A new website helps travelers find the cheapest hotel room

A new website helps travelers find the cheapest hotel room

“We recommend booking as early as possible,” said Mr. Weinberg, adding that users have saved an average of 25 percent over the past two years when the website was in development. “The longer the time horizon we have to look at for better deals, the better off we are.”

Hotel rates can be volatile, but downfalls are often a matter of luck or diligence. Independently, Mr. Harteveldt recently checked a five-day reservation in Atlanta and found that the daily rate had dropped $50, so he rebooked. If HotelSlash “spends $30 a year and they find a less expensive rate for the same hotel and same room or better and it’s more than the $30 membership, it pays for itself with one stay,” he said.

As with most travel bookings, travelers who do the hard work — meaning they do a lot of comparison searches and price checks — tend to save the most.

Many hotel booking sites aim to ease the work by guaranteeing a price. booking.com Will match the lowest price found elsewhere, but the onus is on the traveler to find it and attempt a refund. for a fee, hopper Will allow you to freeze the price at a hotel and pay the difference if it goes up. Fees vary and apply to any booking, but are forfeited if a user does not book a room. In monitoring value, HotelSlash handles the latter-stage work, often for less.

But consumers should always do a comparative search while making early bookings.

Searching HotelsSlash, I found some rates that were better than the hotel websites. I sometimes found similar rates at other online agencies. Other times, I found slightly better rates directly on hotel sites, but had to check the terms when comparing them. For example, for a three-night refundable stay in June at the Paris Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, I got a quote for $831 including taxes but excluding about $138 in resort fees, for a total of $969 from HotelSlash. ; Including taxes and fees, the price from Expedia was $981. Once I clicked through to the payment page the initial quote of $702 from the hotel increased to $952 with taxes and fees.

As is the case with online travel agencies and hotel websites, the best rates advertised are often non-refundable and inherently risky. “Unless the savings are really worthwhile and you’re 110 percent firm on your plans, don’t book nonrefundable rates,” Mr. Harteveldt advised. “Plans change and it’s always better to have a flexible rate.”

Elaine Glusack writes the Frugal Traveler column. follow her on instagram @eglusac,

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