Amazon sells a dizzying array of goods including books, tablets, furniture, clothing, groceries, and digital media. Now the online store wants to help plan your next vacation.
Amazon Destinations is a new travel-planning site you can use to book rooms at hotels and B&Bs, find places to eat, and explore location attractions. It initially supports locations in the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, and the Northeast, but it could roll out to additional markets later.
Right now there doesn’t seem to be a lot of reason to choose Amazon Destinations over any of the similar services that already exist. But as TNW notes, one of Amazon’s strong suits is its review system, and as users start to leave reviews for trips they book through Amazon, the service could start to look pretty useful.
So that got us wondering: what services to you use when booking a getaway?
There are a number of different vacation deal websites on the Internet. Some include discounts on hotel and transportation options. Many include user reviews so you can find out if a destination spot is right for you. My favorites focus on all-inclusive packages so I don’t even have to plan for meals.
One of the most popular vacation websites, TripAdvisor helps you find deals on hotel packages by aggregating hundreds of options that are available at various deal sites, like Expedia or Hotels.com. It is heavily based on user reviews so you will be able to see what others think of the hotel you are looking to book.
This online travel agency will help you find a vacation spot that suits your needs whether you just want a hotel, or are looking for a whole package. It includes TripAdvisor’s user rating for hotels and makes it easy to find something based on location. The best part is that there is no cancellation fee for most hotels.
Similar to Travelocity, this is an online travel agency that helps you find hotels, flights, and ground transportation. It features user reviews to help you easily see what others think and even lets you filter your search by the star rating. Sign up for Orbitz Rewards to earn 1:1 points that can be redeemed for hotel stays.
This is one of those sites that aggregates the deals sites that aggregate the deals. It is a bit confusing, but basically, it rounds up just about every deal-based travel website around in one location. Because the results are thousands-long, you can filter them by such options as ratings, price, and distance from a particular location. You can even select the size of the hotel you wish to stay in.
I love this site because I get an email every day with new offerings. Even if I wasn’t planning on taking a trip, I find myself checking out the getaways available from Groupon. You can select from major cities, or find something local for a quick trip out of town for the weekend. Deals range from 30 to 60 percent, but usually focus on off-season discounts. Discounts are limited by a specific time period.
This travel search engine also lets you compare discounts from hundreds of deals websites. This site also includes hostels, for the budget traveler. You even can sign up for alerts to see when your favorite hotel offers a discount.
This website focuses on package deals that are available from various travel sites. Every day, a new deal is featured, which usually offers 40 – 60 percent off. Plus, you can search for discounts on everything from hotels and flights to cruises and restaurants. If you like to be spontaneous, the Last Minute deals offer huge discounts hotels, resorts, flights, and more.
Have a favorite? Let us know… and tell us why in the comments
FYI, the photo used in this article is The Strawberry Creek Inn in Idyllwild, CA. https://www.strawberrycreekinn.com/
Thanks for sharing. Looks like I’ll be taking a weekend getaway soon. 🙂
Most of the sites listed “skim” way too much of the top, think 20 to 30% from the hoteliers as well as “blackballing” smaller players, the whole industry is ripe for a large player like Amazon to come in take a bit less as a % so that both customers and suppliers can get a better deal.
I use Expedia mostly for booking hotels, cheap flights. It’s not really for vacations though.
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