Last Updated on August 9, 2023 by Jerardo Gomez
When it comes to booking travel, there are a few different options: booking directly with the airline or hotel; using a third-party website like Expedia, Travelocity, or using a travel agent. So, which is the best option? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer – it depends on your specific needs and preferences.
Which has better rates when booking?
When you book directly, you can usually find the best deals and lowest prices. When direct booking, typically airlines and hotels do not have to pay a commission to third-party booking sites which gets you the best price. I always recommend that if you are really trying to find the best deal, then go directly to the hotel’s or airline’s website.
However, there can be times when a travel agent site may be cheaper but you have to look for the best deals or coupons.
Which is the best tool for researching and comparing prices?
I recommend starting with third-party sites as the best place to start any travel planning to compare prices of hotel rooms and plane tickets. As opposed to booking direct, where you don’t have that option. Booking flights in airlines website or a hotel booking site can be difficult to navigate and make research longer than it should. It’s best first start at third party travel sites to compare costs, hotels, flights, reviews, locations, and more.
Which is more convenient?
Booking with a third party site is a more hassle-free experience, as it can be your all-in-one travel search engine.
1. Convenience – book all travel arrangements in one place
Sites like Expedia, Priceline, CheapOair, and others, it has made it easy for people to be their own travel agents and find their package deals here. You can find your flight tickets, hotel room, and rental car at a lower price when done together. In less than an hour, you can have your entire upcoming trip booked
2. Easier to compare prices and research trips
The downside to booking direct is that you cannot compare prices with other companies and you miss the opportunity to see what is out there.
3. May find better deals than booking direct
Sometimes it can be cheaper than direct as there is often deals and coupons.
4. Ability to book flights, hotels, rental cars and other services together
All of this can be done with an easy-to-navigate website.
5. Easy access to customer reviews and ratings of properties
I often look at pictures and google maps to look at what’s around the area of my international travel.
7. Flexible payment options
With the rise of buy now and pay later payment options, you can use your credit card with this to pay for your trip over time with no interest if done correctly. CheapOair uses Affirm as a payment option plan.
8. Filter option
The best convenience factor and the most used tool is the filter option. I use this all the time to filter options from the most stars, most recommended price limits, and more.
Travel Loyalty Points
Travel loyalty points are rewards given to customers for their bookings with a particular airline, hotel, or travel agency. These points can be redeemed for discounts on future bookings, free upgrades, free nights, and even free trips! With travel loyalty points programs becoming increasingly popular among travelers, it’s important to understand how they work so you can take advantage of the benefits they offer.
*Pro Tip* If you already have a favorite airline company or chain hotel that you always use, then its best to only book directly with the hotel or airline website to start earning points. Additional points can be collected with credit cards.
Most hotels have rewards points that give free room stays, free breakfast, and room upgrades with your hotel reservation. A flight that is booked directly with a loyalty airline is eligible for flight upgrades, free flights, wifi, food, and other perks but that varies per airline but it can have a cheaper price going through your loyalty account or credit card portal.
If you don’t have loyalty to a particular brand then I recommend sticking with a 3rd party to earn loyalty points which is what I do. The only downsides are fees but its worth it as the benefits of loyalty points, coupons, and credit card points outweigh the fee and making reservations overall a cheaper price.
Homestays, apartments rental, villas, Etc.
3rd parties may be the only option and place to see these options as individuals put up their stay at popular sites. If you are looking for a long-term stay or feel at home then I would recommend using a 3rd party with the appropriate filters on.
Which 3rd party travel site is the best?
Expedia Group actually owns many travel sites that are popular such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotels.com, and many more. For this reason, I don’t use many sites and just stick to around 2 to compare. I use Expedia and CheapOair as they are not related so they give me a good comparison.
CheapOair will have many deals, discounts, and codes to use to save money but the site is a bit outdated. I may use another from time to time but using too many sites is too time-consuming and keeps you from actually following through with booking and setting up your trip.
If you need to change your flights or cancel your reservations, it’s usually easier to do so through a third party than directly with the airline or hotel. And some people prefer the convenience of having all their travel information in one place – on a site like Expedia or Travelocity – rather than having to keep track of multiple confirmation numbers from different airlines and hotels.
You may have heard of horror stories, but its rare to have an issue with these sites as they are well-known and if you have travel protection. Many times credit cards have travel protection which is an extra layer of protection when booking.
Whether you book direct or through a third party is up to you – there are benefits and drawbacks to both options. The important thing is to weigh those factors against your own needs and preferences to decide what will work best for your next trip as a traveler! Whether that’s peace of mind from not having to keep track of various documents and confirmations yourself or just great savings; both have their pros and cons.
Direct booking works for those who need booking security, extra customer support, or brand loyalty when booking flight tickets or hotels.
A third party is great if you’re looking for help in creating the perfect vacation at a great value.
It’s important to weigh the options to determine the best decision for each person’s individual needs and preferences. Now that you know all about booking directly or through a third party, use the links on this site to start your own travel research!
After you book, check this article out.
|Booking Direct||3rd Parties such as Expedia or Priceline|
|– Most of the time cheaper|
– Cannot compare multiple companies at once, which can be a hassle
– Can earn loyalty points with a specific company
– Earn brand specific credit card points
– Some small companies may not have to book direct
– Offers Free CancelationCan book with loyalty points
|– Can be cheaper|
– The best tool to compare hotels and flights side by side
– Can earn points with 3rd party but not direct
– information easy to access small businesses such as Inns may be available
-Offers Free CancelationMajor sites are trustworthy
-Discount codes available