How to find a cheap hotel with a wealth of features by using two of the best accomodation search engines around.

By Klara Racpan

 

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial of the pretty girl or the handsome guy demonstrating the use of a website called Trivago.

Or perhaps you’ve encountered the cute white cuddly bear commercial of Hotelscombined.

The company names stuck with you right?

But have you ever tried to use it?

how to find a cheap hotel

Well if you are planning your next trip and need a place to stay then let me give you some options on which platform to use.

In this day and age where everything is handed to you in just one click, let me spoil you a bit more by giving you the lowdown on these sites.

 

 

I’ll give you the secrets to navigating price comparison websites to make your trip planning easier and more straightforward.

Lets begin by comparing two price comparison websites, pitting them head-to-head to see which is best for you to use.

I. Our First Contender: Hotelscombined.com

What Is It?

 

It’s a price comparison website founded by a team of determined techies and serious digital business experts. Based in Sydney Australia, they have been operating since 2005.

Created for savvy and first-time travelers, Hotelscombined aims to search and instantly compare room rates from various websites.

They have collaborated with some of the most renowned travel websites such as Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Agoda, Accorhotels, and Hilton among many others.

Truly heaven sent! You can reduce research time when you use this website. No need to go back and forth tabs and windows as everything is clearly laid out for you.

Prices and deals are laid out in one window so you can quickly scan and choose.

How Do You Use It?

 

 Extremely user-friendly! All you have to do is type your destination and preferred dates then, voila!

 

how to find a cheap hotel
Once you’ve listed down the required information, it shows you a list of available deals

What are its features?

 

Aside from its primary service of scouring through hundreds of websites within minutes, you can also narrow down your requirements even further to find the exact match for your needs.

how to find a cheap hotel

Choose from Filters such as Star Ratings, Price and Deals or Discounts to help you decide.

Are you planning to stay in the city center? Or Do you want to explore the outskirts?

You can choose to stay in your preferred area using this filter:

Would you like to be  pampered in a hotel or stay at an apartment for a more homey feel?

Pick your preferred type of Accommodation, Theme and Hotel Features:

how to find a cheap hotel

Are you loyal to a brand or do you decide based on other’s experiences?

Pick this option to help you narrow down your choice.

how to find a cheap hotel

Awards

 

Operating for 13 years now, Hotelscombined has gained traction and recognition as a leading service provider in the Travel and Hospitality Industry.

In 2010, it won Traveltech Website of The Year. And in 2016, it was recognized as The World’s Leading Hotel Comparison Website.

Just last year, it was given The Trusted Service Award.

Perhaps their accolades speak for their service.

It is no wonder why travelers have repeatedly been using this website. Simple, Free, Fast and Convenient.

Created by passionate technology lovers, with an eye for detail and a penchant for innovation, who knows what these guys will come up with next.

how to find a cheap hotel

II. Our Second Contender: trivago.com

What is it?

 

Conceptualized in 2005 in Düsseldorf, Germany, this website is the brainchild of three university friends Rolf Schrömgens, Peter Vinnemeier and Stephan Stubner (and eventually Malte Siewert ).

An idea which initially came to fruition from a garage, this company has branched out of its roots and happened to be a household name especially after Expedia purchased a majority of its shares.

Impressively, because of sheer dedication and grit, the company has expanded and can now be accessed in 55 global markets and translated into 33 languages.

Their goal is to become the leading price comparison website that provides the best rates for its customers.

And they’re not just lip service, they deliver. Their website compares over 1.8 million hotels from more than 180 online travel agents around the world.

They’ve maximized the value of connections and have harnessed it to their full potential.

How Do You Use It?

 

It’s pretty straightforward. All you have to do is type your preferred destination and click “Search.”

how to find a cheap hotel

The website automatically searches through thousands of sites to compare room rates and give you the most exceptional value.

They also collaborate with travel booking sites such as Booking.com, Expedia.com, and Hotels.com, among others.

Once you secure a rate, it will redirect you to the booking site so you can make your reservation.

What Are Its Features?

 

As the old adage goes, “less is more” though I’m not sure if that applies here.

Their filters are very straightforward, perhaps bare in comparison to others, but maybe it’s also because they’re good at compartmentalizing.

Perhaps efficiency lies in its simplicity.

Once you’ve narrowed down your destination, you can specify further by choosing the Price, Guest Rating, Hotel Stars, and Amenities.

how to find a cheap hotel
If you wish to go a notch further, you can click “Extra Filters” and choose your preferred facilities, themes, and special requests.

By choosing specific filters, you instruct the website to look for exact matches to your requirements. This is useful when traveling with companions as you can easily find options that will suit everyone.

Awards

 

It has yet to garner special recognition, but it has consistently been nominated for “World’s Leading Comparison Website from 2013 to 2017.

There’s always room for improvement right?

Though they have yet to get their own, they do like to give special awards to partner establishments.

And it’s a great way to deepen the relationship with their peers.

On a yearly basis, they hold their very own Trivago Awards wherein they honor hotels who exhibit exceptional service in hospitality and customer service.

At the moment, they focus on establishments located in Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom ,and the United States.

But perhaps in a few more years, they’ll scale even further.

how to find a cheap hotel

III. How to find a cheap hotel “The Battle”: How Do They Fare Against Each Other?

A. Objective

 

To level the playing field, I chose to compare these two sites because they both have the same goals.

They both aim to provide a free price comparison website for hotel room rates.

B. Usability

 

Both sites are convenient to use and easy to navigate, even for first-timers. Aside from some filters, they pretty much operate the same way.

Once you have typed your destination, you are then provided a list of options to choose from.

Prices from various booking websites are displayed on the results page for you to decide easily.

You can also select from the list of available deals for the specified dates.

Should you wish to check out a deal, all you have to do is click on “View Deal” or the link of your desired hotel site.

You are then led to the booking site for you to make a reservation.

C. Price

There is no fee to use the site itself but of course when you book your room, then there will be applicable fees and charges.

Concerning hotel prices, there are instances when prices from Hotelscombined were lower but mostly because they display prices excluding taxes, so be vigilant when searching.

You may opt to change the setting here:

In some cases, one site may show lower rates than the other but be wary as extra charges are added to the price upon final booking.

Overall, both websites end up showing similar prices if you factor in taxes and fees.

After all, they compare prices from similar websites like Agoda, Booking.com, and Hotels.com but every now and then you might find good deals from their other featured sites.

D. Efficiency

 

I’m delighted to say that both sites show options in under a minute (though this may also depend on your internet connection).

This may be wishful thinking on my part, but it would be nice to be able to book directly on the site instead of being redirected to another website.

However, that is a minor detail compared to the service they both provide.

The fact is that they have managed to cut research time.

There is no need to call on travel agencies or manually search through hotels because, with the aid of technology, everything can be done with one click.

That’s the beauty of innovation, and it would do us well to take advantage of it.

E. The Verdict

This is a tough one as it’s like comparing objects which operate in exactly the same way.

They have the same goal, and they sure know how to deliver.

Both sites are user-friendly which is extremely important. No need to register or log in when using these platforms.

You can search before your trip, while on-the-go, or once you have reached your destination.

They are very straightforward, fast and simple.

Trivago seems to have more filters to help narrow down your choices, and they have tucked it neatly in drop-down menus so as not to be overwhelming.

Depending on your preference, this may be a nuisance or a welcome addition.

If you wish to search generally in your search results then just skip them.

Aesthetically, both are presented with a minimalist layout. It gets right down to business, with little fuss and complications.

This is really helpful because you are directed to your goal, which is to find a hotel with the best deals.

You are not bombarded with ads, commercials or additional sign-ups for promotions or newsletters.

Now on to the most crucial aspect-

Pricing.

 

I do appreciate that Hotelscombined has an option that displays rates with taxes.

And I prefer not to be surprised when paying, and if you’re like me, then this feature is handy.

Both sites have a lot of pricing ranges, roughly about 20 options per hotel, so you have a lot of room to compare.

Be cautious when booking because although some links will show lower rates, once you decide to reserve, extra fees are added to the price.

Make sure to read thoroughly, especially details like cancellations, refunds, and booking policies.

Hopefully, you won’t need them during your trip but knowing exactly what you are booking will save you a lot of time in the end.

Ultimately, they show pretty much the same rates (if you consider taxes and fees) but Hotelscombined gets extra points for transparency.

In conclusion…

 

It really boils down to the type of service you want.

If you prefer everything laid out for you, then you may start off with Hotelscombined.

Meanwhile, if you prefer to evaluate your options first and deal with the charges later then try out Trivago.

I do suggest trying both sites just so you get a feel for how they compare.

Ultimately, booking your accommodation is a personal experience, and it is up to you to decide where you are most comfortable.

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