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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hotwire - great bargains with a twist

There is a saying in Economics that there is no such thing as a free lunch. That is true for most things in the world, as everything ultimately comes with a price. Most people nowadays are hunting for bargains and particular great deals, which is made easier with Internet sites catered to provide you with a range of great offerings. It is of course up to the bargain hunters to filter through all the information, and pick an offer that suits them and their expectations the most. Consumers have different ideas as to what they want and need from a product, and not all sites will appeal to everyone. Hotwire is definitely such a site as it comes with a twist.

Like most other travel sites, Hotwire offers a range of products. You can book a hotel room, rent a car, purchase a cruise or pay for your flights at their very straightforward Internet site, www.hotwire.com. The difference is that you won’t know the name of the provider until you have fully paid for your product. Does it sound confusing? Well, it really isn’t.

If you are looking for cheap accommodation in New York for example, press the button for hotels and enter New York in the search box. You will often get more than one hit as Hotwire gives you the option of searching for a room near an airport or in the city itself. You are also asked to enter the dates of your stay, the number of rooms and the number of adults and children staying there. You will then be presented with a list of available accommodations and the prices. The prices are initially shown excluding taxes and fees. If you are looking for a particular standard, you can choose to filter the search results by stars, from all to above 3 or 4 stars.

For each result, there is a link to an area map and further details. If you press the link, you will see in what area the hotel is located, and the different sights that lay within the area. In other words, even if they won’t specify the name or address of the hotel, you will know within what parameters you will be staying. You will also be able to see what amenities the hotel has, whether it be a fitness centre, shuttle bus or restaurant. Hotwire also provides exemplas of hotels in each category. Go to the star rating description and they will list a few hotels in that category and what you can expect from a hotel in that particular range.

Once you have found the ideal bargain that suits your needs, you will be presented with the total amount, including taxes and fees. You will also be asked to sign up and enter all your details. When this is done, all you have to do is to pay in order to find out where you are going to stay. You will then be presented with a full disclosure of the hotel and the address. Please note that the hotel rates at Hotwire very rarely include breakfast, especially not in the hotels with higher stars.

Similar processes apply for booking car rentals, cruises or flights. If you have signed up for Hotwire and search for a product but do not book it, Hotwire will then send you e-mails telling you about products and offerings that correspond to your searches. That way you won’t miss out on better deals that come up. If you don’t mind taking a bit of a gamble, Hotwire does provide great value offerings.

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