Planning your holidays can be a lot of work, from finding the right accommodation, booking the flights, and choosing the right rental car or insurance. This is why many people reach for various platforms that can make the whole process much easier.
Expedia is a good platform for booking your hotels, flights, and cars. It is the best choice for those who are interested in package holidays, as it offers bundles at a discounted price. However, shared guests’ experiences showed that Expedia’s customer support can use some improvement.
- Book now pay later feature
- Cheaper bookings
- Trip insurance
- Last minute booking
- Lots of Ads
- Less-than-ideal Customer Support
In this article, you can find all you need to know about Expedia, including its pros and cons, main features, and information about cancellations on the platform. Let’s start.
What is Expedia and How Does It Work?
Expedia was founded in 2001 by Microsoft. It’s a third-party service that allows travel booking. It cooperates with many partners and subsidiaries, thanks to which it can offer quite cheap bookings.
In the beginning, it was a platform to book flights. However, with time, it grew into a service that offers everything one needs while traveling, including package holidays.
It is one of the highest-rated booking sites on Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau. The search option can be customized, thanks to which you can search for your ideal holiday with minimum effort.
Pros and Cons
Before we dive into more details about the platform, let’s have a look at the detailed pros and cons.
‘Book now pay later’ feature
The feature to pay later for your holiday can be a great choice for those who have a limited budget. With this option, you can pay in monthly installments, instead of paying the whole amount right away.
Expedia claims that while booking with their platform, you can save around 43% in comparison to conventional travel agents. The option to book a whole package holiday can make your dream vacation cheaper.
Flights, accommodation, and car rentals are some of the essentials you need to travel. Another one is having travel insurance. On Expedia, you can buy insurance that will cover your needs in case of trip cancelations.
Carefully read the insurance policy to be sure it covers your needs. It’s worth knowing that all insurance plans on Expedia are covered by the Transamerica Casualty Insurance Company.
Last Minute Bookings
If you don’t know when you will get your days off of work or simply enjoy spontaneous traveling, you can book cheap flights and hotels on Expedia even as short as 14 days before the trip.
Lots of Ads
Expedia is famous for its user-friendly interface. However, what bothers most users is the number of ads that appear on the website. Because of them, navigating the website can be a little bit challenging. Ads might also cause confusion regarding which deals are legit and which ones are just click-bait ads.
Poor Customer Support
Many users report that Expedia customer services have room to improve. When booking an entire vacation with just one website, one could expect prompt replies. According to the reviews, that is not the case with Expedia’s customer support.
What does Expedia include?
As it started as a flight booking site, Expedia is still commonly used to find the best flight options. The platform has a huge database that allows users to search countless airlines and look for flights to hundreds of destinations across the whole world.
While booking a flight with Expedia, you can use the Price Match Guarantee. This option gives you the security that you will get the lowest price for the flight. Additionally, you get a refund in case anything goes wrong. However, for the Price Match Guarantee, you have to pay around $5-30 extra for every ticket. Although it might seem like an extra cost, it gives you a chance to claim the fluctuation in trip prices even up to six hours before your departure time. That means that when the price of the flight goes down, you will get refunded for the price difference by Expedia.
Expedia is one of the biggest and most popular hotel booking platforms. Because of that, it has a huge database of hotel partners all over the world. Aside from that, property owners can list their accommodations on the website, increasing your choice of places to stay even more.
While booking your hotel, you can check genuine reviews from other users, which can help you to better understand if the lodging is trustworthy and fulfills travelers’ expectations. Check the pictures, and information about hotel facilities, and compare them to the reviews left by a guest who has already visited a particular destination, and decide if it’s worth your money and attention or not.
Expedia Car Rentals
Car rental is a good option if you want to explore a little bit more. Some destinations don’t have great public transport and this is when good car rental services come in handy.
You have to remember that Expedia’s car rental services are only available for US citizens. You have a huge choice of car rental companies, which you can browse to find the best option for you. From small cars to vans, to luxurious convertibles, you can pick the vehicle that suits your needs best.
While booking a car for your trip, you just need to mark your pick-up and drop-off spot, add your contact details, and confirm the booking.
Expedia Vacation Packages
Expedia is one of the best hotel booking platforms, but what distinguishes it from most similar platforms is vacation packages. You can search the platform and get the price for round-trip flights, hotel rooms, and some other additional features, for example, travel insurance, car, activities, or all of them!
You can choose from many destinations around the world, so with the package option, you can plan your ideal holidays even on a different continent. Expedia gives you an option to customize the packages, thanks to which it can fit your specific needs. You can enter information about the type of transportation, how long you want to stay, or even set your budget to make searching for your dream package holiday easier.
Expedia offers a Best Price Guarantee option for package holidays.
Expedia Rewards Program
For loyal users of the platform, Expedia offers statuses and points. They can be converted into discounts on your next bookings. There are three levels of the rewards program:
Some of the things you can get thanks to these statuses are extra drinks, lounge privileges, and you can determine how many reward points you can get for every booking. You can upgrade your status and/or receive extra points if you book specific flights, packages, or hotels.
While getting a discount or special perks is always nice, to enjoy hundreds of rewards, you will have to spend thousands on your booking. Because of that, this option might be not that tempting for those who travel on a budget.
Why Are Expedia Packages So Cheap?
If you book your flight, hotel, and, for example, insurance or car with Expedia, you can unlock better discounts. If you have to get all those things anyway, it’s usually better to get them in a bundle instead of booking separately.
The reason why Expedia can offer tickets cheaper than the airline or decrease the amount you have to pay for the hotel is that the third-party services get a bulk discount. That means your package holiday can be much cheaper if you book it through Expedia.
Does Expedia Charge for Booking? How Much Are Expedia Fees?
When you book through Expedia, you don’t have to pay any extra fees for the accommodation. The exception is a situation when you violate the terms of the booking. The most common violation is canceling your booking outside of the standard 24-hour window.
It’s worth remembering that Expedia works with so many accommodation companies that some of their services and potential extra charges might not be mentioned while booking through Expedia’s website.
While booking accommodation, you may encounter the following extra fees:
- Cancelation fees if you cancel your accommodation 24 or less hours before your stay,
- Fees for extra luggage or extra weight of your suitcases on some airlines,
- Fees for meals at a hotel,
- Fees for Wi-Fi in a hotel,
- Fees for extra activities outside of the resort,
- Parking fees,
- Fees for extra hotel facilities such as spa, gym, golf course, pool, and so on.
Before you click the pay button, be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of each accommodation. This way, you will know exactly how much a particular stay will cost you.
What Is the Cheapest Day to Book According to Expedia?
Searching for the best deal can be challenging. It’s worth knowing which days are the best to book your flight, hotel, and so on.
According to Expedia’s travel hacks, the best day to book your flight is Sunday. Booking a trip on Sunday can help you save around 5% on domestic flights and around 10% on international trips.
You might also notice that the prices of flights vary depending on the day when your trip starts. It’s best to start your domestic trip on a Friday, while international flights are the cheapest when the trip starts on a Thursday.
The potentially cheapest day to book your accommodation is Monday. You can save even more than 15% compared to booking and staying on Friday, which is the most expensive day.
If you are planning a trip abroad, the best day to book your stay is Tuesday. By booking on this day, you can save around 10%.
Keep in mind that getting discounted prices might give you less flexibility such as room locations (for example the hotel might give you the correct room type but smaller in size or farther from the elevator). If you’re someone who cares about details such as having your room on the best floors, call to confirm before booking.
Does Expedia Give Refunds for Hotel Cancelations?
It depends on what options you decide to choose while booking. If you choose the fully refundable option, you can cancel your stay up to 48 hours before the date of your arrival. In this case, you will get a full refund.
You can also choose a non-refundable hotel booking. In that case, some hotels may allow you to cancel a booking for free up to a particular time (for example, a month before the check-in date), while others might only have a non-refundable option. Always carefully check what the cancellation policy is for a particular booking.
Is It Easy to Cancel with Expedia?
You can cancel any Expedia hotel reservation within a few seconds. Check if you are still in the grace period that allows you free cancellation. Remember that, in some cases, cancelation fees may apply.
What Makes Expedia Different from Other Booking Sites?
Expedia is one of the most popular holiday booking websites. What distinguishes it from the other platforms is the easy booking of package holidays. Because of that, it is a great choice for people who want to have all aspects of their trip sorted in an easy way.
Expedia also has the option to pay for their services with Bitcoin, which isn’t an option on most holiday booking websites.
What is the main difference between booking.com and Expedia?
While both companies are similar, Expedia could be called a digital travel agency. You can easily book your holiday in a bundle, without worrying about finding a hotel with good value after booking your flights, and vice versa.
On booking.com, you can add flights, car rental, and other perks but separately, not as a bundle. The only bundle option is flight+hotel.
What is the difference between Airbnb and Expedia?
On Airbnb, you can book more alternative lodgings outside of the traditional hotel channel.
Expedia has a bigger choice of hotels and various accommodations, however, if you search for unique accommodations, such as sleeping in a cave or in a tree house, Airbnb might be a better option.
Airbnb doesn’t offer a package holiday option. You can only book accommodation and experiences (separately).
Is Expedia Free to Use?
Yes, you can search for your perfect getaway and holidays without paying extra or buying any type of subscription.
Why Does Expedia Charge $1?
The $1 is a pre-authorization charge. It can sometimes appear on your card when the platform checks if you have enough money to cover the booking. It can also appear if the order failed, was canceled, or was rejected.
Is Expedia Cheaper on the App?
According to information on the Expedia official website, while booking a stay through their app, you can save up to 25% on selected hotels.