One of your New Year’s resolutions might be to travel more in 2024, which will involve booking more hotel stays. If you are trying to do so without breaking the bank, this requires you to check several booking sites to see which one offers the best deal. That can be an exhausting process, especially with so many online travel agencies (OTA) to choose from. Thankfully, the makers of the hotel price comparison browser extension RatePunk have done the research to determine which OTA has the cheapest hotel rates for popular destinations.
Speaking with CNBC Travel, RatePunk CEO Justin Albertynas said that his company reviewed more than 198,000 user searches from January 1 to December 1 last year to see which popular booking websites offered the best deals on hotels.
According to their data, Agoda had the best rates globally 34% of the time. Priceline came in second at 23%, and Booking.com’s mobile site came in third at 16%.
Cheapest hotel rates in Asia, Middle East
If you’re looking for a hotel in Asia or the Middle East, Agoda is your best bet.
“Agoda… they have the really great prices,” Albertynas told CNBC Travel. “What we see from our user bookings, they usually like to start to book, or discover accommodations, from one of the biggest, like Booking.com or Expedia, and they end up buying from Agoda.”
Albertynas said Agoda specifically targets Asian countries. This might not be a site you think to visit when booking hotel stays over the likes of Priceline, Expedia, or Orbitz, but it sounds like it should be, especially if you’re traveling to Japan, Thailand, or Korea.
Cheapest hotel rates in Europe
Agoda also came out on top in Europe, but only if you separate Booking.com into its mobile site and its desktop site. Combined, Booking.com squeaked out the win — just remember to check both the mobile site and the desktop site before booking.
“Booking.com, they have three different rates: desktop, mobile, and also a mobile app,” revealed Albertynas. “In what we see from our data, 80% of mobile and mobile app prices are similar, but there are cases where we can actually find the cheaper rate on the app.”
Cheapest hotel rates in the US
Finally, if you’re booking a domestic trip or traveling to the United States from abroad, you should start your search on Priceline. RatePunk’s data shows that Priceline offered the lowest rates a whopping 48.5% of the time in the US.
Booking.com beat out Agoda by less than a percentage point, but Albertynas believes Booking will be making an aggressive push in 2024.
“Booking Holdings, mainly the Booking.com brand, is really trying to expand into the States,” he said. “They will be making some promotions and some kind of direct deals with the chains, with the hotels to provide a better price.”
RatePunk also shared a list of sites that offer the best prices in specific countries and cities:
- Hotels.com: Maldives, Mexico
- Booking.com: Italy, New York City
- Agoda: Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia
- Priceline: France, Miami, Los Angeles
- Expedia: Brazil, Honolulu
- ZenHotels: Spain
You can download the RatePunk browser extension for free on the Chrome Web Store.