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A website featuring discount airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages.

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Hotwire offers surprisingly hot deals!

  • Feb 2, 2010
  • by
Don’t you just love surprises? They either make you smile from ear to ear, shock you into silence, or make you regret ever putting yourself in a position to be surprised in the first place! No, I’m not talking about birthday parties or pop quizzes; I’m talking about using the best online travel deal around, Hotwire.com
After years of hearing my friends profess that Hotwire.com was ‘da bomb, I finally submitted, let go of my urgent need to control every facet of my travels and took the plunge. And boy, have I been happily surprised by what I’ve found.
First, I want to say that Hotwire is a slight game of chance. If you know that you will not be happy in any hotel other than the Ritz Carlton, this isn’t the game for you.  Second, everyone has different opinions of what’s acceptable.  I prefer quaint, cute, clean, and unique hotels rather than your larger chain hotels (but a good deal is a good deal). Third, if you are looking for a great discount and can get past the aforementioned statements, then Hotwire is an excellent travel tool.
Okay, so I started with Hotwire gradually, using it for rental cars. I don’t really care what I drive on vacation, because in the end all cars are somewhat the same to me. If it’s not a sports car or convertible, I won’t remember the brand (yes, typical girl). Second, all car rental companies are the same to me. I have no affinity or loyalty to any of them.  If you don’t care about that either, then you should absolutely, hands down rent cars from Hotwire. You can of course choose the size of the car, you will see the exact price, and it will even give you an idea of the type of car you will get (ex: “Ford Focus or similar”), you just won’t know where you’re getting it from (Budget, Avis, etc) or exactly what type of car it is until you purchase. 
The price difference to rent a car through hotwire is unbelievable! Right now you can rent a car for as little as $10.95 a day in select cities. This is invaluable for a traveler on a budget, or for someone who sees no point in spending hundreds of dollars on a rental car. In mine opinion this is risk-free car rental option.
So the next step was to try a hotel rental. For hotels you search by location and star rating. Typically the choice is between 3-stars or 4-stars and up. Hotwire gives you a description of the star rating parameters, so you know what their standard is.  Once you click through to a particular selection you can see a map of the area where the hotel is located, surrounding points of interest, a description of hotel amenities, and even customer ratings and reviews. Similar to their car category, Hotwire will give you a list of some hotels in their 4-star category.  As long as you feel comfortable in the location that you choose and pick the star rating that you know you’ll feel satisfied with, you can have a great experience and save money. Of course, I’m sure there are fluke experiences, but that can happen anywhere, whether you use Hotwire or not. I recently used Hotwire on my trip to New York City and ended up staying at Hotel Roger Williams and had a fantastic experience. You can check out my review for more information.
Other perks of using Hotwire:
If you aren’t ready to book your trip, but want to keep tabs on specials and prices changes, you can save your trip and have Hotwire email you when specials pop up. You can also use their “Bill Me Later” feature that gives you 6 months before making a payment. Hotwire is also so confident in their prices they give you the option to compare with Expedia, BookingBuddy, Hotels.com, and Kayak.   Hotwire also offers deals on vacation packages, cruises and flights. I’ve yet to try this, and would be interested in hearing about the experience of others who have.
Simply put, Hotwire offers unbeatable, hot deals!

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Quick Tip by . March 06, 2010
Hotwire has found me a great hotel at bargain prices in many cities, especially NYC
About the reviewer
Bethany ()
Ranked #19
Hello Lunchers!      I am a contributing writer foran onlinelife and style website that highlights hot-spots in Minneapolis and Chicago. As such, I frequent many new boutiques, restaurants, … more
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Hotwire is a discount travel website that offers low prices on airfare, hotel, rental car, and vacation packages by selling off unsold travel inventory at discounted prices.Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Hotwire, Inc. is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Expedia also operates Hotels.com, ClassicVacations.com, and TripAdvisor.com.

Hotwire was launched in 2000 by Eric Grosse, Karl Peterson, Gregg Brockway, and Spencer Rascoff and by six major airlines: American, Northwest, Continental, America West (now US Airways), and United. They were funded by a leading private equity firm, Texas Pacific Group (TPG) with an initial $75 million investment. Prior to its formal launch, it was codenamed Purple Demon.

In September 2003, IAC/InterActiveCorp announced its acquisition of Hotwire.com for $663 million dollars. (Expedia spun off from IAC in 2005.) Hotwire's co-partners under IAC included Citysearch, Evite , HSN, Ticketmaster, LendingTree, RealEstate.com, Entertainment.com, and Match.com.

In 2007, J.D. Power and Associates Independent Travel Web Site Satisfaction StudySM recognized Hotwire for ranking "Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Independent Travel Web Sites" for the second year in a row.

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