How the find the cheapest hotel prices online? Use the newest hotel websites and apps to beat booking.com prices. Get here the full resource list of the newest websites, apps and the best online search hacks.
Booking.com is a great website for booking a hotel room. More than 500 million users every month (source: Similarweb date: 30-3-2019). But is it the cheapest way to book a hotel room online? Well, the answer is no! There are at least 4 cheaper ways to book a room.
Learn here how to save up to 100% on your next booking.
1. Hoteltonight vs. booking – Last minute decision for best room rates
Hoteltonight is a travel app you must-have on your mobile phone when you travel.
This travel app and website can save you more than 20% on your accommodation costs (see our tested results below). When using Hoteltonight you can find the cheapest hotel rates if you book in the last moment.
More than 1 million visitors on their website and more than 5 million downloads from google play show that there are already millions of savvy travelers that are using this service.
The app manages better than booking.com to find discounted hotel accommodation in the last minute. Because of the last minute nature of the booking, the app gets for you deep discounts off the listed hotel rate.
In order to be sure that it really works, we tested it. We went first to booking.com and looked for a hotel in London . We found a good 4-star hotel, the Park International. We got a good discounted price of 162 Euros (so we thought at the moment).
We waited until the last moment.. 2 days before the booking date the 20/3/2019 and then we looked for the same hotel on Hoteltonight. We got the same hotel at the same dates for 34 Euro less (see in the screenshot). A nice saving of 20%. Well, it sounds easy and it is really so, but it takes time to research. So we saved the money and got a last minute hotel deal, but put the time and effort to make it happen.
2. Marketplace for discounted hotel rooms – Roomer vs Booking
Roomertravel.com is still not as big as Hoteltonight and has a smaller user base of around 50k-60k (according to Similarweb 74k visits per month- date: 20/4/2019) and Android app installs of 10,000+, but it seems the company is in the right direction offering a good service to the users.
In order to check them out, first, we looked again for a room in London. You can find in this marketplace rooms that people have bought with a non-refund policy, can’t use them and are stuck with them having to pay the bill. So Roomer makes it possible for them to put their rooms for sale for a discounted price and get some of their money back.
So if you are on Roomer, you need to have a very flexible schedule, because the choice of cities, hotels, and dates are limited. We went there to check if what they claim is true. Can you find here big discounts and last minute hotel deals?
So, we went online to Roomertravel.com and looked for a room in London – We found the
Hard Rock Hotel London – a decent 3 stars hotel in London for $225 per night. See in the screenshot that it came with a claimed discount of more than $200 per night. We were of course skeptical. Will Roomer be able to deliver such a big discount? Could this be the best room rate in London? But we are skeptical people and savvy clients. – right?! So we went to booking.com, the market leader of hotel booking online and checked the price for this hotel for the same date and the price per night was $281. So we would have saved for 1 night more than $50 and more than $100 for all the booking a little bit under 20%.
We were quite happy to see there is another way to find cheaper rates online because booking.com gives you a good service, but it is a part of a duopoly that blocks any kind of competition with new emerging small travel-tech startups.
We had another look at Roomer and found out that you can find also bigger discounts. We found hotel rooms that are 50% cheaper than booking.com. See below the screenshots. $317 in Roomer vs. $791 in booking.com
Saying all this, booking is still the biggest online solution to find a cheap room rate with a full refund policy. We recommend always to check booking when comparing prices to the hotel itself or to other hotel booking websites you are using.
And in regards to Roomer, the cheaper the hotel room you are booking, the smaller the discount you are going to get. But we think that a savvy traveler and a smart client should not only gravitate to booking, Expedia, Trivago, and kayak or other big players.
3. Pruvo vs. booking.com – Using travel technology startups to get a discounted hotel price
Pruvo.net writes in its website that it can get you a 40% discount if you buy with them and not through booking.com. This looks like a considerable discount that sounds too good to be true.
I checked their website for success stories and pulled this screenshot (see here below). Well all most a 100% discount. It sounds good, but I wanted to check it out for myself.
Went to booking.com and booked a hotel room in Berlin. The 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin. A good 4-star hotel in the city center for $201 per night per room. Booked as Pruvo explained with a fully-refundable policy on booking.com and sent the booking number to Pruvo.
Got an automated response – that pruvo.net started working for me
I waited a few days… got a little impatient and wrote them an email. They told they are doing their best and will send me an offer once they will find it. After a couple of days, I got an email telling me I can book the exact same room on the same date for $44 cheaper. It is not 40% off but still a much better price.
4. Metasearch – Google Hotel ads – Find the cheapest hotel room price online
Expedia and booking are paying Google a few billion dollars each year to promote their websites with google ads. Google is the biggest search engine in the world with 63,000,000,000 monthly visits (source: similarweb, 21-04-2019). So you must advertise there because the clients are there. So Google is earning already a big chunk of money from the travel industry and yet they would like to have a bigger part.
With their Hotel Metasearch internal search engine, they are getting more and more involved and increase their income through Hotel ads (pay per click ads), letting the OTA’s (online travel agencies), wholesalers and hotels compete for the best price.
The commercial clash over the control of sales of the hotels of the big stakeholders can benefit us as clients. This metasearch option is a great place to find the best deal online.
This metasearch search engine assembles all the prices of the same hotel of all the companies participating in a google metasearch bidding. From the point of view of the client, it is a great opportunity, you get the best hotel price comparison tool online. See below a screenshot of the google metasearch search engine.
source: google metasearch – the best comparison hotel price tool online
In the screenshot above you see the search results for Park Inn Radisson Alexanderplatz Berlin. You can see that the search engine presents all the prices of all the companies (OTA’s and wholesalers) including the price offer of the hotel itself. In this case, you can see that if you book directly at the hotel you get the best price. It is cheaper by $15 than booking.com and hotels.com
It can be also the case that booking.com will have the cheapest price. Savvy consumers must visit the Google metasearch engine and use it as a comparison tool, before deciding from which company to book the hotel room.
5. Summary – The best search hacks to find the cheapest price for hotel rooms
We think this post should change the way you search online for the cheapest hotel room rates. Don’t just gravitate towards booking.com and Expedia and make your hotel booking there automatically.
If you want to find the best price, you have to undergo a longer search process, and you must use some or of these search hacks to make sure you get the best value for your money. Sure, it does take more time, but as seen here, you can save sometimes up to 100%.
I would say that the best way will be first to go to Google Metasearch – get an overview of hotels in a destination you are looking for. Then after getting this overview, see what is the price range of the different OTA’s and wholesaler for a specific hotel. Then try the apps and websites we recommended here. Hoteltonight and Roomer could be a first and a second stop if you are flexible with dates and locations. If this is the case, you can find in these websites some of the cheapest hotel prices online. If you do decide to book with booking.com than you must try Pruvo out. Just send Pruvo your fully refundable booking number and wait a few days. Just by sending this email you can save hundreds of dollars.
We suggest you develop your own method using these search hacks and hotel websites and turn it into a routine. You can save a lot of money with these hotel search hacks and spend it in other ways on your vacation or buy a present for your friends and family.