I use Expedia almost every time I travel.
And as a freelance photographer, that means I use it a lot.
But there are a few times a year that I opt-out of my default behavior:
And that’s whenever I’m staying at one of my 3 favorite hotels in the world.
The Riehmers Hofgarten Hotel in Berlin.
Hotel L’Amour in Paris
And The Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in Los Angeles.
Because they’re a family-owned businesses and I want them to thrive.
When I found out that hotels pay a 22% commission to Expedia and Booking.com — while the big chains only have to pay 10%… I was couldn’t believe it.
And so, I started doing my research.
Turns out that Expedia (and the rest of the OTA Mafia) don’t tell us about the perks we’re missing out on when we book with them (of course not). And because we always got distracted by that flashing “2 rooms left” everywhere… We didn’t bother to dig.
But a few years ago, I started paying extra attention to these things. Especially when an upcoming trip was really important to me.
In my experience (especially these days), the “ma & pop” type places always have amazing “book direct extras” that are worth it for me.
I know, probably 80% of travelers don’t care about these things.
But if you’re part of the “detail-oriented 20%” who does…
Or if you’re one of those “live life to the fullest” travelers who like to experience hotels as if they’re like your home away from home…
Then do your research! And when it makes sense…
Book direct with the places that you love.