Accommodation is very much an essential and major part of the cost of travel and there are varying levels of comfort which normally equate to cost, so pre trip searching for the best deal can take up your time.

Having been a traveller for many years, I can honestly say that there is no one site that will cover all your needs as trips vary from long weekends to travelling between cites only spending a couple of nights in each to an extended stay in one place.

Main factors that should be taken into consideration are location, whether its relevant to how your travelling, Air, Train or Car, or distance to the sports venue or near mass transit options for getting to and from the sports venue and how many in the group.

If your only visiting for a weekend, you may be on the side of economy, and a bit more luxury for longer stays.

You may be a Loyalty Points hound and only stay with your preferred hotel chain or make your reservations via the hotel booking sites.

Accommodation search can be split into 4 groups:

Hotels Own Website
Online Marketplace
Online Travel Agency
Online Search and Metasearch Engine

I have used most options when visiting North America and will list them with a brief general overview, for more city specific information about a city, please see the team page:

Hotels Own Website

If you have elite status with a hotel group, it would make sense to book through their website.

Being an elite member normally means that you will receive offers periodically as well as receive perks like free room upgrades, free breakfast or free Wi-fi.

Booking directly with the hotel can earn you a better deal in terms of room rates or discounts than going through a third-party website.

If you prefer to stay at a particular brand of hotels, you can earn loyalty points that you can then use for further bookings, upgrades or convert to points in partner promotions like airmiles. An example, I have a Hilton Honours Reward account and I have linked it to Lyft in the US and if I take a ride using Lyft, I get points in my Hilton Honours Reward Account which I then exchange for Airmiles.

The main Hotel Groups:


Online Marketplace

An online marketplace allows people to rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests. The Online Marketplace acts as a broker between the host and the guest and charges a commission from each booking, therefore each place listed is owned by an individual or business.


Prior to Covid, I used Airbnb a few times as the costs were cheaper than traditional hotels, but since Covid, I find that they are comparable, so other factors come into play like location. I assume that hosts that invested in a property solely for Airbnb decided to sell up when travel was greatly restricted.

I’ve never had an issue with a booking that I have stayed at, however, if you plan ahead for something like the Superbowl or a major event crops up in the city that your booked in, a host may ask you to cancel with some spurious reason about the place not being available, I’ve always refused to cancel, thus force them to cancel which means that they cant put the place up again for rent on Airbnb for the dates that the booking was for. I had 3 consecutive bookings cancelled for the Superbowl in Atlanta, all because they realised they could get more for their place. That said, that was a one off event. Hopefully my booking for the Superbowl in Vegas in 2024 will be honoured!

A majority of my stays at Airbnb involved minimum contact with the host and was very much keypad orientated, but occasionally, I’ve been met by the host and given a tour as well as hints and tips on what to do in the area, which I found useful.

I normally look at Airbnb when I’m travelling with friends


In the past year, I’ve discovered a company called Sonder. I would describe it as a cross between Airbnb and a hotel. You get the apartment type space of an Airbnb but they will operate a whole building or floor of a building.

Sometimes with parking and so far, all have had free luggage storage, which i always find useful.

Sonder is a hospitality company that offers short-term rentals of apartments and hotel rooms The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Sonder operates in over 35 cities worldwide and has over 12,000 spaces available for rent. The company aims to provide a better way to stay by offering high-quality accommodations with hotel-like amenities at an affordable price.

I discovered them via a Hotels booking site, and once i was booked, looked into them a little more and discovered that you can better rates booking with them direct.

Its the option I look at for longer stays in North America.


VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals by Owner. It is an online vacation rental platform that allows property owners to list their homes for rent and travellers to book them. The website offers a wide range of accommodation options, including villas, apartments, cottages, and more in over 190 countries. VRBO is similar to other vacation rental websites such as Airbnb and Sonder but differs in that it only lists entire homes for rent. VRBO is owned by the Expedia Group

I’ve not booked with VRBO before as i considered it to be more suitable for families or groups, especially when viewing their adverts, however, when researching for my website, I found some well priced stays in good locations for an upcoming trip, so may be making my 1st booking with them in the near future.

Online Travel Agencies

An Online Travel Agency is the link between you and a hotel, airline, car hire, etc. They will enable you to both search and book some or all of your trip. is an online travel agency that allows you to book hotels, apartments, vacation rentals, and other types of accommodations all over the world. offers a wide variety of accommodation options, including hotels, apartments, vacation rentals, and more. You can use the website to search for accommodations based on location, price range, star rating, and amenities. The website also offers customer reviews and ratings to help you make an informed decision about where to stay. Additionally, offers a price match guarantee that ensures you get the best deal possible on your booking. does have a loyalty programme called Genius Rewards and one you progress up a level, you enjoy a lifetime of discounts and travel rewards at hundreds of thousands of properties worldwide at that level.

As well as hotels, you can book Flights, Car Rentals and attractions via their site.

It a site I use for short stays and multi city stays.


Expedia is an online travel agency where you can book hotel reservations, Airline Tickets,
car rentals, cruise ships, things to do and vacation packages. It is the one-stop shop for travel, so the filters are visible and set out quite well so you can easily choose the elements of the trip your after.

Expedia also has its own rewards program and if you sign up, will send member deals to you.

Soon you’ll be able to sign in and book with one account across Expedia,, and VRBO. is an online travel agency that allows you to book hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals all over the world. It lists over 325,000 hotels in approximately 19,000 locations. Its inventory includes hotels, B&Bs, and some condos. offers a wide variety of accommodation options, member pricing, so be sure to join and log in whilst searching, and a loyalty program that rewards you for your bookings.

You can use to search for hotels based on location, price range, star rating, and amenities. The website also offers customer reviews and ratings to help you make an informed decision about where to stay.

Additionally, offers a price match guarantee that ensures you get the best deal possible on your booking.

Its normally my 1st port of call for gauging the price and availability of the place I intend to visit.

Due to its reach and popularity, most hotel companies will list their room inventory on the site, also, if you belong to reward club or have a credit card that does offers, you may find that you can get a discount code to use on the site.

Over the years, I’ve booked many stays through and not had any issues. I mostly use them for trips that I have a lot of 1-2 night stays between city’s.


With so many companies in the market for your travel business, Priceline has an interesting hook with their Express Deals and Pricebreakers.

Priceline Express deals offer deep discounts and are kept secret until the booking is complete. These are prepaid, non-refundable, and non-transferable bookings. So really only good for when your plans are definite.

Priceline Express Deals also have a generous best-price guarantee than standard bookings. When booking a hotel room through Priceline, you will normally receive a refund of the price difference if you find a better price within 24 hours of booking, but with an Express Deal, if you find a better price anytime up to midnight before you travel, you will get a 200% refund of the price difference.

If Express Deals are a bit too much of a risk for you, check out Pricebreakers which will give you more certainty. Pricebreakers will show you 3 hotel options, so whilst you will not know which one you will be staying in, it will be 1 of the 3 hotels shown.

Priceline has a multi level loyalty program called Priceline VIP. This free program offers perks like best price guarantees, hotel discounts, and Express Deal coupons.

Online Search and Metasearch Engine

With the advent of different online booking sites, there will inevitably be the comparison site to compare them!


Kayak searches for hotel deals on hundreds of hotel comparison sites to help you find cheap hotels, holiday lettings, bed and breakfasts, motels, inns, resorts and more. Kayak also provides a variety of tools and filters to help users plan their trips such as flight status updates, airport information, and travel guides. Kayak doesn’t always show the price on the hotel’s own website. It is owned and operated by Booking Holdings.

Search Engines

Search Engines also have their own version of a comparison site, which includes Google Hotels and Bing Travel to name a couple, you only need to use the search term hotel and place name to access your preferred browsers comparison site.


There is a good chance that even if you have started your search on any of the other sites, you may well access Tripadvisor to check the reviews of the hotel your looking at and to check out other travellers photos.

You will probably notice that along with all the hotel and review information, there is a list of sites and prices for that hotel. This should give you a good indication of the pricing.

You can click on the price which will take you to the site to complete your booking.


With the advent of different online booking sites, there will inevitably be the comparison site to compare them!

Trivago is a German technology company that operates as a hotel search engine that allows users to compare hotel prices from numerous hotels and booking websites, it is one of the world’s leading hotel search engines and offers services in over 190 countries around the world.

Trivago compares and displays different offers from many booking sites, and they pay Trivago a fee if a user clicks on their specific deal.

In Summary

Experience has shown me that there is no pattern or website that consistently offers the lowest prices, as it always varies, and all the sites are probably checking each others prices so it will be a sites unique selling practice or a short term offer that may produce the best price, so its worth signing up to the sites newsletters.

Where prices are similar, its options like flexible cancellation policies or ones that earn points or perks in a loyalty program that may influence your decision.

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