Travel Websites Comparison

I am a traveller. I have been to over 30 countries so far and still want to go more when I have a chance…..(also have $$). Since travel is one of my hubbies, I love look around travel websites. Looking around nice hotels, reading review, checking out the prices and estimating a might-be-happening travel plan are one of the things I do when I am not busy.

Most of times I go for price and nice customer service (that I can change my plan without a huge trouble) and there are several favorite websites. But for this posting, I just want to simply evaluate the following websites, putting the deals and customer service aside: Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz and Tripadvisor

Priceline

Priceline, known for its unique bidding system for hotels and flights, maintains a simple design at the home. The home features its spokespersons, called the priceline negotiator, Kaley Cuoco and William Shatner. (Kaley Cuoco started to appear in the ads from 2013 in a role of a fictitious daughter of William Shatner.) Having the fact that not so many travel websites feature spokespersons, the priceline negotiators can grab consumers’ attention, connecting their appearance on other media vehicles to the website and the brand itself.

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Among the four websites, only Priceline has a responsive design. I shrank the website, and the the father negotiator (William Shatner) disappeared from the search box in order to fit in the screen size.

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There are three possible ways that you can book a hotel at Priceline. You can simply look up list of hotels, you can try Name Your Own Price to get a nice deal, or you can do the Express Deals to obtain great bargains.

However you hit the travel date, destination and the number of room, you will end up finding the three search types at the top of the screen. The website, known for a bidding for travel, can keep its consumers from travel aggregator site by providing both its innovative bidding system and the conventional name lists.

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Things Priceline can improve:

  • Add a internal search box at the top-right corner of the website
  • Add customer service phone number or a link of email address

Travelocity

My first impression with Travelocity was boring and unorganized. There was a half-cut promotion on the right side of screen because the site didn’t fit into my browser’s screen size. Also, the banners at the bottom middle seems like floating in a awkward spot. I wonder what is like a click rate of the banner.

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When I scrolled down to the end of the site, I found an enormous empty space. Almost half of the page was wasted on nothing. The whole website design should be revised in order to survive. Although great deals are the most important element for Internet travel websites, website design should fit customers’ design preference, especially in this design-oriented world.
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Things Travelocity can improve:

  • Add links of SNS accounts along with an Email sign up box
  • Apply a responsive design
  • Organize images so that the site looks less busy

Orbitz

A nice background image grabs my attention as I enter the website. Also, I like the function of My Recently Viewed Hotels. It automatically saves previous search results and acts like a reminder for people like myself who likes to play around my travel destination.

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Things Orbitz can improve:

  • Move the location of SNS accounts to the top or anywhere that has easier accessibility.
  • Add customer service phone number or a link of email address
  • Add an Email sign up box

Tripadvisor

There are so many things that I like about this site’s design. First of all, nice and simple design doesn’t distract me from anything else. If you access to this website with a clear travel plan search, things are better. This is because its simple trip plan box is very noticeable. Of course, tripadvisor acts like a bridge to the other travel websites like priceline, expeida and booking.com. It doesn’t have to have specifics like the number of traveler within its travel plan box.

I like the top of the website including, internal search box, Facebook account connection and a link for tripadvisor mobile app. Also, you can sign in through your Facebook account and connect with your friends. It helps the website build more database-reviews- and brand awareness.

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While I wrote this website evaluation, I felt some urge to leave. What I felt other than the urge was each travel website uses different style according to the company’s strategy. Also, I when I think back, price was not all that I looked for. Website’s design can be one of factors that the company builds its brand image and reliability.

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