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Which One Is Better Value Expedia or Travelocity?

Finding the right meta-search tool in a sea of hungry travel aggregators can be tricky. Both of these sites advertise no cancellation fees and price match guarantees. So what’s the catch? We’re going to show you what Expedia and Travelocity have to offer as we compare them head to head. Read on to see what’s in the fine print of these guarantees. Ultimately, we’ll give you the nitty-gritty of what both have to offer so you can decide which one is the best choice for you.

Expedia – Over A Million Travel Options

Expedia vs Travelocity ELogo

For the past twenty years, Expedia has been building their presence in the travel planning space. Some of the best-advertised reasons to use Expedia include:

* No cancellation fees
* Price Match Promise
* Bigger discounts for members

Most people don’t have time to comb through the T’s & C’s and only look at the above perks at face value. Let’s look at these advertised benefits in more detail, so you know what you’re getting.

Expedia’s No Cancellation Fees Explained

Hotels

Expedia won’t charge you additional fees to change or cancel on almost any hotel reservation. Some users may glaze over this point and think “no cancellation fees, great!” However, this is not the case. The hotel may charge a fee to cancel, or they may not offer changes to your booking. Even if the hotel offered free cancellation at the time you booked, you might have missed the deadline. You’ll know that you missed the deadline if the “Cancel Room” option is not available when you log in to manage your booking. It’s advisable to verify this if you can’t guarantee that your plans won’t change.

Flights

Expedia also gives you the freedom to cancel most flight bookings online. Depending on the airfare, you can cancel within 24 hours with no applicable penalty charges. Again, this depends on whether you’ve booked a non-refundable flight or not. You may not get a refund either. Airlines can opt to give you flight credit instead of your expected refund.

While this is a great option to have, most airlines do charge cancellation fees with the cheaper fares. It may be nice that Expedia doesn’t slap you with another fee, but there definitely will be some additional cost if you decide to cancel. It just won’t be from them.

Car Rental

When you book a vacation package that includes a rental car, you may not be eligible for a refund. The cancellation policy will vary depending on your itinerary. If you do have this option built into your booking, and you need to cancel, you’ve got to do so at least 6 hours before you plan to pick up the vehicle.

Cruises

As a rule of thumb, you can cancel most cruise bookings no less than 90 days before departure.

Expedia’s Price Match Promise Explained

Expedia’s Price Match Promise sounds good on the surface. Basically, if you find a lower flight price, Expedia promises to deliver a hassle-free refund for the difference. The downside is that there is a cost associated with this “promise.” What’s the cost? The cost of the “promise” depends on your flight.

So you think you found a better deal on another site and you want to invoke the Price Match Guarantee. Here’s the catch; you can only get a refund if you found a lower price on Expedia!

So, they like to keep it on their home turf. But really, are you going to look on the same site for a cheaper deal? Most people go to other websites to compare prices, so this doesn’t seem all that great.

Expedia will also price match on hotels; however, this guarantee is only available to Expedia members. The Hotel Price Guarantee is not applicable if your hotel booking is part of a package. To claim a price match, you’ve got to do the following:

1) Find your exact itinerary (for flights), or exact hotel booking on a standalone U.S website.

2) The prices have to include the exact details to match Expedia’s offering, excluding taxes or extra fees. No secret hotel deals, all of the information has to be visible and in U.S dollars.

3) You need to submit their claim form with backup documentation, including screenshots of the prices.

Finally, if the price is no longer available by the time you’ve sent everything off, you can forget about getting Expedia to match it. For full details about the terms and conditions of this price match promise, visit Expedia’s website.

The Option To Bundle And Save

Expedia has exclusive access to flight and hotel deals that many other sites just can’t beat. The sheer magnitude of their presence in the industry gives them this distinct advantage. Expedia’s Add-On Advantage allows you to access up to 43% off hotels that bear the Add-On badge after you’ve booked your flight. There’s no hurry to grab this discount since you can wait right up till the day of your trip to get this deal. You can also get this deal if you’ve booked a car or a package. We think that’s excellent value!

As an Expedia member, when you sign in to your account, you can get access to deals that save you 100% off your flight. Yes, you can get a free flight if you book with their nominated hotel in the ‘deal of the day.’

More Ways To Save With Expedia

Using Expedia’s app, you can save up to 30% on your hotel booking. The app is also handy if you prefer to go paperless with your itinerary.

Also, if you become an Expedia member, you can get a stack of points by booking a trip on your account with multiple travelers. Say you book a trip for a family reunion. You would earn 2 points for every dollar spent on the hotel booking, 2 points for every dollar you spend on any rental cars or activities, and 1 point for every five dollars spent on your flight booking.

The value adds up if you use your Expedia account to bundle your flight + Car + Hotel. If you spend around $5,000 in the one transaction, you’ll get all the points for that booking. You can then use all those points towards VIP access hotels as well as to pay for flights and hotels. Not a bad idea if you’re planning to get away with a big group of friends.

Expedia members can also save an average of 15% on activities booked through Expedia’s concierge service in places like Hawaii, Mexico, Jamaica, and more.

Travelocity

Expedia vs Travelocity TLogo

Travelocity is quite similar to Expedia in its offerings. They too offer price match guarantees, a variety of accommodation choices, and no cancellation fees. So what’s the catch?

Let’s look at the same criteria that we did for Expedia. Some of the best-advertised reasons to use Travelocity include:

  • No cancellation fees
  • Price Match Promise
  • Bigger discounts for members

Most people don’t have time to comb through the T’s & C’s and only look at the above perks at face value. Let’s look at these advertised benefits in more detail, so you know what you’re getting.

Travelocity’s No Cancellation Fees Explained

So you booked your hotel and now need to cancel. Travelocity’s policy is similar to Expedia’s in that they won’t charge you a cancelation fee; however, the hotel might. Cancellations also need to be made directly with the hotel and not via Travelocity. Hence, the reason they can’t justify charging a cancelation fee for a service they don’t provide.

The same is true if you need to cancel a vacation package booked via Travelocity. Each part of your vacation package may have separate fees to cancel. If a cancellation fee is applicable, it won’t be from Travelocity. Also, if you cancel one part of the package, it won’t affect the other aspects of your booking. These charges you incur depend on which portion of the vacation package you cancel. The only exception may be if you cancel within 24 hours of booking.

If you want to avoid change and cancellation fees altogether, you can purchase a Travelocity Vacation Waiver. In doing so, Travelocity will absorb any costs associated with canceling or changing your plans. The Vacation Waiver is similar to buying travel insurance; however, it’s not useful for non-changeable flights. If you choose to purchase a Vacation Waiver, you must do so at the time of booking your trip. It is excellent value though if you’ve bundled more than one product in your booking. If you only need to change your hotel reservation, you can do that. As the waiver can be used one time for each travel product, you have some flexibility that regular travel insurance may not provide.

Travelocity’s Price Match Promise Explained

Travelocity’s price match promise is so much better than Expedia’s. It’s pretty simple actually, and it’s free. Unlike Expedia, where you have to purchase pay to include this on your flight itinerary.

Travelocity will refund the difference if you’ve paid a higher price for any one of the following travel products:

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Vacation Packages
  • Rental Cars
  • Activities

The catch is you need to know that you’ve found this lower price within 24 hours of booking. You’ve also got to ensure the following stipulations are met to get your refund:

  1. The lower priced deal needs to be in English, not a translated page
  2. The lower price needs to be quoted in U.S dollars
  3. All itinerary or booking details need to be exactly the same
  4. The cancellation policy must also match that of Travelocity’s

Travelocity has a separate price match guarantee for cruises. For more information on this, visit their website.

Travelocity’s Coupons And Discounts

Travelocity doesn’t have a rewards program like Expedia. Hence there’s no point-reward system to contend with. Instead, they have exclusive travel deals, promotion codes, and coupons only available to their registered users.

While you can still get access to great deals with Travelocity without registering, membership doesn’t always have its benefits.

We decided to take a look at what kind of discounts registered users could actually get. The results were a little disappointing in this department, and we’ll show you what we mean below.

The first screenshot shows a search that we did as a non-registered user. We searched for a flight and hotel package to see what discount the average person could expect to find. From the looks of things, we got a pretty good deal at $560 for this hotel and flight package.

Expedia VS Travelocity Screenshot1 Non Member

Then we logged in a registered user and put the same details in and looked at the same hotel. We also sorted the price to see any available member discounts. Here is what we found.

Expedia VS Travelocity Screenshot2 Member Price

It turns out that even after logging in, we still came up with the same pricing. So is it worth registering if the deals are likely to be the same as per the above example? We’re not convinced it’s worth it, but at least the pricing was competitive.

If you’re looking to earn points toward free upgrades and VIP experiences, Expedia definitely has a fabulous offering of perks for their members. Although even their discount for the same search we did on Travelocity, only came up with a $4 saving, even as a member (see image below).

Expedia VS Travelocity Screenshot3

In the end, both companies offer various competitive options for travelers looking for a great deal on both flights and accommodation. It’s important to do know the ‘Ins and Outs’ of what a company is promising to determine whether what their offering is of better value. The next time you are searching for a travel deal, keep the above information in mind when deciding which booking platform is best for you.

If you would like to know more about Expedia or Travelocity then click the link to our articles regarding those two companies.

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