reviews because they

often don't process bookings directly

it's very hard for them to verify any

reviewers as actual customers leading to

ratings and rankings being easily

manipulated

TripAdvisor in particular has been in

the news several times because of

listings being boosted up the rankings

or diving down as a result of false

reviews whether that is people purposely

posting something fake or simply

reviewing the wrong company or service

this ranking system seems to be becoming

even less reliable as they introduce

more and more sponsored listings and try

to push people to book those that earned

them a higher Commission sites like

trivago are slightly better in this

regard as they don't actually review

accommodation that aggragate the

verified reviews from the booking sites

themselves so it's more trustworthy

however it still isn't the most

revealing rating system as the overall

ranking they provide on both websites is

so general that it likely doesn't apply

to you for instance one person might

rank a place high great atmosphere and

cool industrial design or as another

might think it was terrible because it

was loud and in need of renovation a

basic ranking system doesn't really

reveal these differing opinions very

well as I say these arrogant sites are

still very useful to get

general overview of the better

accommodation just don't take the

specific rankings too seriously if

you're choosing between one that is in

sixth place and one that is in 11th

for instance my other problem with

aggregate sites is that they often

aren't actually very good at their main

purpose which is comparing prices this

is because they can't include your

unique benefit from those booking sites

in their comparison whilst I'll get on

to the specific rewards later all the

major booking sites have reward and

loyalty schemes based on your membership

and booking history which isn't

reflected on advocate sites like

TripAdvisor and trivago

for example trivago might tell you that

Expedia has the cheapest price for a

specific hotel however that same hotel

may be on a secret deal on your hotels

comm account or have 10% off with your

membership on booking com making it

cheaper than Expedia on both those sites

now these exclusive discounts are pulled

through to those trivago results which

is why again I normally only use

aggregate sites as a very general

overview

so let's actually look at the booking

sites themselves now starting with

Expedia com a household name in travel

unlike the other sites are compared

Expedia is also a major flight and car

hire booking service which is its unique

selling point and maybe you need to grab

combination deals in between several

parts of your travel together in

particular I like the fact that if you

book flights through Expedia you can

still grab a discount on accommodation

or car hire for that trip at a later

date and don't have to book it all at

the same time this can lead to some

really great deals in certain situations

every booking you make earns Expedia

points which can then be redeemed on

further bookings or travel extras after

spending five thousand pounds on

eligible bookings or staying seven

nights you'll earn silver status and

gold status has earned after 10,000

pounds or 15 nights with each of these

membership levels you get enhanced

benefits such as spa discounts and free

drinks at certain hotels as well as

earning more Expedia points for every

pounds

however despite all these benefits I

personally find the base level pricing

isn't usually the best on Expedia and

over the past few years I have rarely

booked anything with them as a result in

my opinion the reviews aren't the most

extensive either and only the most

popular hotels and resorts seem to have

many this is the same for their range of

accommodation to weave more focus on

bigger chains hotels and resorts and not

much variety of other places to stay

like apartments being bees and hostels I

often feel like some properties are

hidden that come out top on other sites

I'm not sure exactly what it is but to

me personally it just feels like a much

harder task to filter down and find what

you want in their search system and

their website interface generally just

seems so much slower to use in any case

as you can probably tell I'm not the

biggest fan of Expedia but it is a way

to work and check to see if you can find

a cheaper price for somewhere especially

if you have booked flights through them

already next let's take a look at hotels

comm which is actually owned by the

Expedia group as well and therefore

suffers from some similar problems

namely its lack of reviews and variety

of accommodation as its name suggests it

only really lifts hotels so not much use

if you're looking for something

different however if it is a hotel you

were looking for I do generally find

hotels calm offering some of the better

prices particularly when taking into

consideration their reward and loyalty

schemes

first of all just by signing up and

searching as a member you get secret

prices which are temporary deals on

hotels that can't be seen on price and

aggregate sites as I was discussing

earlier there have been a number of

occasions in the past where I have found

a hotel on a different site then logged

into hotels calm where it happens to be

on a secret deal at a much lower price

so it is always worth double-checking

secondly they have a loyalty scheme

called reward nights which is basically

a form of loyalty stamps for every 10

nights you booked and stay through

hotels calm they give you a free night

the value of this free night will be

based on the average of the ten nights

you have previously booked not only this

but those ten nights also give you

silver membership which like Expedia

includes extra benefits such as free

breakfast airport transfers and spa

vouchers at certain hotels it managed to

book and stay thirty nights in a year

you'll reach gold membership which adds

free room upgrades and late checkouts to

your benefits the only downfall of this

reward scheme is that to maintain it you

must continue to book and stay with them

and if you don't cook anything for

twelve months you will lose any nights

you have already collected finally let's

take a look at booking comm which is

probably the site I use most nowadays

especially for initial research this is

because I feel they are strong in the

areas Expedia and hotels calm lack

particularly the variety and quantity of

accommodation this is plainly evident in

numbers alone by the fact that hotels

calm has roughly three hundred and

twenty-five thousand hotels on their

site whereas booking calm has nearly 30

million listings this is because it

includes hotels apartments B&Bs hostels

guest houses both houses tree houses and

everything in between meaning you can

really find anything for anyone this

might seem like too much choice but it's

backed up by a very good review and

filter system based on a number of

factors making it very easy to find

properties based on your preferences

only those who've actually completed a

stake and post a review so they are all

verified and because properties actually

reply to feedback there is greater

detail and context to them reviews just

seem to be built into the ecosystem of

booking comm much more than other sites

so you tend to get a lot more and better

categorization for instance is good at

finding accommodation based on your

specific situation such as properties

rated good for couples or those rated

good for groups on top of all this

booking coms reward scheme is also very

good you only need to

Tuesdays with them within a two-year

period unlocked genius level 1 this

gives you 10% of many listings and this

often ends up making booking.com cheaper

than most other sites after five more

stays within two years you reach genius

level 2 which gives you 15% of and free

breakfast or other benefits and certain

properties however the best thing about

this reward scheme is that once you

reach these membership levels you

maintain those benefits for life and

don't need to keep on booking to retain

your discount whilst hotels comm and

Expedia can sometimes beat these

discounts I like booking comm because it

is a simple blanket discount that stays

the same rather than a random discount

that is only available for a short

period like secret deals on hotels comm

you also don't have to worry about

losing any of these benefits because you

haven't used the website in a while as

another extra I like the fact that

comm offers far more properties

with free cancellation meaning if you

are booking very far in advance you can

always make changes if your plans change

or you find a better deal there are a

few minor things that annoy me about

booking comm search filters for some

reason by default it automatically

includes properties that aren't

available on your dates almost like it

is rubbing it in that you missed a deal

I really don't know who this feature

would be useful for it also categorizes

the price range in strange intervals

that are very helpful it will be far

better to have a sliding scale of price

like hotels comm so you can more

precisely refine your search however as

I say these are only minor annoyances

and overall I definitely prefer booking

comm for the bulk of my accommodation

research and booking so how exactly do I

go about booking accommodation myself

using these sites well first of all it's

worth pointing out that I do generally

prefer to stay in an air B&B for longer

stays if I can find one but let's say

that for another video focusing on the

site in this video I'll normally start

by searching my options

booking.com using its verified reviews

and huge database to find decent places

around my price range

adding favourites to a list is a useful

way to narrow these down especially if

other people are coming on the trip and

you need to create a short list so you

can decide together if I'm struggling to

narrow it down or find anything then I

will sometimes check on Trip Advisor to

see if there's anything that stands out

on there once I do have a few options or

even a favorite - my final step is the

double check if they are listed on

hotels.com or Expedia or even the

accommodation zone website to check if I

can find a cheaper price anywhere other

than booking com

this process has led me to finding some

really great deals or interesting places

to stay over the years now obviously you

don't need to go to these lengths every

single time you book something it's not

really worth the hassle if it's just a

cheap bed for the night if I was to just

use one site it would be booking com

however when the trip is more important

in a pricey location you want something

unique or maybe there is a large group

of you all with different preferences it

can really be worth it both in terms of

the price and quality of your stay to

spend a bit more time using and

comparing across these different sites

so I hope all that info has enlightened

you a bit and can help with your own

travel research if you aren't already

signed up to booking comm and are

interested then I have a referral link

I'll pop down below in the description

and comments which will give you 15

pounds cash back page straight into your

bank account after you sign up through

the link and finish your footer stay I

will also receive 15 pounds which helps

me to carry on making these videos so

it's a win for both of us let me know in

the comments what sites you use and why

obviously I have only covered the main

booking websites in this video as I'll

be here forever if I done more but I

always love discussing these topics with

you guys thanks a lot for watching