I’m all about saving a buck or hundred when booking a hotel. Previously I’ve advised calling the hotel directly to book rather than doing so online through a third party site that promises to give you a “discount.” Every time I’ve done it, I’ve saved money over the website.
But this time I’m advising something completely different. This time I’m advising that if you want to book hotels for cheap, you head on over to Travel Pony*.
Travel Pony is a website that does what all those other sites promise to do: give you the cheapest rate on hotels on the web. When you are browsing your options, they show you the price that other sites are offering, and then tell you how much of a discount they will offer you. I’ve seen anywhere between 10%-45%. 45%. That’s saving almost half on your hospitality bill.
Best Ways to Book Hotels for Cheap Using Travel Pony
1. Deeper Discounts on Bigger Cities
The above screenshot is what the deals for Paris look like for a trip in November (including a weekend stay.) Booking on other sites, you’d pay about $318 each night for the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile. With Travel Pony’s 45% discount, you’d only be paying $174.90. That’s a discount of $143.10 per night. There are other big discounts on cheaper hotels as you can see.
Paris is a major destination city, so I was interested to see how my tertiary-sized hometown did. There were smaller discounts, and I think this applies across the board right now from my research. The smaller the city, the smaller the savings. But the savings is still totally worth it, even if it’s not at the insane 45% rate. Check out the standard options for Pittsburgh:
While 10% off Courtyard Pittsburgh North/Cranberry may only be $14.20 per night, that’s still $14.20 you would have been paying on other sites. And if you stay for four nights, that a total of $56.80 you’re keeping in your wallet.
The special savings at checkout, as shown for Doubletree, is a really steep discount that they don’t advertise till checkout. Unlike other sites, they show you the rate right before checkout after you’ve applied the appropriate promo code, so there’s time to back out if you don’t like the price. And you actually know which hotel you’ll be staying at, so no mystery surprises just for low rates. Without revealing exact numbers on their secret rate, I can tell you that it’s really, really good on the Doubletree right now. You can go check it out for yourself*, if you’d like.
Here are the upscale options in Pittsburgh for that same weekend:
The Omni William Penn is a fancy schmancy hotel. There are a lot of proms, expensive weddings, and other grand events there regularly. 20% off would give you a rate of $252.80/night, as opposed to the $316/night offered on other sites.
2. Book a Bit Ahead of Time
I picked travel dates in November to show you how things look a couple of months ahead of time. When you start getting closer to your travel date, the best deals start to get swooped up. We were looking to book a mini-weekend getaway to a relatively remote part of our state. I hemmed and hawed over the selection of hotel, since we had a few options. When we finally decided on our dates and where we wanted to stay a couple of days later, all of our options were gone. This was a pretty last minute trip. Moral of the story: if you’re booking close to your travel date and see a good deal, grab it up. It may not be around for long.
When you’re booking a bit further out, you have a little more time to research and make your decision.
How do they do it?
So how do they offer the best deals? Easy. They don’t spend too much money on advertising. While other sites are running TV ads, Travel Pony relies more on social media. There are several options when you check out; you can either promote through LinkedIn, a tweet, a Facebook post, or click the “Pony Promise” box, which is basically you making a promise to tell your friends on your Scout’s Honor.
How to Use Travel Pony (Psst…Get a $35 hotel credit for free!)
In order to access Travel Pony’s deals, you have to set up a free account. Once you’re in, you just select your city and travel dates, and everything will look like what I showed you above. You click “Book It,” which will bring you to a page with more hotel details, including the rates other sites are currently charging for the same hotel on the same night, and give you the appropriate promo code to use. Click “Book It” again, apply the promo code, and click on which way you’d like to share. Then all you have to do is check out! It’s a pretty straightforward process, and really easy-to-use site.
A special bonus for Femme Frugality readers…when you sign up through this link,* you get a $35 credit to spend on purchases through Travel Pony! That’s on top of the steep discounts. Which means you could get one of those nights at that fancy hotel in Paris for $108.10. Or wherever your wanderlust happens to take you. Tell all your friends!
Have you ever used Travel Pony in the past? Or seen such crazy steep discounts when you’ve tried to book hotels for cheap??