Where do you usually book your hotel? Directly from the hotel/their website, or do you use the hoteal search engines, such as trivago, momondo, etc.? There seems to be a lot of variation in prices and I was wondering how reliable the different sites are. Anybody ever booked a hotel in Aruba using amoma.com (through trivago)?
It depends sometimes I book directly with the hotel and sometimes I use Expedia. I've found with Expedia their prices can fluctuate a lot so I check it after different times day and night and when I think they're at their lowest I book. I recently booked our November trip and the price dropped almost a thousand dollars on the package from 6:00 am to when I checked again at 10:00 pm. For our May trip I'll book directly with the hotel if the Divi runs it's Cyber Monday sale. I do spend a fair amount of time crunching the numbers though.
We've used Expedia, direct with the hotel and AAA. Then we discovered MCM/Players Choice tours. http://www.aruba4u.com/ Now we use them exclusively. I am always comfortable with the price and very satisfied with the service. I think the pricing is as competitive as anything available.....
Thank you all. I am European so I guess some of the booking sites are different from the US. We have travelled also on the other islands in the Caribbean and used quite a few booking sites, such as booking.com and ebookers. British Airways also sells flight+hotel packages, but KLM does not. Our next holiday will be in November so there is still plenty of time to find the best deal!
I use kayak to compare prices but then almost always book through the hotel site directly. I've found the hotel sites tend to match the lowest prices. I've also used hotels.com. When we booked Holiday Inn Aruba through hotels.com, the front desk did not give us the room category we had paid for and I only found out by chance. It was quickly fixed when I showed them my receipt, but I wondered if it had anything to do with the 3rd party sites.
Our first few trips back in the early 90s were always through a travel agent and a tour company which was always an air/hotel package. Once, we got lucky with American Airlines and a package deal with them for a stay at the Marriott at a really cheap cost. Looking back, I believe it was when the Marriott first opened and it was probably a deal just to get people in there.
Unfortunately for travel agents, but fortunate for the general public, the emergence of online sites has made it easier to book travel and reduced the need to use a travel agent. I always check other sites and call the hotel directly if I find a lower rate elsewhere. They sometimes match what I've found.
I do have friends traveling from the states to Italy then a cruise through the Mediterranean and stopping in Greece and Turkey and that is when it is a good idea to use a travel agent, IMO. Too many variables to consider.