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Where to Find Discount Hotels Online - A Travel Insiders Guide to Booking Hotels on the Internet

Updated on February 21, 2013

Booking Hotels Online - The Power To Be Our Own Travel Agent

As someone working for the travel industry I am often asked which online hotel reservation website has the best hotel deals.

Being able to book hotels online and finding last minute hotel deals on our own has opened a lot of doors and changed the way we do our travel planning. Now we can do research on the best luxury honeymoon getaway, budget hotels and even search out last minute hotels deals in the comforts of our own homes in our pajamas.

There are many reliable online hotel agencies these days. Some have gimmicky commercials like Priceline.com and Travelocity.com, just 2 of the biggest names in the Internet based travel agencies.

Both are really good companies. But you can do better in terms of getting the best hotel deals possible.

"Well wait a minute, won't I get the best hotel deal if I reserve a room through a hotel directly?"

If that were true there wouldn't be any hotel reservation agencies around today and making lots of money. Internet based travel agencies' profits are climbing up annually. So they must be doing something right.

That said, I always recommend that you check the room rates of a hotel you are interested in directly with the hotel itself. At least this way you get some sort of baseline price to compare with.

Where to Find Hotel Deals

I never use the same one online hotel agency to make hotel reservations for where ever I may go. Personally I use several companies.

This is a real travel industry secret. Working in the travel profession, I use regional companies that have specialized knowledge and who focus on a specific region in which they are either headquartered or have offices in.

And that's what most folks working in the travel industry do. We make our hotel reservations with companies that specialize in the local hotel market and not from some company that is based halfway across from your destination.

Below you will find a handful of companies that are hotel experts in the region they represent. These are not gimmick companies where you have to join and pay some sort of silly membership fee. I have been using each and every one of them for many years. Even folks like me working in the travel industry have to pay for our hotel rooms. The only difference is we know which companies to choose. And now so will you.

Best Agencies to Find Hotels in Asia

I've used many hotel agencies that specialize in the Asian hotel market. There are only 2 that I love to recommend.

The first is Agoda.com and just like most other agencies they are also able to provide hotel reservation services throughout the world. Whether it's China, Indonesia or Thailand and other neighboring Asian nations Agoda is the go to agency that I rely on. They are one of the few companies that offers a best price guarantee as well as rewards points good for future discounts.

For hotels and rustic Ryokans in Japan specifically you should check out Rakuten Travel Inc. It's no surprise at all if you have heard of them before. They are one of the biggest and most popular hotel reservation agency in Japan and I have been constistently getting the best hotel rates from them.

Booking.com Website
Booking.com Website

Best Agencies to Find Hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa

Even though I'm happily stuck working in the travel industry in Asia I do get many chance to head over to Europe, stretch my feet and explore the neighboring continents. And when I do I use Booking.com, one of Europe's largest hotel reservation agencies to find hotels to stay in.

CheapOstay.com Website
CheapOstay.com Website

Best Agency to Book Hotels in North and South America

For these regions I recommend CheapOstay.com. This agency is just one part of a larger online travel agency. Usually I only recommend travelers to stick with a company that specializes in providing travelers with the best hotel room rates. CheapOstay.com is different because they also provide prices for airfares and car rentals too. This isn't a big deal since they are hands down one of the best agency in these regions.

Travel Agents - Back in the days...

Conclusion

I've been getting a lot of questions asking me about booking hotels during low season vs. high season. In the pre-Internet (sounds funny doesn't it) days when we were still using travel agents we were pretty much at their mercy. They were the ones behind the keyboard and monitor with green pixelated letters on screen and pretty much in control of the price they quote to us.

And they knew that high season for certain hotels in certain countries cost higher so they will bump up the room rates accordingly and pocket the extra commission.

Thankfully those days are over. Today it is possible to find hotel deals where ever you decide to go, regardless of low or high season. And the hotel agencies mentioned above can help you get the best rates.

Most people don't realize that hotels of all sizes, star ratings and prices ranges have to fulfill room quotas. The best way for them to do so is to sell off a large block of rooms to hotel reservation agencies at a deep discount and have them promote the sale. So it is highly possible to find last minute hotel deals for whichever hotel you plan to book.

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    • Edwin Clark profile imageAUTHOR

      Edwin Clark 

      7 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

      travelespresso- I agree Agoda is a top notch company!

    • travelespresso profile image

      travelespresso 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Great advice Edwin. Thanks for that. I agree with you about Agoda. They are fantastic and I've used them a lot recently. I like their site and the rates they offer are often cheaper than going directly to the hotel.

    • Edwin Clark profile imageAUTHOR

      Edwin Clark 

      7 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

      the fix - thank you very much! Ecuador and Columbia are 2 countries I have never had the pleasure to set foot in. But they are definitely on my must travel list!

    • profile image

      the fix 

      7 years ago

      Great advice! I never thought of calling the hotel directly to get a baseline before shopping around. Thanks for the links. I am thinking about going either to Quito Ecuador or Cartagena Colombia soon. There is cool eco-lodge in Ecuador and Cartagena seems lovely. Both are very inexpensive in early April. So I will see how your ideas help me in my search for the best price! Thanks again for the great hub!

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