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Oddly enough, Travelocity and Expedia are both owned by the parent company Expedia Group. However online, they are both two very different brands. Today we’re going to be outlining the major differences between the two, so you can know which website to use for which specific purpose.
By the end of this article, you’ll understand what I look for in a travel website, the main differences between the two, and an overview of the key features of each website. I’ve spent the last couple of years using both websites extensively to book travel, so I would consider myself an expert in the “online travel websites” category.
Let’s dive in!
Bottom Line Up Front
The bottom line here is that Expedia is a more mature travel website, and is more efficient at stacking bundles and deals together than Travelocity. If you’re looking for a more streamlined experience, you’ll find Expedia to be the better option. However, if you’re looking for a single deal on something specific, I would aim to look at Travelocity for your next vacation.
Decision Making Tips
Before we dive into each website more specifically, let’s take a look at the decision-making tips I use to determine which travel site I should use.
Ease of Use
The primary thing I look for in a travel website is the ease of use. From the moment I start browsing my next vacation, I officially claim that the vacation has begun. This means I want my booking experience to be incredibly easy, well put together, and thought out. I like to look at high-quality imagery of landscapes, hotels, and vehicles, and really begin to fantasize about what I am getting myself into.
Technically speaking, this means I look for websites that have a solid user interface. Once I enter my options into the search bar, I begin to see results in a clean and organized manner. I generally avoid websites with too many pop-ups or ads, because this adds an unnecessary level of stress to the experience.
The second most important thing I look for in a travel website is its level of customer service. Once I book a vacation, I like to know that the company has my back in the rare case that something goes wrong. It’s that “peace of mind” that makes going on vacation so much better.
In my mind, an ideal customer service team would be easy to reach out to and respond to your issue within an hour or two. I generally enjoy teams that rely on real humans to solve the issues, instead of bots. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to solve a dilemma on the spot and having to go through an army of voice recordings to get to an actual human.
The third and final thing that I look for in a travel website is the number of reviews it has, alongside the depth of the reviews. It’s nice to know before you book something that a place has a solid reputation, especially if you only travel once or twice a year and really want your experience to be memorable.
When reading reviews, I’ll often look at the most critical reviews first, to see what went wrong. After that, I browse the top reviews to get a general idea of what to expect. I appreciate travel websites that go above and beyond in their reviews. For example, if it goes into wifi details, parking setups, or what the workout room is like, I’m happy as a clam.
Main Differences Between Travelocity and Expedia
- Travelocity has an extremely simple user interface, whereas Expedia can be overwhelming and complicated if you’re not experienced with it
- Travelocity is known for its 15% off coupons via email, whereas Expedia is known for its bundle deals
- Travelocity has a fantastic “Roaming Gnome” blog that provides in-depth travel guides, whereas Expedia’s travel guide is a bit more simple and nuanced
- Expedia has a massive international network to tap into, while Travelocity has a smaller base of hotels and experiences
- Expedia lets you book hotels, cars, flights, cruises, and experiences, while Travelocity is a bit more limited in what it can be used to book
- Expedia owns Travelocity and incorporates some of its massive features into it, while Travelocity is owned by Expedia and still maintains its own brand image
See also: Top Expedia Alternatives for Travel
Summary of Travelocity and Expedia
Now that you understand what I look for in a solid travel website, let’s take a look at the main differences between Travelocity and Expedia.
Travelocity was started in 1996 by Terry Jones and is currently the third most popular travel booking website on the internet. Fun fact- it was the first travel website on the internet that allowed users to purchase tickets without the help of another person. This was revolutionary at the time, and it became a major catalyst for change in the travel industry. Eventually, Travelocity was bought out by Expedia in 2015, for $280 million.
Now let’s get into the user interface. For one, Travelocity is a bit more complicated than Expedia. Even though they are owned by the same parent company, websites of the same business will often keep their own independent brands to maintain their unique presence. This means that Travelocity isn’t nearly as fluid as Expedia, but it is still fairly easy to navigate.
One thing to note is that Travelocity also doesn’t have nearly as many travel options as Expedia. You are simply limited to airfare, cars, and cruises. This generally means that the website has better deals for individual aspects of travel rather than the entire package.
Along with better deals for individual components, you’ll notice that Travelocity has a reputation for its famous 15% off coupons. You’ll find that these can make a big difference in your final price, especially if you’re traveling overseas. Expedia rarely has deals like these pop up in your inbox.
Expedia was founded in 1996 by Richard Barton, and it actually started originally as a branch of Microsoft. (Yes, the computer company!) Before long it grew too big and expanded into its own company known as Expedia Group. This company, Expedia Group, is one of the most successful travel companies of all time. It owns a variety of other travel companies as well, such as Orbitz, Hotwire, Hotels.com, and Travelocity.
This leads to the biggest advantage that Expedia has over almost any other company in the industry- the size of its network. On the website, you can book hotels, flights, rental cars, cruises, attractions, and complex bundles. This means that it truly is an all-in-one source for travel information. I like to use Expedia if I really don’t feel like bouncing around to multiple websites to find the best deal.
In terms of pricing, I would argue that Expedia has generally better deals than Travelocity if you’re looking for bundles. This is specifically because their network of travel sites is so big that they can make connections most other sites can’t. Travelocity, on the other hand, isn’t a bad option to choose from if you’re only looking to purchase one aspect of your travel experience. For example, if you’re just looking for a flight or rental car, odds are you’ll find a better deal here.
One last thing I’d like to note about Expedia that makes it stand out from Travelocity is the amount of website that is available on the website. You’ll get very detailed information about the hotels, rental cars, and attractions you’re purchasing. This helps provide a high amount of reassurance before you fork over your hard-earned cash.
Let’s take a look at the key features that each of these websites boasts.
Travelocity is similar to that of Expedia (you’ll find that the homepages are almost identical,) but it is limited to booking flights, rental cars, hotels, and cruises. However, don’t let this scare you off. You’ll often find better deals on Travelocity because they aren’t tied to bundles and larger corporations.
One of the best features of Travelocity’s website is its Roaming Gnome blog. It’s very in-depth and gives lots of fantastic travel recommendations. I particularly enjoy its “Best Of” lists when I’m searching for my next travel destination. The blog also lets you sort its results by categories so you can dial in exactly what you want to browse.
Similar to Expedia, Travelocity allows you to upload a property to the website, so you can list it Airbnb-style if you’re in the rental market. This also means that if you’re a consumer, you’ll find luxurious properties available for your vacation that aren’t simply “hotels.”
Travelocity also has an app to download, where you can get coupons that can give you up to 15% off your travel experiences. This is a big deal for travel savings. The app is also intuitive in that it will keep your trip organized for you in one place. A bonus is that the app actually has solid reviews, which is honestly quite a rarity in today’s world.
- Travelocity’s blog is much more in-depth and provides fun guides to figure out your next travel vacation
- Travelocity is known for its special 15% off coupons, and is better for booking individual portions of your trip, instead of package deals
- Travelocity has a smaller network to tap into than Expedia, which means it may be difficult to find deals that correlate to your exact travel plans.
Expedia is essentially a travel booking agency that lets you book almost every single aspect of your vacation in one place. From the moment you log onto the website, you’ll be flooded with a number of options about flights, hotels, cars, attractions, and package deals. And that’s just the basics. The website’s expansive network lets you go far beyond that to start booking cruises and activities.
Expedia is a company that’s available all over the world. This makes it a unique website in the travel industry because it allows for global options, instead of just focusing on a singular hemisphere. Another great feature of Expedia is that you can create an account to “save your progress” for your bookings. This is great if you want to take a couple of days to reflect on what you’re going through, then hop back on right where you left off.
In terms of its rewards programs, Expedia uses a system called “Expedia Rewards.” The program is free to join from the very start and allows you to move on to different tiers as you use the program more frequently. For example, you can eventually upgrade yourself to Silver and Gold rewards which get you a plethora of free stuff. You’ll get free breakfasts, credits to spas, upgrades, and more. It pays to use Expedia on a regular basis- and when you stack your bundles, the rewards come in fast.
The final feature I’ll note about Expedia that is worth pointing out is that Expedia lets you add your properties to the website if you’re interested in renting them out. This means that in a similar fashion to Airbnb, you can find unique houses, cabins, and villas around the world to stay in. This seems to become the new norm in the travel industry, as “private” vacations are becoming increasingly popular.
- Expedia has a massive network, which means you’re much more likely to find bundles that accommodate your needs well
- Expedia is a bigger company than Travelocity, which means they can pull more strings and give you more options to choose from
- Expedia’s Rewards program can make a big difference in your travel budget if you use it on a regular basis
- Expedia can be overwhelming at first glance, as they provide numerous travel options that can stack up. But with a little practice, you can learn to utilize Expedia to its greatest potential
Alternatives to Consider
Priceline.com is an interesting alternative if you’re willing to gamble a bit on your choices. Users of the website pick a general area and price point, then pay upfront, not knowing exactly what they are getting. Most of the time it works out to be something fantastic, and you get a killer dealer because of your gamble. I’d recommend this site to anyone that’s flexible in their travel experience, and perhaps spends most of the time outside the hotel.
See also: Priceline vs Expedia
Hotels.com is a great choice to use if you’re purely looking for a way to book a hotel. Their rewards system is one of the best in the industry. For every 10 nights, they give you a night free at a hotel. If you’re staying at a fairly nice hotel, this can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Hotels.com also has a massive library of hotels, which can really dial in your choice to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want out of your travel experience.
Kayak is a great option to consider if you want to search across multiple travel booking websites, instead of just one. It’s easily the best place to find the lowest price if you don’t mind switching up your travel sites. The only problem is that you won’t be able to rack up rewards on one site quickly, so if you’re a frequent traveler it might be in your best interest to stick to one website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Yes, Travelocity is owned by the same parent company that owns Expedia, which is Expedia Group. It was bought out in January 2015 for $280 million, although the companies have worked together for years prior to the purchase. It is worth noting that even though they are owned by the same company, they have fairly different interfaces and different deals depending on the day.
Answer: Expedia’s biggest competitor is Booking.com and Priceline.com. These websites have slightly different methods of booking deals, which makes them a unique alternative. For example, on Priceline.com you book a package before you know what you are getting, which leads to significant savings. If you’re one that’s more flexible with your vacations, it’s definitely an option to look into.
Overall, if you’re looking for your next website to book your travels on, Expedia would be my primary recommendation. It’s simply a larger company and has a bigger network that allows you to bundle your travels easier. However, I wouldn’t rule out Travelocity entirely. I like to use it to cross-check for deals, especially if a coupon appears on the app. Travelocity is also a nice site to use to browse locations to travel to, as their blog is fun and provides useful information. I hope this guide has been helpful to you in your travels. Have fun out there!
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