In my post last year about saving money on travel, I compared Costco to Expedia and BookingBuddy. I was comparing apples to apples (so the exact same hotel, airline, tickets, etc…) and Costco won two of the thee “challenges.” Costco, with their buying power, was able to negotiate certain deals with certain carries that others could not match.
However, Expedia and BookingBuddy are both able to negotiate their own deals with carriers, just maybe or maybe not the same carriers as Costco.
So, if ware are willing to compare apple species to apple species (i.e the same star category of service, the same level of air carrier, same room type, etc…) then it would be interesting to find out who comes out with the best price – and YOU still get the best vacation!
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Again, I am going to pick the same trips:
- A Trip to Walt Disney World, including airfare, park tickets, and a non Disney hotel property for 8 days, 7 nights traveling from Seattle, WA. For a family of 4.
- A Trip to Hawaii, including airfare, hotel, and car on the big island for 7 days, 6 nights traveling from Seattle, WA. For a Family of 4.
- A Trip to Cabo San Lucas, including airfare, airport to hotel transfer, and all-inclusive hotel (includes food and drinks) for 5 days, and 4 nights) traveling from Seattle, WA. For two adults.
Trip 1: Walt Disney World Trip: Departing September 14th and returning September 21st from Seattle, WA, for a family of 4 – 4 star hotel and national airline.
- Costco Travel Vacation Package – Orlando World Center Marriott, American Airlines (1 stop), 5 day park hopper to WDW: $4,206.
- Expedia Vacation Package – Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, United Airline (1 stop), 5 day park hopper ticket to WDW: $3,911.
- BookingBuddy Vacation Package – Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, American Airlines (1 stop), 5 day: $3,907
For each travel provider, I looked for the lowest price, name brand 4 star hotel. With being able to play with the hotel choice and using BookingBuddy’s deal on Walt Disney World ticket price, we were able to save over $300 on this vacation.
Trip 2: Hawaii: Departing September 14th and returning September 20th from Seattle, WA, for a family of 4.
- Costco Travel – Halii Kai Waikoloa – Garden View Room, Alaska Airlines (no overnight flight), full size car rental: $3,871
- Expedia – Sheraton Kona Resort – Mountain View Room, Hawaiian Airlines (no overnight flight), full size car rental: $3,506
- BookingBuddy Vacation Package – Castle Halii Kai – Garden View Room, United Airlines (no overnight flight), full size car rental – $3,142
For each travel provider, I looked for the lowest price, name brand 4 star hotel. I also looked for economy class flights that were not overnight, and lastly, we added on a full size car rental. Finding the best deal on each site, Booking Budy was able to save over $700 from best price Costco trip and over $350 from the best price Expedia trip. WOW!
Trip 3: Cabo San Lucas: Departing September 14th and returning September 18th from Seattle, WA, for two adults.
- Costco Travel – Villa del Arco deluxe suite (note: if I ever get to go to Cabo for an anniversary someday, this is my first choice hotel), Alaska Airlines, airport transfer: $1741
- Expedia – Hacienda Encantada luxury suite, United Airlines, airport transfer: $1557
- BookingBuddy – Playa Grande Resort, deluxe junior suite, Alaska Airlines, does NOT include airport transfer: $1481. Hotel transfer could be booked separately for (est) $80. Total would be: $1561.
For each travel provider, I looked for the lowest price, name brand 4 star hotel and selected non-overnight economy class flights. Expedia just edges out BookingBuddy here by a couple of dollars. Costco is more expensive by $200, but to be honest, in this case, I would still select the Costco deal.
As we can see, it simply pays to shop around. Sometimes one site will have the best deal and sometimes, another site wins.
Let me know your best deal you have ever found and who it was through.