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Where is it cheapest to book your hotel? Depends on the country & city you’re visiting

We reviewed more than 198,000 RatePunk user searches from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2023, to find which booking websites offer the lowest hotel prices.

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By Aistė

Published: Jan 30, 20243 min read

Where is it cheapest to book your hotel? Depends on the country & city you’re visiting

While OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) offer different rates for different regions, the prices also vary depending on countries & even the cities where the hotels are located. After analyzing almost 200k hotel searches, we did a round-up of the cheapest booking websites to book from when traveling to the most popular destinations worldwide and TOP-visited American cities. 

First things first - you’ll find two different Booking.com logos in this study. That’s because Booking offers very different rates for mobile & desktop users, so when comparing all the OTAs, we separated them as two different booking websites (you’ll find the explanations in the legend of each data set). 

 

Cheapest booking websites in TOP visited countries worldwide


Agoda is most often the cheapest booking website when booking stays in Asia, for example, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia. It also has the lowest rates for hotels in Australia. However, there are some exceptions: if you want to get the best hotel deal in the Maldives, you should check Hotels.com. It had the lowest rate in almost HALF of all searches made in the Maldives. 

Hotels.com is also recommended when booking stays in Mexico.

While zenhotels.com can rarely keep up with the competitive prices of the major booking websites, it offers exceptional rates in Spain. Travelers should check this lesser-known booking website when searching for stays in Spanish cities. 
 

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Cheapest booking websites in TOP-visited cities in the US


Priceline often offers the cheapest hotel deals when planning a trip to American cities. The Booking.com mobile version proved to be the cheapest when booking stays in New York, and the desktop version - when searching for hotels in Las Vegas. Expedia had the best rates specifically for Honolulu, and you should check Agoda when traveling to San Francisco. 
 

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Match these tricks with the cheapest booking website to score the best deal:

 

Check different devices

The prices offered by OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) differ depending on whether you book via mobile phone or desktop. Travelers can never know which one will offer a better deal, often resulting in overspending. After finding your wanted hotel, don’t jump into booking straight - make some comparisons (in the picture above, you can also see an example where you’d save $2619 by booking through the mobile version of Booking). 


Pick the right destination

It’s what will fate your spending: you need to pick a country where your money goes a long way. Find out the accommodation prices, food, attractions, etc. Vietnam, Bangkok, Bali, Jakarta, La Paz, Honduras, Budapest, and Zagreb could be a few budget-friendly destinations to get you started. 

An example: for $100 in New York you’d barely get a bed in a 4-bed mixed dormitory, and the same sum in Bali would almost guarantee you a 5-star hotel with breakfast & private pool included. More examples & details of this HERE.
 

Don’t miss out on currency changes

Usually, when making travel bookings, prices differ at least a bit with every currency. For example, by booking with dollars, you could pay more than after changing it to euros, or vice versa, and that’s all because of the conversion rate. It becomes especially essential during an economic downturn: the value of some currencies drops while others increase. It’s crucial to check the rates when booking with yours & the one used in your destination. 
 

Don’t blindly trust loyalty accounts

Even though loyalty programs theoretically guarantee a lower rate, the truth is it’s not always like that. Even though there are often better deals, some hotels are cheaper after logging out of your account, so be sure to check before confirming your summer vacation.
 

We share our findings regularly. You can find more of this type of article on our expertise page HERE.

Jan 30, 2024

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