Best Online Hotel Booking Sites  

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Best Online Hotel Booking Sites  

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Hotel hunting made easy—that’s what online hotel booking sites promise. The good news is many of them make good on their word, and a select few even deliver more than expected.

The best of today’s hotel booking sites cover budget to luxury accommodations across the globe, providing detailed descriptions, photos, ratings, reviews, planning tips, and lists of nearby attractions along with access to the most affordable deals out there. We recommend four of them.

Booking.com

If you think online booking is only for the tech-savvy, Booking.com will prove you wrong. For one, it boasts a nice straightforward layout that is inviting and easy to navigate. Second, the way information is organized on the site makes searching for a hotel and booking your stay a cinch.

Thanks to smart filtering tools, you can do a theme-based search, so you can narrow your options to just child-friendly hotels or perhaps those suited for business or solo travelers, and at the same time check out the hotel ratings (from 1 to 10), which are based partly on customer reviews. Special deals are also splashed on the homepage and these usually promise huge savings. To top it all off, no booking fees are necessary!

Booking.com has a mobile app, too, so you can access its services wherever you go.

Hotels.com

Hotels.com gets you booked in three simple steps. Just key in where you plan on going, and this site will comb through its 140,000-plus database of hotels to help you find the best deals.

Yes, Hotels.com is big on discounts that sometimes it offers up to 50 percent savings on room costs. Just how committed are they to providing the most affordable rates? If you chance upon a site that presents a less expensive option, Hotels.com promises to match that price!

There’s also a rewards program that entitles you to a free night for every 10-night stay at one of the participating establishments. Plus, the site no longer charges cancellation and change fees.

As for value-added services, you can count on a Hotels.com representative to help you avail of booking discounts for the large party you’re traveling with and to reserve a banquet or meeting space as necessary. And if you’re always on the go, you’ll be happy to know that the site has a mobile app.

Hotwire

Hotwire is your gateway to discounted room rates. This site actually sells off the unsold rooms of its travel partners, hence the lower prices. Each deal includes photos and descriptions along with feedback and ratings from previous guests. However, you’ll only find out which of Hotwire’s partners is offering the deal after you’ve made the purchase.

Besides its budget-friendly sales model, Hotwire is known for its trip-planning tools. Among these are tools that point you to the most affordable destinations in terms of hotel rates and that indicate the recommended travel periods for certain locations.

Then there’s the Tripwatcher tool, which lets you know if rates will drop anytime soon so you can schedule your stay accordingly. Hotwire’s search and filtering functions are pretty great as well, allowing you to quickly come up with your top picks.

HotelReservations.com

HotelReservations.com has more than 120,000 hotels in 250-plus countries in its database and is available in 60 or so languages. So if you’re looking for a hotel in a secluded or obscure destination, this site is one of your best bets. Its flexible search and filter options help a lot too.

At HotelReservations.com, you can narrow down search results to hotels that fall under your pre-specified price range and offer the amenities that you need. You can also sort them to show those with the lowest prices but highest ratings, or based on property type (e.g., hostel, resort, bed-and-breakfast).

The site’s special money-saving offers include a loyalty program that rewards customers a 5 percent discount each time they book, and a rebate program that grants a $20 rebate for three-night stays, $30 for five nights and as much as $100 for 12 nights.

Under its low price guarantee, if you spot a better deal from a different site, HotelReservations.com will refund the cost difference and even hand you a $25 travel coupon. There’s no need to worry about cancellation or change fees, both are waived.

Top online booking sites do help you save money and time as you plan for your next vacation. With their services, searching for the right hotel and the best deal has never been easier.

Photo Credit: ldandersen via photopin cc

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