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This post will tell you how to access wholesale travel rates usually reserved for travel agents, at up to 70% off. Spoiler: Genie Traveler.

The idea that the internet is awash with travel deals could easily be one of the greatest myths of our time (right next to drop bears, and that Walt Disney invented Mickey Mouse. I know you’re questioning me on that one, so to set the record straight, it was Ub Iwerks).

Sure, there are exceptions, but once you realize that there are only two companies who control the industry, it becomes clear that the travel deals we get giddy about aren’t really true deals. They’re very clever marketing.

What am I talking about?

The Priceline / Expedia Monopoly

There are two companies who monopolize the travel industry; Expedia and Priceline. Whether you go to book hotels, flights, or car rentals, most people these days will cross check prices across a number of different third party websites; Booking.com, Kayak, Agoda; but all three are owned by Priceline. As are Cheapflights, Rentalcars.com, and Momondo.

Expedia seems to own the other half of the market, with a global network of brands which includes Expedia, Hotwire, Trivago, Wotif, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, and HomeAway. What this means is that they control the market and force their suppliers (the actual hotels, car rentals, and tour companies) to maintain rate parity and not undercut them.

But that doesn’t mean that cheaper rates aren’t available. They’re just not available to you (until now). There’s a huge difference between wholesale travel rates and the retail markup that we as everyday travelers pay. Wholesale rates are often up to 70% cheaper. Want access? Here’s how!

Travel Just Got Even Cheaper!! Save 70% on Your Travel This Year by Booking at Wholesale Prices

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What is a Wholesale Rate?

A wholesale rate is the cost of something sold by a wholesaler. This is a person or company that sells goods and services in large quantities at low prices, typically to retailers. They negotiate incredibly discounted rates with companies like hotels, airlines, and tours, with the ability to put down tens of thousands of dollars and buy in bulk.

These wholesalers then sell their travel rates to a retailer (like Priceline and Expedia), and will usually charge a small markup. The retailer then increases the price, sometimes at up to a 70% more. And with companies like Priceline and Expedia having monopolized online travel agencies (OTAs), they can set retail rates at whatever they feel like.

Often the wholesaler has received such a huge discount that companies like Priceline and Expedia can add a huge mark up, and still come out cheaper than if you were to book directly with a tour company or hotel (which is quite understandably frustrating hotels).

Who Gets Wholesale Rates?

Let’s be honest – wholesale rates were never meant for the average consumer. Once upon a time wholesale rates were bought by travel agents, who would mark up the cost of a vacation at their discretion, for travelers who were booking offline.

But then the internet came along and word started getting out about these deals which were not offered to the public. Deals that were only available to big corporations who were able to pay tens of thousands of dollars. These corporations are called Closed User Groups (CUGs), and they have a secret marketplace where travel agents and OTAs can access wholesale rates.

But one CUG has recently opened their doors to the public, making the secret marketplace accessible to everyone, and cutting out the retail markup. Everyday travelers can now use Genie Traveler to book travel at wholesale rates. This obviously opens up a whole new realm of incredible travel opportunities.

A CUG is a company, organization or membership group that requires a secure gateway to access the discounted rates they use. 

Computer laptop Genie Traveler

Genie Traveler Saves You 70%

Genie Traveler is a CUG who has unravelled the travel industry’s dirty little secret to save you up to 70% on your travel costs. They’ve now made wholesale rates available to everyone, and not just the elite.

Up until now 20% of the travel industry has been able to book for up to 70% less than the prices the rest of us have to pay. But Genie Traveler is disrupting this status quo, by providing you with the same access to travel deals that large corporations pay $50,000 – $250,000 to get.

Why? The company is a group of travelers who want to beat the travel industry at their own game. They don’t believe in paying retail when there’s the possibility to travel the world for up to 70% less.

Obviously they need to make money too, but instead of profiting off an insane markup, access to their marketplace is via subscription; starting from $3.99 a month. Which is genius, because it’s affordable for the everyday traveler, who saves a ridiculous amount of money in the long run, but adds up to quite substantial profits when thousands of travelers start signing on!

Confirming That This is Legit

I’m obviously not going to bang on for 1,000 + words if I haven’t done my own research to confirm that this is 100% legit. The below are some screenshots of price comparisons I ran from flights and hotels. Genie Traveler vs the OTAs and direct websites.

It’s important to note that the savings on domestic flights is almost negligible, and usually on par with other third party booking sites. Where you save your money is on international fares, and hotels which have a higher profit margin. For instance, Genie Traveler says not to expect savings on domestic economy fares. However international coach / economy flights will see an average of $50 – $100 savings per flight, with savings of $1,000 + on international business / first class fares.

Flight Savings with Genie Traveler

Genie Traveler: $544.90 for Sydney – Singapore Return

British Airways: $669.56 for Sydney – Singapore Return

Hotel Savings with Genie Traveler

Genie Traveler: $152.49 for Park Regis Singapore

 Trivago / Booking.com: $219 for Park Regis Singapore

Why Sign Up?

Honestly, why not! There’s no longer a need for you to pay retail like everyone else. And they offer a free trial (which I’m currently signed up for) on their annual plans so there’s absolutely no risk to you.

With subscriptions starting at as little as $3.99 a month, access to wholesale rates means you’re still saving.  That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee for unlimited access to their travel products. Honestly, it’s kind of a no-brainer.

When you sign up, use the discount code MEGAN20 for a 20% discount on your membership for the first year. 

Imagine being able to travel like your richer friends do but at a fraction of the price. Perhaps you just want to add in a weekend getaway with a loved one. Or maybe you’re interested in upgrading to a 5 star hotel but paying less than you would at a 3 star hotel.

Genie Traveler applies their Best Rate Guarantee to over 800,000 hotels and 15,000 destinations worldwide, and claim they can’t be beaten (I can’t disprove them). 130+ million people have been successfully using this technology for over 20 years behind closed doors – and now you can too.

Why pay retail rates like everyone else when you don’t have to? Click to start free trial now.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

Disclosure: Post completed in collaboration with Genie Traveler. As always, all opinions are our own. 

    35 Comments

  1. Very interested. ….

  2. Very interested special discount mapping20

    • Hi Judy 🙂 You can click through to Genie Traveler at this link: http://bit.ly/MeganGenieTraveler, and click “View Packages”.

      When you hit “sign up now” on the package you would like to trial, there will be a field asking for a discount code. Enter mapping20 and hit “Apply”. You get a 7 day free trial for the annual membership, and after that trial ends your discount will be applied.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy travels!

  3. 3 bucks is nothing – thanks for the heads up.

    • You’re welcome … Happy travels 🙂

  4. I’ve actually always wondered how travel agents could always see cheaper rates – they seem to tap away at their computer and get awesome deals which I can never find on my own. Will give it a go.

    • Annoying isn’t it! Now you can 🙂 (find them on your own). Hope you find some fab travel deals!

  5. Until you actually try to use the booking and there is no record.

    • Hi Jim, we have had absolutely no issue using their platform, and wouldn’t get behind a company we can’t vouch for. If you’ve run into issues they have a fabulous support team who can help by emailing support@GenieTraveler.com – Hope whatever happened gets sorted out for you 🙂

  6. Actually surprised that they’re the first one. Would’ve totally thought someone would have come up with the idea a while ago now. Clever – sounds like everyone wins. Except maybe Expedia, but really who cares about them right!!!

    • Absolutely, it’s such a clever approach, they’re really onto something 🙂

  7. thanks for the special discount. So you’re going to Singapore?

    • Yes, we’re looking forward to it 🙂 One of our favorite cities in Asia.

  8. I want to travel for free

    • Hi Lori, there are many different ways you can cut down on the cost of travel, like couchsurfing for free accommodation, or hitch-hiking if you want to cut down on your transport costs. But in terms of international flights, you do have to front some costs, and this is the cheapest you’re going to get 🙂

  9. Flipped & signed up!

    • Fabulous, happy travels Vicky! Appreciate the Flipboard share 🙂

  10. Impressive Meg. We do so much house sitting to save dough on traveling. Toss in budget airlines – thanks Air Asia – and we are set. 70% off prices doing the wholesale route plum makes sense. Thanks for the rocking share.

    • Thanks Ryan, glad we could introduce you to Genie Traveler 🙂 House sitting must definitely save you a lot on accom! But if you can get 70% off your flights why not right 🙂

      Happy travels!

  11. Has anyone tried this? I don’t see any reviews.

    • Hi Michelle, I believe they have only just launched, which would be the reason for the lack of reviews. We’ve done this review from our personal use of the platform, but I’ve shot their team an email to see if they can point me in the direction of any third party websites which have more user reviews for you. Will keep you updated 🙂

    • This is Justin from Genie Traveler. Firstly, thanks for the great write up here.

      Michelle – in answer to your question, as Megan says, we are pretty new so you won’t find many independent reviews out there (yet). Don’t worry though, they’re coming.

      We have a few reviews on our website but but I’m sure you’d like to read something more independent.

      We offer a 7 day free trial so this is absolutely risk free for you. You have nothing to lose by signing up and checking it out for yourself. If you don’t feel it’s valuable then just cancel before the 7 days are up – easy.

      I hope that helps.

  12. I was going to get trial but then I saws they are asking me for Credit card details which is obviously very risky and not recommended. I wish they offer trial without getting CC.

    • Hi Shedi, yes, you will be required to enter CC details when you sign up – this is standard of most companies who offer free trials of their product these days. If you cancel before the 7 days are up you’re not charged.

      You’ll see in your browser that the Genie Traveler website is secure (and you can view their security certificate), so there is no risk to your information. Credit card payments are processed by Stripe – these are the guys that process payments for companies like Target, Under Armor, Lyft, Task Rabbit, Slack, DocuSign and even the Girl Scouts.

      It’s all very legitimate and above board. Let us know if you have any other questions 🙂

  13. Thanks for the post. I really enjoyed it and it seems very straightforward and practical.Your info is helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    • You’re welcome William, glad we could introduce you to Genie Traveler 🙂

  14. Could it be that GenieTravel is not too interesting for European travellers/trips from Europe? The difference was negligible (one or two euros cheaper or more expensive). Hotels were also the same price (or more expensive) than on Booking.com, for instance. Just curious to know where to find the deals! 🙂

    • Hi Saskia, thanks for sharing your results in running European searches. It could definitely be a case that there are higher discounts based on regions – the searches I ran were from Australia, the US, and in / around Asia, but I did notice that there were higher savings on longer / further flights, and on higher end hotels which charge more per night. For instance international flights were at a steeper discount vs domestic flights which were closer to the cost you would find on regular third party sites like booking or skyscanner. It could be that because Europe is so awash with budget airline options there isn’t much difference between the rates CUG’s get.

      I’ll shoot Justin at Genie Traveler an email and ask if he can share any insight (he’s the customer support contact). Will circle back to you after I hear back. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

    • This is Justin from Genie Traveler. Thanks for the comment Saskia.

      All prices are wholesale rates. Both hotels and airlines use dynamic pricing so rates vary a lot and it’s tough to talk specifics on them. Margins on flights are very small so the savings aren’t as large as hotels.The best savings are when airlines potentially have the best margins. This is normally on long haul flights or business/first class travel. If you’re looking at short legs then the savings we can offer on flights isn’t that great I’m afraid (but remember dynamic pricing and keep checking).

      Hotels on the other hand are different. I just did a search and found a saving of over 80% in Prague. We don’t normally talk about savings in excess of 70% as people think it’s too good to be true and don’t believe it!

      If you want a specific hotel in a specific city then we can maybe or maybe not help you get a deal (depending on current hotel occupancy and their dynamic pricing at the time). If you want a 3 star hotel in Paris (for example) but don’t mind which hotel it is then we’re definitely going to be able to offer great savings.

      I hope that clarifies things a bit better. Feel free to reach out directly to us at Genie Traveler if you have any further questions.

    • Thanks so much for your replies. For the record, I was searching for long haul to Indonesia and for hotels over there 🙂

  15. Signed up for a free trial and did several hours of searching and comparing and found Genie Traveler to be a total scam.

    It costs $50+ a year. My heart sank, the moment I logged onto the flight search page and saw what amounts to a big disclaimer that basically says you’re not going to get any discounts unless your travel circumstances are out of the ordinary. In short, it literally says there will be no discount on regular fares, and you’ll save a sliding scale the more you spend (on premium cabin seats)
    Screenshot: http://prntscr.com/ixcoas

    I couldn’t even find one flight that offered less than $1 discount. I searched 6 different flights to major routes in the US and compared it to the same search on Travelocity (on the same itinerary). 100% of the time, Travelocity was EXACTLY the same, and even significantly cheaper. Not once did Genie Traveler come up even a penny cheaper. Travelocity often offered tons more options which would result in savings of hundreds of dollars, for the same trip on different routes and airlines. To me, this completely defeats the purpose Genie Traveler advertises to be.
    Screenhshots: http://prntscr.com/ixcnbl
    http://prntscr.com/ixcnq5

    I did the same with hotels in major tourist destinations in the US, comparing again with Travelocity. Once again, Genie Traveler was playing games.

    First I pulled up a search for any hotel in
    Las Vegas, NV on Genie Traveler and it gave me a list of some great deals, all with “Hurry only # Rooms left!” messages. Screenshot: http://prntscr.com/ixcl3v

    Then compared the hotel on Travelocity. Travelocity reported EVERY hotel on the list in Genie Traveler as “SOLD OUT” for the week that I had specified. When I tried to book any hotel on Genie Traveler on it’s list that it gave me, it redirected to an error message that says “It looks like someone grabbed the last room at this rate. Please click return to property below to retry the failure with another room type, or you can try selecting another hotel nearby.”
    Screenshot: http://prntscr.com/ixclen

    Seeing staff on this page, responding to comments as customer service is just confirmation that Meg was paid to advertise this site, (which if you do a simple Google search is pretty much the case wherever you read about Genie Traveler.) I would be shocked if they didn’t provide the best possible searches for the screenshots or even provide the screenshots themselves.

    • Hi Thomas, thanks for sharing your feedback from using the platform. I’m sorry to hear you haven’t found value from it. Perhaps I can put an update into the post to clarify that the discount differs greatly from domestic vs international fares.

      If you’re only utilizing domestic flights within the United States (as it sounds like from your screenshots?), then yes, the subscription isn’t going to be of value for you. However our blog focuses on international travel, and most readers frequently book fares overseas. With the average of $50 – $100 savings on international economy, that’s then worthwhile. Obviously with more value if you’re traveling business or first.

      I will pass on your feedback about the hotel glitch, and hopefully they can look into rectifying this.

      Re your comment about being paid for this article, I have been very transparent about the fact that the review was in collaboration with Genie Traveler. There is a disclosure at the end of the post, and obviously a discount code which has been supplied specifically for my readers.

      The screenshots I have included are my own. We are based in Australia, hence the Sydney to Singapore search which features as my screenshot. The savings fits exactly within what they’ve promised. Before agreeing to collaborate with a company like Genie Traveler I complete my own research – I’m running this blog full time, so I’m not going to stake my reputation and lose the trust I’ve built based on promoting something if it’s a scam. I’m more than happy to say no to a collaboration opportunity to uphold the long term reputation of my website.

      I will definitely make an update though to make it more clear that it is more valuable to international travelers as opposed to use for domestic flights.

      Thanks for your feedback.

    • Hi Thomas,

      I’m very sorry that you didn’t have a good experience and weren’t able to find the deals you were after.

      We work by accessing wholesale rates. We don’t control these rates in any way whatsoever I’m afraid. Generally, where our customers are able to generate the biggest savings are in areas where the OTAs have the largest margins. This is where regular prices and wholesale prices differ the most and therefore there are the largest opportunities for huge savings.

      Flights tend to have small margins. In fact, I spoke with one of the largest airline ticketing companies in the world and they make just a few dollars on each domestic economy ticket. The only way they make any money is by selling huge volumes of tickets. The industry is very competitive and so the wholesale and retail rates hardly differ. If you need a deal on short haul economy flights then I’m afraid we often can’t save you much (if it all).

      However, if you travel long haul and/or business or first class then there are definitely savings to be had.

      While we do offer flight deals (unlikely on short haul economy as mentioned above) that can be quite a saving (as Megan illustrated in the example that she personally found herself) our biggest savings are on hotels.

      I note that you also had issues here. I took your comment to our tech guys who came back with this:

      “The engine searches thousands of different rates in a few seconds, sometimes when you find a rate and don’t grab it that minute it is booked by someone else and gone – Las Vegas can be very competitive. Remember, through this technology alone about 200 million people search for hotels.”

      I can totally see that you’d have had a bad experience and would love to make this up to you Thomas. We really believe that we have a great product and we’re adding to it and building it up along the way. If we can help to turn this around for you then please reach out to me directly and we’ll get this fixed.

  16. I gave this a trial for a couple days. Playing around with and comparing it, there are definitely some major savings to be had for higher end and international travelers. For travelers who prefer the lower end of hotels/hostels, the listings are far, far fewer than say “booking.com”, and as margins of course are less, prices are sometimes lower, sometimes not.

    As for airfares, I do think prices are very good on international fares. You can actually do better on kiwi and kayak. Yet as many people seem ignorant of, these latter two sites usually offers hacker fares so one may need to rebook luggage, make sure they have transit visas, and be worried about missing connections and losing airfare etc. Genie traveler seems out of that market so there is a trade off.

    As an international stingy digital nomad, I cancelled my trial membership. Yet I have recommended it to a couple friends who could greatly benefit from it. I think they will be successful after they realign their marketing to the appropriate market segment.

    • Hi Jim, thanks for the feedback and heads up on Kiwi and Kayak 🙂 Yes, there is absolutely more value in Genie Traveler for those who book higher priced hotels, and longer haul flights. I’ve made a couple of edits in my own review to make that clearer too. I agree that perhaps their marketing can be realigned to make that clear from the get go.

      Glad to hear that you’ve recommended it to friends who can find value 🙂 Happy travels!

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