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Booking direct vs travel site (and other 1st timer issues)

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by stevebeans, Oct 17, 2013.

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  1. stevebeans

    stevebeans Tourist

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    I am planning on going to Vegas with my girlfriend (soon to be wife shortly before), and will most likely stay on the strip. I don't mind spending a few extra dollars on a nice hotel, especially for a honeymoon.

    That said, I am trying to decide on booking direct versus getting a package at a place like expedia. I see those places give about 100-150$ discount when you buy through them, but is that really the case?

    I heard it may be better to book a flight through them, but book the hotel directly through the players club site? Any tips to getting the best deal at a decent hotel?

    Speaking of, any recommendations on a hotel on the strip? I don't want to break the bank because it's only a room, so we'll probably get the cheapest available, but I do want a place that looks upscale, has wifi, a pool, etc, etc. Also, one that could possibly give me comps would be nice.

    Thank you for any advice!
     
  2. Beaker

    Beaker Tourist

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    The first couple of trips my wife and I made (3 years ago), we had better luck with expedia or vegas.com. CET or MLife usually don't cut you much of a break until you start collecting rewards through gambling/dining etc. That being said you never know when a hotel will have a sale going on during a slightly slow season so check constantly. We chose the Venetian when we got married, it was definitely worth the money.
     
  3. gerry53

    gerry53 VIP Whale

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    If you go on expedia and search for a flight only and then look at the same flight on the airline site you will see that fare prices are identical.

    I guess they may have a bit better price if you package both together but a lot more hassle if you want to make any changes.

    you can find good deals depending when you go sometimes on the hotel`s website also
     
  4. LAS

    LAS Tourist

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    I usually tend to book via Expedia and click on the "flight + hotel" option
    It actually does save you a couple bucks per person if you book together rather then separate from what I've noticed. Plus it saves you some time and hassle and you have everything on pretty much one page.

    Like gerry53 also said the actual airline website prices and Expedia should be around the same price if you're just looking at airfare.


    Cheers!
     
  5. stevebeans

    stevebeans Tourist

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    Yea, I think you save a bit if you bundle with the hotel, but I read that it's better to book a hotel in Vegas directly through the hotel rather than expedia. So I can either save a little on a bundle from expedia or book the hotel directly to earn rewards or comps.
     
  6. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Do you save?

    Only you will know for sure. Check it one way. Then check another.

    Airline flights can move all over the place. Did not notice the city you will be flying from.

    Hotels? It is Vegas. Your first trip will blow you away - well not exactly. A middle of the road hotel on the strip will be fine. Like Paris for example.

    Getting comps? Do not count on it for your first trip unless you are ready to play with a decent amount - few thousand to start with.
     
  7. stevebeans

    stevebeans Tourist

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    Very good points about it being my first time. I shouldn't worry so much about comps as just getting there, getting a decent hotel and having a good time. I do think if I book a hotel through the players card site I get points. I wonder if I get those points if I book through expedia?
     
  8. LAS

    LAS Tourist

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    If it's your first trip I wouldn't worry about the comps. Unless you're ready to gamble a couple thousand like nostresshere said. Just focus on what shows you want to see and where you want to eat lol There's lots of information about that on the boards.
    Plus a few weeks after you get back you'll be receiving a nice card with upcoming deals for hotel rooms at the hotel/resort you stayed at ;)
     
  9. jamon7

    jamon7 Low-Roller

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    Remember if you dont book a flight, hotel or whatever direct just remember if there is a problem with the flight or you need to change flights dont call the airline. You have to go thru whatever booking place you used. Sometimes their fees are higher too. And the hotel? If you have a problem most times they wont talk to you about it. You have to call expedia or whoever. Ive always booked direct. A few years back my brother ran into a huge problem booking 3rd party. He books direct now.
     
  10. stevebeans

    stevebeans Tourist

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    If I do book direct, one thing my cousin said was she kept watching the hotel rates and canceling / re-booking when the rates dropped. I doubt it would be that easy with expedia.

    Does anyone do that method?
     
  11. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    As far as how to book...if you are sure of the dates, go with what is cheapest. As said, you have to check it out both ways to find out. If you're booking the hotel by itself and find a better price on a booking site, you might want to see if the hotel will match that price. All things being equal, you're probably better off booking directly (less hassle, possibility of getting your room comped, easy to cancel/change).

    Comps...as others have said, don't expect a lot unless you're gambling quite a bit. But, you will get something, so make sure to sign up for the player's club wherever you play. At the very least, you will probably get offers for reduced-rate (or free) rooms for future trips.

    I think you'll get better suggestions for a hotel if you start a new thread (with a descriptive title) and outline all the particulars: what's important to you (room, food, gambling, pool, nightlife etc), what your budget is, when you're traveling, and anything else that might help folks direct you to a place that's right for you. And if you plan to gamble and want to know which places might give you the best comps, let us know how much you plan to gamble and which games you plan to play.

    Welcome aboard and have a great trip. :thumbsup:
     
  12. jamon7

    jamon7 Low-Roller

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    Cheapest is not always cheapest. Just sayin.
     
  13. stevebeans

    stevebeans Tourist

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    Side note: I'm blown away how quickly you guys respond :)
     
  14. sweetcanadian

    sweetcanadian High-Roller

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    I have never had a problem with expedia. Go with what is cheapest. What you save can be spent gambling. Just watch the fine print. If it is non cancel-able and non refundable they are very sticky on that. So are hotels though if you chose that option. Sometimes that is why they are cheaper. I worked at a hotel though and prefer expedia, they are only ever a phone call away.
     
  15. pikabu

    pikabu Low-Roller

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    If you do book through Expedia etc, make sure you join the hotel's players club when you arrive in Vegas.

    If you use the card during your trip in the slots etc., go to the players club desk to see what comps etc you have earned.

    One time when we booked through Expedia (we always book directly with the hotels now), we went to the players club the day before we left Vegas. They said that we could have a meal at any of the high end restaurants and it would be covered. We had a great meal that night.

    For us (our gambling is not too high), we get better deals booking through the hotels now.
     
  16. wishman35

    wishman35 VIP Whale

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    The main issue with the third party sites is that you have to prepay the entire balance up front. You may have free cancellation up until 72 hours before check in (standard for most Vegas hotels), but you still have to pay everything up front. From what I have seen from third party sites, there is no difference in booking from them compared to the promos the hotels offer direct. In fact...the prices offered on Priceline/Orbitz are just the same promos. For most Vegas bookings through the hotel direct you only pay the 1st night as a deposit, a little easier on the wallet up front.

    The only time I think something like Priceline or Orbitz is worth it is when they are offering a coupon that might sweeten the deal on top of the promos. Priceline's Express Deal and Name Your Own Price can be a good deal if you are smart about what hotels are in the certain areas, the star levels, and if your dates are locked. Once you get a hotel booked through Express Deal or Name Your Own Price...it is locked, no refunds, no cancellation, no changes, nothing. I saw Encore offered for $500 cheaper on Priceline Express Deals rather than booking directly (how did I know it was Encore? some of them will offer you a "bed choice," and it said "Encore - King Suite"..yes sometimes it is a dead giveaway when it says the friggin hotel' name in the room type).

    To sum up - just book direct. Go to www.smartervegas.com and keep track of all of the promos. All of them are easy to book, easy to cancel, easy to call up and have them adjust your rates if the prices go down. Booking through 3rd party usually exempts you from applying room costs to your players card. Cosmo gives you 5 points for every dollar spent on you room. $1000 spent = 5000 points = $50 in resort credit.
     
  17. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    I never book direct anymore. I can most ALWAYS get 20% off at least through a third party site. Do a little research, and you will find that Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com , etc all have coupon codes good for 10-20% off. Add that to a cash back site, and you can save another 5-7%. They usually are not good for some chains, and sometimes not for Harrahs or MGM, which I never stay at anyway. Personally, I like paying up front. I like to have my entire trip paid for before I get there, and I do not gamble enough for room comps anyway.

    That said, everyone will have a different answer for you, and none of them are wrong, just different strokes....
     
  18. heatherlovesvegas

    heatherlovesvegas VIP Whale

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    If it's cheaper, and you are solid on your trip (no chance of cancelation) go ahead and book 3rd party. If it's the same price, book direct... so you can cancel and rebook. Many times on my trips I cancel and rebook elsewhere for one reason or another.. or price.

    I know Southwest Vacations often has some great deals if you live near a city that flys Southwest.

    Here's how I usually book.
    -Check Kayak.com to get a general idea of prices (this rounds up all the prices of the 3rd party sites and direct and shows what the lowest price is), see who's trending the lowest. (for example Mirage, MGM, Mandalay Bay, Planet Hollywood and Paris all very similar properties, with similar amenities and quality, I'm gonna stay at the one that is the best deal for my dates, sometimes it's a HUGE difference in price)
    -Check promotion codes for the hotels I'm interested in at SmarterVegas.com
    -Check my players club accounts
    -Depending on the hotel check Priceline and Hotwire (Usually if I'm booking 5 star only) (with help from BetterBidding.com)

    Then I round up the best deal and book it!

    I'd say every hotel is pretty nice. I'd stay on the strip and I'd personally avoid The Quad, Stratosphere , Circus Circus (I would never stay at any of those for any reason), and if I could avoid them, Excalibur and Harrah's.. those are fine if it's really an exceptional deal.

    Judging that you want the lowest price possible, I'd recommend looking at Luxor and Monte Carlo. But, it really depends on your dates, rates fluctuate depending on when you want to go. Like, I'm going Mid-December, it's so cheap, I can literally afford to stay anywhere. But if you wanna go during Spring Break, prices will probably be triple what you'd pay in December or January...

    Don't worry about comps, unless you can commit a few grand to gambling and plan on coming back with in the next few months. But, that being said, can't hurt to sign up for players club cards wherever you go if you plan on taking another trip at some point...

    If you want some small comps, try playing MGM Resorts MyVegas Game on Facebook, they have show tickets and buffets... if you have the time to dedicate to playing you can get some small comps just for playing games.
     
  19. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

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    I always book direct, maybe flights 3rd party if they are substantially cheaper.

    For a few (less than $50 per person) - I'd rather book direct for peace of mind.


    That being said, before I got discounts or some comped rooms I would always check 3rd party sites.

    I just found that the tax on the airfare puts it higher than booking direct, and that I could get better flight times booking direct.
     
  20. Ty

    Ty ?

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    I always book direct, I believe it makes things easier if you have to change something.

    Consider staying at Harrah's, great location.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
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