Like airfares, hotel prices can vary dramatically between sources—and from one day to the next. Aggregator websites such as are a good place to start, but it pays to search third-party sites such as Expedia and as well—they often run one-time deals you won’t find elsewhere. And don’t overlook the old-fashioned way, the telephone: a reservationist or travel agent may know of a non-Internet deal that you simply can’t refuse.

T+L Test Case

The Room

A standard double at the Fairmont San Francisco for Saturday, June 27, 2009.

Rates Offered

Expedia $158

Farecast $305

Hotel reservations agent $339

Travelocity $345