Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which provide small compensation for FidisTravel at no extra cost to you if you decide to purchase/book something
One of the best ways to find great deals on hotels is by using a price comparison website. Trivago is a well-known site that shows you results from all over the world, making it easier for you to choose the best hotel in the area you want to stay in. Let’s take a look into some advantages and disadvantages of Trivago so you can see if it’s a good fit for your needs.
Trivago is a great choice for travelers who want to compare accommodations in various price ranges. It has the largest selection of accommodation available among hotel metasearch websites and can quickly gather results for hotels in the city or area you search for, making it easy to compare them. When it comes to booking, however, you’ll be forwarded to the website the information has come from (like Booking.com or Expedia), making the process slower than with some other companies.
Pros and Cons
- Quick and easy to use.
- Compares deals from booking websites and hotels, giving you a huge selection.
- Exclusive deals.
- Map of the area which provides prices so you can choose where in the city you want to be.
- Free to use.
- Doesn’t offer a rewards program like some other websites (like Hotels.com or Priceline).
- Booking needs to be done on another site.
- Not all websites advertised on Trivago are stable or reachable.
What is Trivago and How Does it Work?
Trivago is a website that searches through hotel and booking websites to find the best deals for you. You just need to choose a destination, your travel dates, and the number of guests and rooms. It then compiles a large list that gives you key points that you will want to know about the accommodation. They are:
- Hotel name
- Star rating
- Distance to notable landmark
- User rating
- Price per night and best deal for the complete stay
- Notes (free breakfast, free cancellation,…)
Besides the list, which appears on the left side of the webpage, is a map of the area you’re searching for. This shows the best price for each hotel by location, giving you a clearer idea of where you can stay. You can click on the price box and the hotel will be highlighted on the list.
If you want to restrict the search, there are many advanced filters at the top of the page. You can set a maximum and minimum price, property type (hotel or house/apartment), choose from different guest ratings, and the distance to notable locations or attractions. There is another list of filters which includes:
- Hotel class
- Free cancellation
- Family friendly
- Hot tub
- Excellent value
- Free breakfast
- Air conditioning
- Pay at the property
- Wheelchair accessible
Once you’ve found a place you’re interested in, you can click on it and find more details. There’s an overview, an info section about the accommodation, more photos, reviews, and the best deals available on different booking websites.
Here is where you’ll find one of the disadvantages of Trivago. The list of deals will lead you to the individual websites if you want to book your stay. It can take a while to direct you to the new webpage, and you’ll have to go over all the details there. While not a huge setback, it makes the process a bit slower.
Aside from the main search feature, there are also suggestions on the Top Cities and Top Destinations around the world. They are usually aimed at what you have searched for previously. For example, if you looked up accommodation in Dublin, you will probably be suggested hotels in other cities in Ireland or nearby countries like the UK.
How is Trivago Different from Other Travel Websites?
A good way to understand how Trivago works is by knowing what it does and doesn’t do when compared to other travel websites. A good example is Expedia. This website works as a kind of online travel agency, allowing you to book not only hotels, but cruises, car rentals, airline tickets, and more. Trivago only focuses on hotel bookings and other forms of accommodation.
One fact that can cause confusion between Trivago and Expedia is that they are owned by the same company, Expedia Group. But while Expedia (the service) gives you options to organize your whole trip, Trivago focuses solely on accommodation bookings.
What’s interesting is that, despite belonging to Expedia Group, Trivago advertises hotels and deals from numerous other websites that aren’t owned by this company, including its competitors. This makes the selection very large, as the website doesn’t only focus on Expedia Group companies. So, no matter which company appears on Trivago, you’ll be sure to find the best deal.
One service that is more similar to how Trivago functions is Google Flights. You just set your departure and arrival airports and the dates you want to travel on, and Google Flights compiles a list of all the possibilities. Once you’re ready to book, you will be guided to the airline. The Flights website doesn’t handle any transactions, just like Trivago.
If you’re looking for alternatives to Trivago (be it OTA or metasearch engine), check our recommendations at the best hotel booking sites.
Why Use Trivago Instead of Going Directly to a Booking Website?
As mentioned above, Trivago can’t be used for booking a room. You will be directed to the booking website you choose for the best deal. So why use Trivago at all?
The main advantage of using Trivago is that it gets thousands of results from most of the leading booking websites, so your list will be far more complete than if you just used these individual sites.
For example, Hotel X is on Booking.com but not on Priceline. And Hotel Y is on Priceline but not Booking.com. The advantage is that they will both show up on Trivago.
Another bonus is the possibility of finding the best deal for the same hotel. For example, if Hotel A costs $100 per night on Booking.com but $120 on Priceline, by checking Trivago you’ll see this difference. If you went straight to Priceline, you would spend more than necessary. When a hotel is on even more booking websites, your savings can become higher.
Are There Any Additional Costs to Use Trivago?
Using Trivago doesn’t have any cost for people who want to book a hotel room. The platform shows you the results and then guides you to the associated booking website. Trivago receives a commission when you book through the sites that advertise there, so you don’t pay them anything.
However, this doesn’t mean that the price you see on Trivago is exactly what you will spend. Additional costs can appear as you go through the booking process. This doesn’t just apply to amenities that you want in your hotel. Local taxes and the booking site’s own fees will be added on before you finish reserving a room.
The prices shown on Trivago are set to per room per night. Even if you want to stay for a week, you will be given the nightly cost. However, the total price is also available with any deals added on. The hotel you want to stay in might offer you a discount for a certain number of nights booked. It’s important to keep an eye on both numbers.
All of these prices are determined by the hotels and booking websites, not Trivago. This platform only gathers information on available rooms in the area you search for and displays it so that you can decide on where you want to stay. This is why you need to also pay attention to how much the price is when you are directed to the booking website. It might be slightly different to what is stated on Trivago.
This can happen as the booking websites are always changing their prices depending on availability and other factors. Although Trivago gets the pricing information from the booking site, it may take a while for it to be passed on after changes occur.
Is Trivago Responsible for Your Booking?
Trivago tries to maintain some distance by directing its traffic to booking websites. When you’re ready to book a room, you will be brought to the respective webpage to make the deal. So, all the responsibility for the booking is with the other site (for example, Hotels.com or Expedia) and the hotel that you choose.
It is important to keep this in mind if you want to, for example:
- Make a booking.
- Proceed with a payment.
- Amend or cancel your booking.
- Make a complaint (specifically regarding the booking website or the hotel. Trivago do accept complaints about their own service).
The same goes for contacting the hotel or booking website for any other queries. Trivago always suggests getting onto these sites directly, as the transaction is never processed by this platform. Having said that, Trivago will give you some assistance in contacting booking websites. They have a support article where you can search for the site you booked through and the possibility to be put in touch with customer support if you’re having trouble finding it.
So in essence:
- You can contact and complain to Trivago via their help section but they can only offer very limited help. You have to communicate with the site where you booked to get actual results.
- You can’t cancel a reservation via Trivago, you have to go directly to where you booked your room
- Trivago has limited power to resolve problems if you have an issue with the hotel they referred you to.
Minimizing Undesirable Problems from Booking via Trivago
Trivago openly states in many parts of their website that they only perform a metasearch for accommodation and then present the results. This works well until a fraudulent or inexistent website pops up.
Trivago claims that it runs a verification process for selecting the websites they advertise, but fraudulent pages have taken advantage of the platform’s users, which has led to the frustration of some after their details were used for the wrong means. These transactions did happen off Trivago, but the accommodation was included in their list of results.
You don’t need to be thrown off by this, though. These cases are rare and can be easily avoided by sticking to well-known and well-regarded booking sites like Priceline and Hotels.com.
How Can I Leave a Review for a Hotel I Found on Trivago?
One of the key points for finding a hotel is by reviews. Trivago has ratings included on each search result. You can even filter by rating so you can guarantee only the best will show up in your results.
When it’s time to leave your own rating and review for other users to see, you’ll need to do it through the site you used to book the room, not Trivago. This is because these reviews come from these websites and are incorporated into Trivago’s search results. Once again, it’s best to only think of Trivago as a website that collects and presents information. They don’t process any details from the hotels themselves.
Are There Any Rewards for Using Trivago?
There are various booking websites that offer rewards for using their service. For example, Priceline will give you special deals and coupons on bookings of hotels, cars, and experiences the more you use their services. Trivago, unfortunately, doesn’t have this kind of program.
This makes sense seeing as the bookings aren’t actually processed through Trivago, as opposed to a site like Priceline, which deals directly with clients looking for accommodation. Having said that, a rewards program could bring customers back more regularly to the site, boosting their income from the hotels they promote.
You can sign up for a Trivago account, which gives you a few advantages. When you search for hotels, they will each have a heart icon. This is the Favorite button. By clicking it, you add the hotel to your list of favorites, making it easier to come back to later or to share with someone else.
You can also subscribe to their newsletter. You can be regularly updated on exclusive deals that you won’t find anywhere else.
Like its competitors, Trivago has plenty of pros and cons regarding how it works. By being one of the biggest hotel metasearch companies in the world, it has millions of hotels to choose from around the globe, giving you a great chance of finding what you’re looking for. By using the simple search tools, you can find accommodation for your trip quickly.
You won’t be dealing directly with Trivago though. All transactions are processed through booking sites, which can make the process slower and you might come across fake websites. Overall, it’s a simple website that offers a simple service. If you keep that in mind, you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for from Trivago.