I am always on the lookout for discounts and deals on my travels, and even on staycations. Sometimes, booking directly with a hotel or accommodation is cheaper. Other times, booking sites give bigger discounts. I try to check which has the better price.
I did not know about Traveloka and had only ever used other hotel booking sites, until a fellow blogger told me about it recently, swearing by the big hotel discounts she got. Since then, she had started using Traveloka to book her accommodations.
Traveloka is a hotel and flight booking site that started in Indonesia and has expanded to Southeast Asia, and later to the rest of the world. It caters especially to Southeast Asians, as I saw language options for Bahasa Indonesia, Malay, Vietnamese, and Thai when I first logged in on the app.
So far, it is the hotel booking feature that I have tried and which I will be talking more about on this blog post.
Probably the best hotel discounts
Curious, I started comparing Traveloka’s rates with the rates of Agoda and Booking.com. I logged in on my accounts with these booking sites and found so far that Traveloka’s rates are the lowest. If they have the same rates, Traveloka usually throws in some deals like a 20% discount on the hotel’s food and beverage and spa packages.
My latest search was on Microtel Technohub in Quezon City, where I also stayed at last year. At first, Agoda’s and Booking.com’s listed prices appeared lower, but when I did a mock booking and the tax and service charge was added, the price ended up higher. Booking.com’s was P4,099.99 (US$ 81.5), and Agoda.com’s was P3,690 ($US 73.33) Meanwhile, Traveloka’s price was P3,570 (US$ 70.94).
These are the rates I browsed through the computer, and hotel rates via the Traveloka app are usually a few hundred or more pesos cheaper, further reducing the room’s cost.
The good thing with Traveloka is also that the rate that first appears on the search is already the rate you need to pay, inclusive of tax and other charges.
Ongoing deals and promos for more savings
Those listed prices can be further reduced when there is an ongoing promo during your booking. At the moment of this writing, Traveloka has a promo of 35% discount on hotels (up to P600) and 20% discount (up to P500) on flights. So, for the P3,570 room rate earlier, the final rate will be P2,970 (US$ 59).
There seems to be regular promos, as I have been receiving e-mails with promotional codes every two weeks or so since I signed up last November. Take note, though, that some of their promos can only be availed through their app, so it is best to book through their app. Their app also has an “Ongoing Promos” tab, which you can check regularly.
Interestingly, whenever I did some mock bookings to check prices and did not complete them, Traveloka sent me special promo codes. I’m not sure if they do it every time you start but do not complete your booking, but it can be encouraging indeed.
Of course, I will keep comparing across booking sites whenever I book an accommodation and I will be on the lookout for promos. I would recommend you do the same. At the moment, though, Traveloka seems to offer the best prices.
Easy booking process through the app
The booking process is quite straightforward. I just downloaded the app, registered my e-mail address and mobile number, logged in, searched for my preferred hotel, booked, paid, and got my hotel voucher via e-mail. Below is a rundown of the process.
- Download the Traveloka app via Google Play or the Apple Store.
2. Select your preferred language. (As I mentioned, you can choose among English and other Southeast Asian languages!)
3. Register an account using your name, e-mail address, mobile number, and a new password.
4. Wait for your verification code via e-mail.
5. Enter the code on the verification page.
6. Log in.
7. Select “hotels” from the home page.
8. Search for your preferred hotel and key in necessary details like check-in date and number of guests.
9. Select your preferred room.
10. Enter details like name of guest and special requests, if any.
11.Pay via credit card, debit card, bank, or over the counter (e.g. 7-11 convenience stores).
12. Wait for the hotel voucher to arrive at your e-mail address. This is what you will present to your hotel upon check-in. No need to print – you can show it from your phone or tablet!
Booking was generally seamless for me – my only nitpick was that there appeared to be an error when I was writing my special request on the booking form. I checked and I was within the character limit and was using the allowable characters. It must have been a bug, and I sent an e-mail to report it. Anyway, after refreshing the page a few times, I was able to complete my booking.
Many options to pay
I like that aside from credit card and debit card, you can pay via bank deposit, or over-the-counter at M Lhuillier, 7-11 convenience stores. What I especially appreciate is their option to pay via coins.ph, where I have an account.
My only concern is that they do not have a PayPal option (I hope they will have soon!), but the coins.ph option for me makes up for it somehow.
Responsive customer service
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to move the dates of my booking, and I chatted with a Traveloka agent about it (good thing they have a 24-hour customer service). In the case of my booking, I was told that I had to re-schedule it directly with the hotel and relay it back to Traveloka. (There must be some bookings Traveloka can re-book directly, though I am not sure which these are. Best to ask them, if ever you find yourself in my predicament). Thankfully, I got the go-ahead from the hotel to move my dates at no charge, and I e-mailed Traveloka support.
I received a reply in less than 24 hours, and they confirmed my new booking dates. The process was generally smooth. And, I had a relaxing time during my hotel stay.
All in all, I would say Traveloka is worth trying, especially if there is an ongoing promo. Don’t forget to keep checking and comparing!