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I’ve been writing about the site TravelPony a lot when they run random flash sales, but I really wanted to write about the site in general, how to get a good deal, and my recent experience. So here we go…
What is TravelPony? It is an online hotel reservation site where you can book at over 20,000 hotels around the world. They claim they are able to get “below-market” prices on hotel rooms and based on my experience that is true. While not every hotel is listed (compared to a hotels.com or something similar), there are still a good number of participating hotels.
How Do I Get a Good Deal? With TravelPony, you are required sign up as a member to see their prices. After searching in a particular city, you will see all the participating available hotels listed with their regular price. You will then see how much of a discount you can get at each hotel. These discounts are anywhere between 10-45% off the price listed. Some hotels will say: “Special Savings at checkout”, which means you won’t know the additional discount until you get the reservation page. I’ve found these hotels to be 10% off, but you’ll be able to see the discount prior to actually paying. Currently, the standing coupon code to get the 10-45% off is TPSAVINGS, so make sure to enter that on the checkout screen.
The best deal, however, comes along when they are offering an additional x% on all hotel reservations. Typically this additional savings is anywhere from 5-10% off. Just recently they had a 10% off code to the first 1,000 people who used it. Sometimes the coupon codes are available for a few days (usually when it is 5-7% off), and others are these flash sales to the first X number of people (usually when it is 10% off). The flash sales usually last until mid-afternoon. I’ve been following TravelPony quite a bit and it seems like they run some additional savings promotion at least 2-3 times a month. If you see that the price has gone down for an existing reservation, you can always cancel (assuming you are not past the cancellation time) and re-book.
You can also get $35 off your first reservation by signing up through a referral link. The caveat is that the reservation must be more then $200 and it cannot be combined with an extra coupon code. You are, however, able to combine in with the TPSAVINGS coupon code. The $200 minimum, fortunately, includes tax and doesn’t include the coupon code. So if a hotel is $200 (including tax) and the coupon code brings it down to $180, for example, the $35 referral code can be used. You must apply the code referral35 to get this extra savings. If you are not able to use it on your first reservation, you can always use it at a future time, but it can only be applied one to your account.
There are a few different ways to get the TravelPony deal alerts: Sign up as a member to receive their emails, Follow them on Twitter, Follow me on Twitter (I almost always will Tweet out when there is a good TravelPony deal)
My Recent Experience with TravelPony: A few days ago I booked a two-night stay at The Palazzo for a total of $258.50 after taxes. That included 10% off from the TPSAVINGS promotion code and an additional 10% off due to their flash sale at the time. When I checked with the hotel site directly, it was $378.56. Both rates include taxes, but neither included a resort fee. Since The Palazzo is an InterContinental Alliance hotel, I tried every IHG code I have to see if I could get the rate down more, but had no luck. Hotels.com also had the same rate at the IHG site, although they sometimes have coupon codes ($50 off, 10% off, etc.), but still would have been more expensive then TravelPony. So, for this particular reservation, I saved $120.60. Also, with TravelPony the rate I booked had the exact same cancellation policy as the hotel site reservation.
Overall, I have found TravelPony exteremly favorable when it comes to price. It seems as though that their prices are less then the hotels site directly (and even Hotels.com, etc.), but that does not take into consideration a corporate code, AAA, government rate, etc. So I definitely recommend doing your own due diligence to make sure that the TravelPony price is in fact less then the price you can get with the hotel directly taking into account any additional rates you are eligible for.
Some Things to Know: There are, however, two main issues I see with TravelPony: 1) You are not always given the room type when you book; and 2) You do not always earn loyalty points from the hotel. The first issue really depends on the type of traveler you are. Many times I see you can select one king or two doubles, so if that’s all you care about then you are good. However, some care about the floor, view, tower they are in – many times, this info will not be given to you on the site. And number 2 is only an issue if you are staying at a chain hotel, and if so, see what the value of not earning the points are worth to you. For example, I’ve been told from a few people that they’ve never received points at an IHG hotel when booking through TravelPony. As of today, I’ve only stayed at a non-chain. What have your experiences been staying at a chain hotel?
Here is my referral link to sign up for TravelPony and get a $35 credit to use as mentioned above. As always, feel free to leave your referral code in the comments section as well.
Let me know if you have any questions with this site and how to get a deal!