Why I Work with Expedia
This is NOT a paid post, though I do receive a stipend from Expedia for writing on their Viewfinder Blog.
This is, however, a post about my personal experiences with using the Expedia booking engine. Experiences that, if I didn’t receive a stipend, would be easier for me to talk about. Because I don’t want people to think I’m writing this simply because of my relationship with them.
But a booking experience this weekend caused me to turn to Jon and say, “Do you know how much money I just saved on this trip?” And I figured I’d be doing readers a disservice if I didn’t share…
On Saturday, I booked flights on Expedia to the Bay Area. San Jose to be specific. It’s a short trip, just two nights/three days. The ticket on Alaska Airlines was what I would have expected to pay on relatively short notice (somewhere between $250 – $300). But instead of just skipping through all the extras that Expedia offers before finalizing payment, I stopped to look at the car rental costs (because I’ll need one).
The deal that came up said I could book the car for a little over $100 for those three days and save about $200 if I did it on the spot. That was really hard for me to believe, so I did a separate search on the Expedia site as well as two other booking engines and I found rates that started at $250 for the three days.
Score! Car rental booked.
But before checking out, I noticed another deal. I could park my car at a lot near Sea-Tac Airport for $45 for those three days. $45 is nearly the cost of taking a taxi one way to the airport and probably $15 – $20 cheaper than what I would pay at most airport-area parking lots for the three days (when you factor in taxes and surcharges) if I didn’t book in advance. So I took advantage of that, too.
Total savings? I figure about $170.
By the way, for a booking earlier this year, I saved about $400 on my flights to Berlin. I could not find flights under $1,400 until I discovered a fare on Expedia for $1,035. Another score!
Expedia’s done some tremendous things for the travel blogging community over the years. They’ve supported TBEX (the travel blogging conference), they’ve been the Platinum sponsor of Passports with Purpose for two years running, and they’ve worked closely with individual travel bloggers (like me!) on the Viewfinder travel blog as well as on other projects.
Finally, you may have seen some of their Find Yours videos? Not only are many of these videos quite moving, but I give Expedia a huge nod for sticking their necks out to support causes like gay rights – as shown here.
And I love the video from my travel colleague, Kelley Ferro. She won a trip to Morocco from Expedia for her video called Find Your Magic.
I recognize that Expedia does these things for business reasons and I admit that I was once a skeptic when it came to Expedia’s authenticity in wanting to work with the travel blogging community…
But personally I’ve had nothing but positive experiences in working with them. I love the videos coming out of the Find Yours campaign and I love that they continue to support Passports with Purpose. Both show that there’s some conscious effort to bring good to the world. And though I’m definitely jealous, I’m also thrilled that Kelley is going to Morocco (can I come, please?).
The fact that I can honestly say I’m saving money by booking through Expedia, well that’s a total bonus.