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  1. #1
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    Mar. 10, 2009
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    Default Priceline vs. Orbitz vs. Kayak. . .which travel bargain website is best?

    Title is the question.

    DH and I need ONE night at a Raleigh NC hotel in May (my favorite band is playing the PNC Arena). I did take a quick look at Priceline but it seems they want to charge you right off the bat?

    I have no experience with these things - we don't travel a ton and usually stay with friends.



  2. #2
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    Jan. 10, 2008
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    Western NY
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    Default

    I've played around with them and it varied day by day. One tip: If you look up rates today, and then go back to actually book something hours or days later on the same computer, the rates will have gone up--a lot of those sites use cookies to remember what you're looking at. Noticed that with air fares. I always look them up on one computer or my phone and then book them on a second computer later...
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    7,197

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mara View Post
    I did take a quick look at Priceline but it seems they want to charge you right off the bat?
    .
    What do you mean by that? They want you to pay for the room that you're booking? Yes, that will be standard for any of those sites.



  4. #4
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    Mar. 10, 2009
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    No, I think (and I could have been mistaken) that they wanted me to pay my "bid price" now even if there's nothing available at that price.

    I confess I did it in a bit of a hurry so could very well be wrong. Of course I expect to pay to reserve an actual room!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2011
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I've gotten some good rates through Hotels.com.



  6. #6
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    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahandSam View Post
    I've played around with them and it varied day by day. One tip: If you look up rates today, and then go back to actually book something hours or days later on the same computer, the rates will have gone up--a lot of those sites use cookies to remember what you're looking at. Noticed that with air fares. I always look them up on one computer or my phone and then book them on a second computer later...
    I shall remember this, because it's happened to us. We thought it was because we waited a week between looking at flights and getting flights. Hm. Would clearing out the cache work??
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
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    6,395

    Default

    For hotel rates, hotelscombined is pretty good. You can see what various sites have and call in and ask for AAA rates and such. Sometimes it's just random, and the prices change all of the time. We were looking at hotels on hotelscombined and found rates, but it was actually cheaper to just ask them and get the AAA rate.

    A lot of the rates for everything depend on the time of day and week. I noticed if you want until a few hours before for the hotel, it's higher. Flights bounce back and forth in price all of the time. If you need flight/hotel combination, sometimes it's best to do something like priceline or travelocity.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mara View Post
    No, I think (and I could have been mistaken) that they wanted me to pay my "bid price" now even if there's nothing available at that price.

    I confess I did it in a bit of a hurry so could very well be wrong. Of course I expect to pay to reserve an actual room!
    I've actually used Priceline's bidding feature with a lot of success. I think your understanding of it is a bit off.

    For example, I needed a last-minute room in D.C. a few years ago. I bid $50 per night, selected a "3-star or above" hotel and chose a few neighborhoods. You enter in your credit card information, hit submit, and if your bid is accepted, your card is charged and your reservation is made immediately. You find out the hotel name immediately afterward. I ended up with a room in a very nice Hyatt for $50. If your bid is not accepted, your card isn't charged.

    P.S. Flights are ALWAYS cheaper on Tuesday afternoons. Fact.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 26, 2010
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    Ah, Tha Ridge, it used to always be cheaper on Tuesday. Things have changed, or so says my local news. Now flights can actually be cheaper on the weekends because business travellers tend to book during the work week and have less choice. Those of us who are cheap and travel for fun do it on the weekends, so we demand lower.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2005
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    411

    Default

    BOOKINGBUDDY.COM

    It takes all of the aforementioned sites and compares them for you on one page.
    Thoroughbreds: classic

    Turn. N. Burn.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    I've encountered multiple hotel room reservations with Travelocity.

    I've been happy with Expedia.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2009
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    481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahandSam View Post
    I've played around with them and it varied day by day. One tip: If you look up rates today, and then go back to actually book something hours or days later on the same computer, the rates will have gone up--a lot of those sites use cookies to remember what you're looking at. Noticed that with air fares. I always look them up on one computer or my phone and then book them on a second computer later...
    This can be remedied by using the "In private" feature that most internet browsers have. In Google Chrome it's called incognito and you hit CTRL + SHIFT + N to open one of those windows. It also works well for other websites that give discounts to first time users.

    Anyway, I find Kayak is the best for flights. I haven't stayed in a hotel for a while but last time I used Hotels.com and it was the cheapest
    "Be the change you want to see in the world."
    ~Mahatma Gandhi


    3 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2006
    Location
    Northern Indiana
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    765

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    If you choose 'private browsing' or 'incongnito mode' you can avoid the price hikes seen on many sites for multiple searches
    To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2009
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    PA
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    If it's for one night and you don't care the exact hotel, I'd go with hotwire.com- I needed an overnight stay near the Denver airport recently and didn't care particularly which hotel, just didn't want to spend a ton. You can select which "star" rating you want (aka how nice a hotel), which geographic location (they show you a map with a colored area where your hotel will be guaranteed to be in) and how much you want to pay. The catch is you don't know which hotel exactly you'll be staying in until you pay (but they give you a list of 6 or 7 hotels it will be or will be similar to). For my Denver trip, I needed a hotel by the airport, I wanted 3 stars, and I didn't want to pay a ton. I ended up going with a rate of $52/night (at least $30 less per night than hotels.com or any of the other sites I looked at) and booked it... found out after I was staying at the Country Inn and Suites. I went to expedia to see what rates I could get at that exact hotel and the cheapest was $86/night. So you can save a lot of money if you're willing to stay at one of several various hotels in an area.



  15. #15
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    Jun. 7, 2002
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    3,996

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    Quote Originally Posted by besttwtbever View Post
    This can be remedied by using the "In private" feature that most internet browsers have. In Google Chrome it's called incognito and you hit CTRL + SHIFT + N to open one of those windows. It also works well for other websites that give discounts to first time users.

    Anyway, I find Kayak is the best for flights.
    I didn't know about the "price hike" when looking at flights a second time. I never noticed it myself...

    I, too, use Kayak for flights. And I make sure to check many, many times because rates change all the time, even within a day.
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    15,625

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahandSam View Post
    I've played around with them and it varied day by day. One tip: If you look up rates today, and then go back to actually book something hours or days later on the same computer, the rates will have gone up--a lot of those sites use cookies to remember what you're looking at. Noticed that with air fares. I always look them up on one computer or my phone and then book them on a second computer later...

    I think I have been screwed by this. WTF? I can't think of a better way to piss off customers. So the WTF question is genuine: Why would you punish someone for not buying on visit 2, 3 or whatever?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  17. #17
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    Dec. 20, 2003
    Location
    N. Augusta, SC (but forever a BUCKEYE!)
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    Default

    My husband is a caddie on the web.com tour, and I do all of his travel arrangements. It's a NIGHTMARE, but I utilize the following sites the most:

    www.kayak.com
    www.momondo.com
    www.hotels.com
    www.booking.com
    www.travelocity.com
    www.expedia.com
    Random horse pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/glfprncs/
    Talk to me about fitness or nutrition (I'm an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer)!
    My blog! http://personalsweatequity.blogspot.com/



  18. #18
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    Feb. 18, 2001
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    New York, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    Ah, Tha Ridge, it used to always be cheaper on Tuesday. Things have changed, or so says my local news. Now flights can actually be cheaper on the weekends because business travellers tend to book during the work week and have less choice. Those of us who are cheap and travel for fun do it on the weekends, so we demand lower.
    This is actually not true. (I work for a travel magazine, so I spend A LOT of time looking for cheap flights.) Most airlines instigate sales on Monday or Tuesday morning (selling what didn't get booked over the weekend), so by Tuesday afternoon a lot of others follow suit. Wednesday morning, most of these deals are gone.



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