In planning our recent trip to Virginia Beach I discovered that using an online travel site isn’t always worth it. In fact they could be ripping you off!
We finally decided on going to Virginia Beach and we wanted to stay as close to the beach as possible. At the same time we really didn’t know much about the area. My wife and I scoured the various travel sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, etc… Whenever we saw something interesting we checked it in Trip Advisor to see what kind of feedback people who stayed there had. We tried to find out what we could about the area and what was available. Because we waited so long to plan our trip many hotels were either booked on certain days or too expensive. Finally, through one of the sites (I won’t mention which), we found a decent hotel with a rate we were OK with paying.
Here’s where it gets interesting. So we found a good rate for a room. We discovered that for $10 more a night we could also get a Continental breakfast included. Ten dollars more a night to get the four of us going in the morning sounded like a good deal! Before I was able to reserve the room my wife, in her mighty wisdom, told me to check out the hotel’s site and maybe give them a call to see what they charge. Good thing she told me that. I checked the hotel site and I found that their rooms were the same price as the online travel site. Ok, no biggie. Then I discovered that the Continental breakfast was included in all the reservations!! The travel site was going to charge me $10 a night for something the hotel gave out for free! It gets better. We found that the hotel gives discounts to AAA members. I plugged in our membership card and was pleased to see that the room would be discounted another $18!
In all we saved $28 a night by going directly to the hotel’s site rather than booking through an outside travel site! Over five nights that’s a savings of $140.
I’m sure there are real great deals out there on these travel sites but this proves that you have to do your homework. Sometimes the best deals may be from the hotel itself!