Starting Wednesday, customers will no longer need to book their flight and hotel together to take advantage of discounted “bundled” rates on Expedia.
After purchasing a flight, Expedia customers will now see the “Expedia Add-On Advantage.” The new system will allow customers to assemble their own travel packages without having to purchase each individual item at the same time. Customers will be able to add on the hotel deal any time after purchasing their flight until the day the trip begins.
According to a study by the travel search engine, 46 percent of Americans prefer to book their flight and hotels separately, anyways.
Booking an entire travel package at the same time “requires more planning and money up front than adding on a hotel at a later date,” Aaron Price, Expedia’s senior vice president of global marketing, told Travel Weekly. “We want to alleviate that pressure so travelers can take their time researching neighborhoods, comparing hotel amenities, reading guest reviews, etc.”
Purchasing separately also allows travelers to take advantage of different deals that may linger. According to Price, travelers who book with the add-on advantage could save an average of 43 percent after booking. While booking well in advance may be the best option for airfare, hotel and car rental prices could fluctuate in the weeks and months before a vacation. Having time to compare options with Expedia or with another booking service gives travelers more options.
It's rarely too early to start planning for your next vacation, though. For the best chance at finding a great deal, consider setting price alerts for the flights you want to take. When it comes to car rentals, may companies allow reservations with no penalty for canceling (meaning you can take a better deal if you see one later). Hotels can also be reserved ahead of time without cancelation fees — just be sure to read the fine print for any penalties or cut-off dates.