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I’ve always been of the opinion that booking directly with a hotel is the only way to guarantee booking the lowest price. Sure, third-party accommodation websites are fantastic for initial research and review; and often you’ll even find a cheaper deal or one-time exclusive rate. However it will often be cheaper to book directly through the hotel as they save the commission they would have otherwise had to pay the third party.

Trade secret from 3 years of working in hotel reservations.

However a groundbreaking new website is revolutionizing the concept of a third-party website and guaranteeing not only cheaper prices than their competitors, but cheaper prices than those offered by the hotels themselves. Imagine my surprise!

Launched last fall, TravelPony is the now the only way to guarantee booking the lowest price on your accommodation, and have grown so fast they now offer huge savings on 20,000 hotels in fabulous destinations all over the world. They offer savings of up to 60% more than the big travel sites like Orbitz and Expedia.

As a startup company, they don’t yet have a lot of accommodation options for smaller, less popular cities. However it’s the fastest growing travel website and I’m excited to see it catapult to world domination status!

How do they do it?

 

It’s a simple concept, but it’s never been done before. The billions of dollars their competitors spend in advertising and marketing every year, TravelPony instead uses to lower the prices of their hotels. Having used up their advertising budget on offering cheaper hotel rooms they rely on the best form of advertising money can buy – word of mouth. They trust that their deals are so good, you’ll want to tell your friends.

The best money advertising can buy.

The best money advertising can buy.

And you’re rewarded for referring your friends. If you share TravelPony.com on your Facebook wall after signing up, each friend who creates an account recieves a $35 credit. Once they stay in their hotel YOU get a $25 credit.

What sets this website apart from others is the social aspect of it. (1) You sign up via Facebook (however you can also use your normal email). (2) Search for a hotel. (3) Look and book! TravelPony takes the extra initiative to show customers a comparison on every price it can find for the same hotel room on it’s competitor websites. (4) Share.

Users must create an account before browsing for hotels, but don’t let the facebook sign up discourage you. It’s unobtrusive, and while they encourage you at every turn to share the good deal you found, it’s completely optional.

Case Study 1: Holiday Inn Old Sydney

 

Having stayed here in 2012 on a romantic weekend getaway to Sydney, Mike and I know how good this hotel is. And I can promise you we didn’t get it for $189 per night. There’s a gorgeous rooftop pool and hottub which offers spectacular views out over Sydney Harbour – wish I was back there now!

The hotel website advertises a “best price guarantee”. I guess someone better call them out for false advertising!

TravelPony

TravelPony price.

The

Directly on the hotel website. “Best Price Guarantee”? Myth Busted!

Case Study 2: Edison Hotel, New York City

TravelPony wins again. Once again, the hotel has a “best price guarantee” advertised.

TravelPony

TravelPony.

 

Hote

Booking directly with the hotel.

So here is the secret for how to save huge on hotels. TravelPony.com.

 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    7 Comments

  1. Sounds interesting. I’m intrigued as to how this price guarantee works. Companies such as Accor, Hilton etc offer a guarantee that the cheapest price to find a hotel room at their hotels is directly via their website otherwise they’ll refund the difference. It will be interesting to experiment and compare the two.

    • I would be interested in that as well – I’ve always wondered but never actually investigated. Interesting to see how it would work when I’m assuming it’s TravelPony who’s lowering the hotel rates and making up the difference from what would have been their advertising budget.

      Definitely makes for a more competitive market that’s for sure!

    • Definitely give it a shot; worst thing that can come out of it is an awesome deal :D!

  2. You’re right! I agree with you on the part where third-party website can guarantee you cheaper prices offered directly at the hotels. I frequently travel on plane and I do booking at travel sites. I can get bargains especially if they offer travel packages enclosed with cheaper airfare and big discount for hotel accommodation .

  3. Following the above article, I have checked and surpising Pony is far more expansive than others channels. In fact Pony is pretending on their website to be 52UDS cheaper than Orbitz (online travel agency) for Hotel President Wilson Geneva on December 29th for 1 night while in fact they are 105USD more expensive. Links where you may check yourself are below:

    Pony: http://www.travelpony.com/hotel/hotel-president-wilson-geneva-switzerland?in=2014-12-29&out=2014-12-30&num_rooms=1&r1a=2&r1m=0#booking_section

    Orbitz: https://www.orbitz.com/book/bookingpath?execution=e1s1

    • Definitely write to them then if this is the case – unfortunately looks like the link you’ve placed to Orbitz is broken so I personally couldn’t find the discrepancy you mention, but if they’re actually more expensive in this instance, I would definitely reach out and let them know :)

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