Priceline vs. Orbitz vs. Expedia vs. Kayak: Which Travel Site Wins?

July 31, 2013

travel sitesIt’s that time of the year where everybody is staring out their office window dreaming of the beach or some other destination to get away from it all. With the vast amount of travel sites out there, how do you decide which one to use? The commercials may be cute, but that isn’t the reason to make them your choice.

Let’s put some travel sites to the test. If we put Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia and Kayak against each other, which one would give us the best deal? Let’s say we want to go to Miami, the week before Labor Day, the perfect way to finish out the summer.


I want to leave the kids at home, but will need airfare and a car. Looking at the calendar, I choose to leave my home airport of Greenville-Spartanburg, SC on Saturday, August 24th and return the next Saturday. The most “popular” package puts my wife and I at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami. With hotel, airfare and car combined, my deal is $1,146.97/person. That’s pretty good for a five star hotel, but what if I’m on a budget? How about $620.29/person to stay at the Days Inn Miami Airport North. Nothing says romance like a one star hotel with a 4.7 user rating. My wife deserves better, so let’s set some filters and pick a place that at least got an 8 by Priceline users . . . the Doubletree Hotel and Miami Airport Convention Center for $725.

This site does not charge any booking or cancellation fees and taxes are included. Not bad Priceline Negotiator. Let’s see what your competition has to say.


After typing in the same criteria, the Four Seasons did not even show on the first page. With a little digging, I found it for a much higher price at $1,357/person. The Days Inn came in at $663/person and the Doubletree at $782. This site has a 110% price assurance guarantee. Maybe if I show them Priceline’s prices, I’ll get a better deal . . . . Like our previous website, there are no booking or cancellation fees.


Once again, I type in the same criteria and find that the Four Seasons through this site will cost me $1,155/person. The Days Inn comes in at $675 and the Doubletree at $715 which is cheaper, but the flight was in the late afternoon compared to Priceline’s morning flight, which would give me most of the day on the beach. There is another price guarantee on this but there are service fees, which are not disclosed completely and no disclosure of cancellation fees.


With all I’ve heard about this site, and how it searches thousands of sites for you, this must surely be the place to get the best deal, right? I type in the same criteria as the previous three and search for my three hotels. The “packages” are much more limited here and are pulled from other sites. None of the three hotels I have used previously show here, although I had no problems creating packages on the others. When I search for the Four Seasons Hotel just to see what it would cost for the room, the site gives me a quote of $192/night or $1,344 for the week. That’s more than the whole package at Priceline. Maybe it’s user error, but I’m really unhappy with this site and decide to move on.

After all is said and done, William Shatner’s kung fu wins. Priceline clearly came in with the better price. This does not mean you can’t find better prices on other sites. This was just one search and set of criteria. Either way, I know if I need to use a travel site, I will not be using Kayak and Priceline will be the first place I go.

What’s your favorite travel site? Leave a comment!


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2 Responses to Priceline vs. Orbitz vs. Expedia vs. Kayak: Which Travel Site Wins?

  • Marissa @ Thirty Six Months

    Well, a friend of mine owns a travel startup so I’m going to say “not on the list”. Haha!

  • The Debt Roundup

    I am a happy user of Priceline. I have used it for almost every travel arrangement that I have needed. Never been unhappy with the service.