How to Find Great Deals on Hotwire
Most of us have heard about Hotwire, the online travel agency (OTA), that has been around for some time and offers complete vacation packages and separate booking deals.
Let’s take a close look at this website and see if the deals are really good here.
Hotwire is known for its simplicity. The search on home page works just like any other OTA: you have to put your location, time of arrival and departure, number of guests, and number of rooms. Once you submit that, you will be given a few extra filters:
- High to low or low to high price
- Hotel rate (Hot or standard)
- Price range
- Trip Advisor ratings
The left side of the screen will have a list of hotels, including Today’s Top Deal. The right side is for map with green shade for different areas close to your search.
When you select the hotel that you like, you will see more information about it. If you are happy with it, click “Buy Now” button and you will be directed to the payment and confirmation process.
We have compared the prices of various hotels with Hotels.com, Priceline, Orbitz, and hotel websites only to discover that they all come pretty close to each other. Most of the time hotels offer best rates for members, so if you prefer any particular hotel, consider becoming a member.
Hot Rate Hotels
Hot rate works the same way as Priceline special deals, where you don’t know the exact hotel until you finish your booking. You will know the star rating, the area, Trip Advisor rating, and included amenities.
Hot Rate hotels are usually very great deals, so you just have to have some faith, be flexible, and go for it.
Searching for cars is easy on Hotwire.com. Just like with the hotel, you have to enter your trip specifications and then filter the results with the options on the left side of your screen.
This is the same as with hotels – you will not know the exact agency, but you will be getting a good deal. Hotwire beats Alamo, Hertz, Enterprise, Dollar, and Thrifty with this kind of booking.
Hotwire has some standard rates too if you are very particular about the rental company and don’t want to take any chances. These rates are similar to those on rental companies’ websites. When booking a car, use a credit card that offers basic car rental insurance.
If you have plenty of time planning the trip, you can definitely find great deals and get them sent directly to you. Once you enter your trip details, go to the bottom of the page, to the left, and put your email address in the box to receive alerts about deals that apply for your itinerary.
All flights on Hotwire are either one-way or round-trip. Once you input all your information, you can then narrow down the flight by number of stops, airline, departure time, and arrival time. Make sure you click through the flights as your initial search page will only show departure results.
The search results will yield the airline name, departure and arrival times, duration of the trip, and price. Once you pick the outgoing flight you like, click “Select” button and you will be taken to the return flight options. When you pick that flight, click “Select” again and you will see the price you would get if you bought flight and hotel together. This package usually offers great price. If you are not interested, click “No Thanks” and continue to your trip. Before finishing your transaction, you will see some options to upgrade your flight, but be careful, as all upgrades are pretty expensive.
The initial Hotwire flight price is usually basic economy, which does not let you pick a seat or take a carry-on. A small upgrade might be needed just to get that.
Hotwire sometimes charges booking fee, so keep that in mind when comparison shopping.
Most travel agencies will urge you to purchase trip insurance somewhere between your search and payment details. While the need for it might be rare, sometimes it can save you money. Most credit cards offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance, so skip this step if you are using a card like that.
Hot Rate flights
Hotwire offers some flights that carry a better price, but you won’t be able to select the exact number of stops or times of arrival and departure. Needless to say, those are not very popular.
Flight prices can change a couple times per hour, so if you find a good deal, take it without much delay. Hotwire also offers 24-hour post booking cancellation option for all US-based carrier flights that are booked at least a week in advance. Even better, Hotwire is known to offer some non-US based carrier free cancellations too, but always read the small print as some flights can be non-refundable.
Low price guarantee
Hotwire will refund the difference if you will find a cheaper booking within 24 hours as long as the booking is exactly the same and available for the general public. This policy applies to hotels, flights, cars, and bundles.
Hotwire promo codes
Always look for a coupon before clicking that “Submit” button. You can find many sites that aggregate coupons, but not all of them are equally good. Some just list deals or clever wording to get you to click on the links.
It doesn’t cost anything to create an account with Hotwire, and future deals might make it worth your time. You can get up to 10% savings on standard rate hotels with your account. Your member rates will be displayed in yellow.
In conclusion, Hotwire is simple to use and offers some good deals, especially if you are flexible. Vacation packages and bundles are also a good way to purchase your trip, so create an account and get searching!