|by Jason Steele|
I book my air direct with the airline, and I use Hotwire for rental cars, but Expedia still provides some real value with hotels. I love doing best price guarantee matches with Expedia, as they had out $50 coupons when you are successful. I recently learned another great tip, if you call them, they will often give you discounts that are not available online.
I have enough contact with them over the phone when I call to do a best price guarantee. Their operators are friendly, but they are slow and can be difficult to understand. That said, they will often volunteer coupons that you can use for certain bookings.
Things To Look Out For With Expedia And Other Third Party Booking Sites
Pay careful attention to the fine print surrounding the room type. In many cases, they say that this is merely a requests and not a guarantee. This “request” may be smoking or non-smoking or it may be the number and size of the beds. The last thing you want to do is to check in and realize that you are in a smoking room when you don’t want one, or that you do not have the bed you wanted. Imagine being on your honeymoon and having two single beds!
The ways to avoid this are to only book hotels that are completely non-smoking, and to make sure the bed type is a guarantee, not a “preference”. Another strategy is contact the hotel directly and confirm your booking. This is especially important if you are planning on arriving late in the day. Hotels will just give you whatever they have left if you book through a third party.
They might not be able to guarantee you “room preference”, but perhaps a friendly person at the front desk can assign you the room you want.
You can get some great hotel deals through Expedia and other booking sites, you just have to do you diligence and read the fine print in order to ensure that you don’t get stuck with the room nobody wants.