Founded in 2000, Hotwire.com is a discount travel agency that lets individuals research and reserve travel services online. Hotwire.com became a part of Expedia in 2005, but it still maintains its original website.
High customer satisfaction
Consumers who use Hotwire to book their hotels and flights report a high degree of customer satisfaction, according to a study by J.D. Power and Associates. Though they scored well across the board, Hotwire particularly stood out in the areas of competitiveness of pricing and competitiveness of sales. If you’re on a tight budget, this is exactly what you want to hear.
Deep discounts through partners
Hotwire partners with other major travel websites, including Hotels.com and their own parent company Expedia, to offer huge savings on unsold hotel rooms, flights, and rental cars. When you book on Hotwire, you don’t know which partner organization you’ve booked with until after the sale is final. This is the key behind Hotwire’s extremely low prices, as it enables their partner organizations to unload their unsold rooms, flights, and vehicles without directly competing with their own websites. This doesn’t make the process of booking a vacation any different for you. Simply choose your trip dates, design your itinerary, and complete your purchase. Hotwire’s partner organization clears out some of their unsold inventory and you get a great deal — everyone wins.
Useful trip-planning tools
Hotwire’s TripStarter tool provides advice on the best times to visit a particular location and what to see while you’re there, making it a good starting point when planning your vacation. You can get a sense for how much the trip will cost and whether it’s somewhere you’d enjoy visiting. Got the perfect trip planned out but aren’t ready to book it? Try the Trip Watcher tool. Choose a range of dates, and Hotwire tracks and notifies you of the cheapest travel days. Then, when you’re ready to book, you can be sure you’re getting the lowest possible price. Speaking of low prices, Hotwire’s Travel Value Index and Travel Savings Indicator reports are useful if you’re trying to locate a budget-friendly vacation destination. They rank the cities with the most affordable rental car, airfare, and hotel rates in easy-to-understand charts.
Deals on local activities and events
If you’re heading to a major city, Hotwire helps you out by offering discounted rates on popular activities and events going on in the area. Whether it’s concerts, sightseeing tours, or a cultural experience you’re after, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Keep in mind that activities aren’t a core component of Hotwire’s business, so it may be difficult to find events outside of big cities. It’s still worth investigating, though, if you’re looking for ideas on how to spend your next vacation.
Save time by becoming a member
By saving your contact information in your online account, you can dramatically speed up the booking process. You won’t have to enter in your personal information every time you want to book a flight or hotel because Hotwire automatically fills it in for you. Save the information of your traveling companions as well to speed the process up even more. Whenever you need to, you can log in to your account and print out or email your trip itineraries. Everything’s listed in one place even if you’ve booked through multiple travel partners. Finally, if you’re not quite ready to book your trip yet, set up alerts with Hotwire and you’ll be notified of any drops in price or special promotions that you may be able to apply to your trip.
No deals on cruises
Since most travelers visit Hotwire just to book a flight or a hotel, the lack of cruise options won’t be an issue. But, if you’re hoping to find a low rate on a cruise vacation, check out CheapTickets instead, they offer many of the same services as Hotwire in addition to cruise packages.
Missing a few filters
Hotwire does have a number of search and filter tools in place to help customers find what they’re looking for, but they’re missing a few common ones, such as cabin class filters for flights. There’s also no option to search by hotel chain or narrow rental cars down by car class or rental company. Depending on how specific your preferences are, you may have to do a little more digging to find what you’re looking for on Hotwire.