One of the newer travel booking websites that seems to be getting a lot of press is Hipmunk.com.   It was designed with the idea ‘to take the agony out of travel planning’ but they missed the target by a wide margin because of one glaring problem.

Review Of Hipmunk.comWe ran some search comparisons on hotels and flight searches. Below you can find some of our problems with Hipmunk:

  1. Try searching for the lowest rate on a 4 star hotel in Melbourne, Australia (or any other city).   It isn’t easy.
  2. Try sorting your results by stars.  Seems like it would be easy, right?  It isn’t.  Click on the “Stars” tab and it shows you 5 star options.  Finding 3 star hotels in a large city and sorting by price is not an easy task.
  3. Hotel rate is “Average nightly price excluding taxes and fees”.  In other words, book the room and we’ll tell you the final rate later!  (THIS IS THE BIG PROBLEM).
For a site that claims to take the “agony out of travel planning”, I just can’t understand why they would require additional steps for the user to see the TOTAL COST on a hotel.  It’s a big-time problem for me.  And a problem that many travel sites seem to overlook.

Here is an example… ”Hotel 1000″ in Seattle was listed on Hipmunk for $431.

Hipmunk Travel Review

But this is not what you will pay.

Like many sites (Hello Priceline!), Hipmunk.com requires some work before they want to show you the actual cost of the hotel.

They only show the total cost on the booking page.  And getting to this page is not easy.

To see the booking page and total cost, you will need 3 clicks and then you have to scroll down to the bottom of page 4. Once you are there,  you can finally see the actual rate is over $494.32.

The rate in the search results says $431.  The total rate after working to get to the booking page is $494.32 (including all taxes & fees).

Doesn’t this make it a real hassle to shop for the best deal when you are comparing many hotels?  It sure does.  It adds to my agony is what it does.

My question is:

Why do they make the user click to the 4th page and have to scroll down to see the actual rate on EVERY hotel room?

This is nothing but a headache and it adds a lot of wasted time to the process. Here is what you find on the bottom of the booking page on Hipmunk:

Hipmunk.com review

I’m still not sure why Hipmunk felt this was a good idea.  Why require extra work to see the total rate?  Perhaps it’s because it seems to be the “industry standard” with Expedia, Priceline, Kayak, Orbitz, and others doing the same thing.  However….there is a better way.

Common Sense? Yes...But They All Seem To Miss It!

Every travel booking site should follow BestTravelCoupon.com and how they post search results

This is my big question: Why aren’t these sites taking a strong look at the search setup at BestTravelCoupon.com?  

At BestTravelCoupon.com, they instantly show the total rate including taxes and fees.  It makes it much easier to search and shop for the lowest rate.

For the same hotel (Hotel 1000 in Seattle), I search on BestTravelCoupon.com & instantly see this screen below:

 Review Of Hipmunk

Do you see that number “$479″?  That is the total cost for the hotel.   If you try to book it you won’t see a late surprise with any additional fees.  It’s $479.  Nothing else is added to your bill.

What a concept!  They actually show the TOTAL COST INSTANTLY & you see it on the first page during your search.

Not only is it the total cost but it’s also a better rate.  Same hotel…same night…better rate…fewer hassles.

On BestTravelCoupon.com, when I search for a 4 star hotel in Seattle (or any other city) all I do is 1 click and they search 100′s of different travel sites, determine the total cost for each site, and then post it in an easy to sort format.   This is how you “take the agony out of travel planning”.

This is also why we bumped up BestTravelCoupon.com in our ratings of the best travel booking sites in the world.  There is nothing better to instantly find the lowest rates.    It’s simply faster and more effective than any other travel site out there including Kayak.com, Priceline.com, and Expedia.com.

 

 

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