Hotels.com is an online travel agency that specializes in helping people find and book reservations at hotels, condos, bed and breakfasts and more. The company was founded in 1991 and joined Expedia Inc. in 2002.
More than just hotel deals
Despite their name, Hotels.com offers much more than just hotels; they also provide access to flights, rental cars, activities, and vacation packages. If you go with a vacation package, you can select any combination of services you need, such as a flight and hotel or a flight and rental car. Hotels.com’s activity search is limited to certain major cities but, if you’re going to be in one of those areas, it’s worth checking out. You can score museum or concert tickets, sightseeing tours, and more.
No change or cancellation fees
Unlike the majority of the industry, Hotels.com doesn’t charge you service fees if you have to modify or cancel your travel plans. This is good news if you’re operating on a small budget because service fees can get pretty expensive. You should keep in mind, though, that just because Hotels.com doesn’t charge you for changing or canceling your reservation doesn’t mean you won’t get hit with a fee. Some hotels or airlines charge their own fees, which Hotels.com passes along to you.
Earn free nights at participating hotels
Like their parent company Expedia, Hotels.com offers a generous rewards program that helps you earn free hotel stays when you book through them. Pay for 10 nights and you receive your next night free. It doesn’t matter if you stay at the hotel yourself or not. As long as you pay for it, it counts toward your rewards. There are no blackout dates and you can stay at any one of Hotels.com’s 85,000 participating locations. Frequent travelers have the opportunity to earn even more perks through the Welcome Rewards program. Booking 10 days out of the year gives you Silver status and 30 days or more elevates you to Gold member status. This entitles you to special deals and early access to special offers on top of priority service when you contact Hotels.com.
Numerous ways to save
Hotels.com runs special offers at all times, giving customers plenty of opportunities to save on their hotels or vacation rentals. The Deal of the Day is always worth looking into if you’re traveling to one of the participating cities because you can save up to 50% on your hotel. Last-minute deals are great if you’re planning a spontaneous vacation. Signing up for Hotels.com’s email list is another easy way to stay up on the latest discounts. Periodically, they send out emails with coupon codes and the newest deals on the site. Hotels.com also guarantees the rates they offer are the lowest available so, if you find a better price after you’ve completed your purchase, they refund you for the difference.
Assistance with group travel
If you’re traveling with a group of nine or more people, Hotels.com helps you find hotels that can accommodate you. Start by entering basic information like how many rooms you need, whether you need a meeting space, and how much you’re willing to spend. If you have any special requests or plan on traveling to more than one destination during the course of this trip, be sure to make note of that as well. Once you’ve submitted everything, you’ll hear back from various hotels so you can work with them to negotiate a price. If you’re planning a wedding in a faraway destination or an important business trip, this may be a more cost-effective solution than handling the reservations on your own.
Tax and service fees not included
The hotel prices listed on Hotels.com don’t include any taxes or service fees you may be charged, so the total cost typically ends up being a little higher than you’d expect. You can’t predict how much this extra will be because tax amounts vary by hotel, but plan for this by figuring some additional money into your budget. Service fees are fairly common among travel sites, but there are a few companies, like Expedia, that don’t charge any booking fees at all. If you don’t have a lot of cash to spare, a company like this may be a better choice.
Can’t search flexible dates
Individuals looking to book a flight through Hotels.com can only search one set of dates at one time because there is no flexible date search option. Having the option to search flexible dates is going to be much more convenient for people who are trying to get the best deal on a flight but, if your schedule limits your travel to certain days, Hotels.com’s search tools will suit you just fine.