Planning a trip can be an exciting yet daunting experience, and finding the perfect accommodations can be one of the most challenging aspects of it. With so many booking websites available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the options. Two of the most popular booking websites are Booking.com and Expedia, but why is Booking.com cheaper than Expedia? In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of travel booking and compare the two sites in terms of price, availability, loyalty programs, customer reviews, user experience, customer service, fees, and promotions. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of the key differences between the two sites and be able to make an informed decision about which site to use for your next trip.
Background on Booking.com and Expedia
Booking.com was founded in 1996 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and is now one of the world’s leading digital travel companies. The company offers a vast selection of accommodations, including hotels, apartments, resorts, villas, and hostels. With a user-friendly interface and over 28 million listings worldwide, Booking.com is a popular choice for travelers looking for affordable and comfortable accommodations.
Expedia, on the other hand, was founded in 1996 in the United States and is one of the world’s largest online travel companies. The company offers a range of travel services, including airfare, hotel bookings, car rentals, and vacation packages. Expedia has over 590,000 properties listed on its platform, making it an excellent option for travelers looking for a wide range of options.
Both Booking.com and Expedia have grown significantly over the years and offer similar services, but they differ in a few key ways. Booking.com is primarily focused on accommodations, while Expedia offers a wider range of travel-related services. Additionally, Booking.com has a reputation for offering lower prices than Expedia, which we will explore in more detail in the next section.
Comparison of Booking.com and Expedia Prices
When it comes to pricing, both Booking.com and Expedia offer competitive rates for accommodations. However, in many cases, Booking.com tends to have lower prices than Expedia. One reason for this is that Booking.com has a pricing model that’s designed to appeal to budget-conscious travelers. They offer a “Price Match Guarantee” that promises to match or beat the price of any other booking website. This model encourages hotels to offer lower rates on Booking.com, which in turn benefits the customers.
In comparison, Expedia has a “Best Price Guarantee” that offers customers a refund for the difference in price if they find a lower rate on another website. However, this guarantee has some restrictions and is subject to specific terms and conditions.
Moreover, Booking.com charges lower commissions to hotels than Expedia, which is another reason why prices may be lower on Booking.com. Booking.com’s commissions typically range from 10-15%, while Expedia’s commissions can be as high as 25%.
In conclusion, while both Booking.com and Expedia offer competitive prices for accommodations, Booking.com tends to have lower prices due to its pricing model and lower commissions to hotels. This makes it a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers who are looking for affordable accommodations.
Availability of Accommodations
When it comes to the availability of accommodations, both Booking.com and Expedia offer a wide range of options. However, there may be some differences in the availability of certain types of accommodations or in specific locations.
Booking.com has over 28 million listings worldwide and offers a wide range of accommodation options, including hotels, apartments, villas, hostels, and resorts. The website’s user interface allows users to filter their search results based on price, location, star rating, and other factors, making it easy to find the right accommodations.
Expedia, on the other hand, has over 590,000 properties listed on its platform, which is significantly less than Booking.com. However, Expedia offers a broader range of accommodation options, including hotels, apartments, resorts, vacation rentals, and even castles.
In terms of availability, Booking.com is known for its vast selection of budget-friendly accommodations, making it a popular choice for travelers looking for affordable options. Expedia, on the other hand, offers a range of accommodation options across various price points, making it an excellent option for travelers with different budgets.
Moreover, both Booking.com and Expedia offer deals and promotions throughout the year, allowing customers to save even more money on their accommodations. Expedia has a “Deals” section on its website, where customers can find discounts on hotels, flights, and packages. Similarly, Booking.com has a “Deals” section that features discounted rates on accommodations worldwide.
In conclusion, while both Booking.com and Expedia offer a wide range of accommodations, there may be some differences in the availability of certain types of accommodations or specific locations. However, both websites offer a variety of options that cater to different budgets and travel preferences, making it easy to find the perfect accommodations for your trip.
Loyalty Programs and Rewards
Both Booking.com and Expedia offer loyalty programs and rewards to encourage customers to continue using their services. Booking.com has the Genius program, which offers discounts and perks to frequent customers. The program has three tiers: Genius, Genius Silver, and Genius Gold. Customers who make five bookings or spend at least $500 in a year become Genius members and receive 10% off select properties. Genius Silver members receive 10% off select properties and free breakfast at participating hotels, while Genius Gold members receive all the benefits of Genius Silver, as well as free room upgrades, early check-in, and late check-out at select properties.
Expedia, on the other hand, has the Expedia Rewards program, which offers rewards points for bookings made through the website. Members can earn up to 2 points for every $1 spent on hotels, flights, and packages. Points can be redeemed for hotel discounts, flight upgrades, and even exclusive access to events and experiences. Expedia also has a tiered system, with Blue, Silver, and Gold levels. Members can advance through the levels by earning a certain number of points or booking a certain number of nights.
Customer Reviews and Ratings
When it comes to booking accommodations, customer reviews and ratings can be incredibly helpful in making an informed decision. Both Booking.com and Expedia have a system in place for customers to leave reviews and ratings for the properties they book.
On Booking.com, customers can leave a review after their stay, and the reviews are available for other customers to read when they are considering booking the same property. Reviews can be filtered by traveler type, score, and language, making it easy to find reviews from travelers with similar interests or concerns.
Expedia also has a review system in place, allowing customers to leave a rating and review after their stay. The reviews are displayed on the property’s page and can help other customers make an informed decision when booking.
User Experience and Interface
Both Booking.com and Expedia have user-friendly interfaces that make it easy to search for and book accommodations. Booking.com has a clean and modern design, with a simple search bar on the homepage that allows customers to search for accommodations by destination, property type, or specific property name. Customers can also filter their search results by price, review score, and amenities to find the perfect accommodation for their needs.
Expedia’s interface is similarly straightforward, with a search bar on the homepage and various filters to help customers refine their search results. The website also has a “Deals” section, where customers can find discounted accommodations and travel packages.
Both websites have mobile apps that allow customers to search and book accommodations on the go, making it easy to book accommodations from anywhere in the world. The apps also have features such as saved searches, personalized recommendations, and the ability to manage bookings and make changes to reservations.
Both Booking.com and Expedia offer loyalty programs and rewards, customer reviews and ratings, and user-friendly interfaces that make it easy to find and book accommodations. Ultimately, the choice between the two websites depends on your travel preferences and budget. By comparing prices, reading customer reviews, and taking advantage of loyalty programs and rewards, you can ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money and the perfect accommodations for your trip.
Customer Service and Support
In addition to offering competitive prices and a wide selection of accommodations, Booking.com and Expedia also have customer service and support teams that are available to help customers with any questions or issues that may arise.
Booking.com offers customer support 24/7 through phone and email. The website also has a comprehensive help center that includes frequently asked questions, guides, and tutorials on how to use the website and make bookings. Additionally, customers can use the “Booking Assistant” feature, which is an AI-powered chatbot that can help with booking changes, cancellations, and other issues.
Expedia also offers customer support 24/7 through phone and email. The website has a “Help” section that includes frequently asked questions, travel alerts, and a “Contact Us” page where customers can submit a request for assistance. Expedia also has a chat feature that allows customers to chat with a customer service representative in real time.
Fees and Additional Charges
When booking accommodations through Booking.com or Expedia, it’s important to be aware of any fees or additional charges that may apply. Both websites charge a service fee for each booking, which can vary depending on the property and the total cost of the reservation.
In addition to service fees, some properties may also charge additional fees for things like resort fees, parking, or cleaning. These fees can vary depending on the property and are not always included in the booking price. It’s important to read the property’s terms and conditions carefully before booking to avoid any surprises.
It’s also worth noting that some properties may offer free cancellation up to a certain point, while others may have stricter cancellation policies. Make sure to check the property’s cancellation policy before making a reservation to avoid any fees or charges for canceling or changing your reservation.
In conclusion, while both Booking.com and Expedia are popular booking websites, Booking.com tends to be cheaper than Expedia due to its pricing model and lower commissions to hotels. Moreover, both websites offer a wide range of accommodations, but there may be some differences in the availability of certain types of accommodations or specific locations.
When it comes to choosing the best booking website, it ultimately depends on your travel preferences and budget. If you’re looking for affordable accommodations, Booking.com is an excellent option. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a broader range of travel-related services, Expedia may be the better choice.
Regardless of which website you choose, it’s always a good idea to compare prices and read customer reviews before making a booking. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money and that your accommodations meet your expectations.