Savings Tips vs

I’ve used Expedia a couple of times for airfares and have found it to be cheaper than Travelocity. This made me get a bit lazy with my fact-checking when I was booking our Juan les Pins (Antibes) hotel. Without comparing the two sites I went straight to (Unfortunately I don’t know any other travel web sites that offer worldwide bookings and bill in Canadian dollars.)

So within 10 minutes we found a mid-range hotel that suited us and booked it (Best Western Astoria, 3 stars). We weren’t 100% sure we’d like it so we only booked 3 nights, hoping to extend the stay locally if it turned out to be okay (it was fine, we extended the stay as planned).

3 nights on Expedia came to CAD$491.58. Not sure what made me go to Travelocity after the fact, but glad I did. I found exactly the same hotel, but for CAD$325.89. This was actually the rate that Expedia was advertising, but upon checkout they added some taxes and service fees that brought up the total considerably. Travelocity’s rate explicitely stated that “all taxes and service charges are included” with the exception of local tax. (Local European taxes are typically 1-2 Euros per person per night).

At that point – about half an hour after placing the Expedia order – I did some quick math, and even with Expedia’s cancellation charge of CAD$56.82, we ended up paying about $110 less with Travelocity.

I used Travelocity 3 more times for hotel bookings during our European trip. I prefer their rates, selection and cancellation policy. They offer a short period when you can request a refund without penalty (haven’t tried it, but it says so). And a couple of times we got really good deals with them, but the catch is – they don’t last! Literally within 15 minutes they are gone.

Expedia, however, still offers better airfares so we used it for our return flight.

In the future I will always compare and shop around more. The results can be surprising!