Hostelculture.com gives you 5% discount off all hostel rates shown, as standard. This discount is automatically applied at the checkout online, at the point of booking. Below, we explain how this makes the same bed, at the same hostel, cheaper on Hostelculture.com than on the other big websites, or OTAs (online travel agents), such as bookingdotcom and hostelworlddotcom.
“Don't all these booking websites claim to be the cheapest?!”
Well, not exactly. You may be used to seeing statements like “Best Price Guarantee” or “We Price Match” on popular booking websites. This isn’t the same as being the cheapest, rather they claim they’ll refund the difference should you find the same bed / room cheaper on another site.
Of course, such a promise is subject to conditions & fine print, and provided you’ve actually gone about looking for the same bed at the same hostel for the same time at a cheaper price on another website - after you’ve already booked it; which isn’t very likely in fairness but, assuming you do, then you’ve got to go through the motions just to get the difference in price back from the site you booked on. Fun, not.
Aside from the unlikeliness of people actively pursuing the return in price difference, and the T&Cs, there are a couple of more reasons these big sites are comfortable making the price match promise.
Many of these big websites introduced price parity clauses into their contracts with the properties they list a few years ago. Controversial & contentious, some jurisdictions deemed the practise to be illegal and some have withdrawn them, but these clauses mean that the properties cannot sell their beds cheaper on other sites, including their own website, and this is another reason why those powerful OTAs were happy to match a cheaper price if found elsewhere – they forced the property themselves to ensure the beds aren’t available cheaper on another site, and held them accountable.
Also, the vast majority of hostels today use software known as channel-managers, which basically allows them to list their beds on multiple websites and not have to worry about over-bookings or manually allocating and removing beds from all the different sites in real time as they sell, which is very handy for hostels, and these channel managers also mean their beds are generally on all the different websites at the same price, so it makes it even less likely that you’ll find the same bed cheaper on any one website.
So, how can HostelCulture.com be cheaper than the others?
While the big sites take a hefty commission (as high as 20% of the total sale price) from the hostel, we charge a 10% commission, among the lowest in the industry, and we give you back 5%! So, while the property is selling at the same rate as on the other sites, we give you back 5% of the price from our commission by discounting it at the point of booking; meaning you pay 5% less of the total booking when you book on HostelCulture.com, and, with no booking fees or hidden charges, you can be confident that this really is the cheapest price available for that bed.
What does a 5% saving actually look like?
Well, let’s say, for example, you make a booking for two in a 6 bed dorm in a hostel in Barcelona for 4 nights during high season, you’d easily save, on average, €11.80, just by booking through us – the same beds, the same hostel, the same dates, but now you can treat yourself to more cocktails & tapas!
Or, the same scenario in Budapest, for example, you’d save, on average, €9.30 with HostelCulture.com. That’s entry to the famous Veli Bej thermal baths, and enough change for a beer afterwards.
Whether you choose to spend the savings on upgrading your lunch, or treating yourself to some relaxation, or to put it in the travel fund for your next trip is up to you; one easy and smart decision you should have no difficulty making though, is to book your next hostel on HostelCulture.com – why pay more?
Where are you off to next, and what will you spend the cash we save you on? Let us know in the comments.
Written by Ray, while listening to The Knife, Noel Gallagher's high flying birds, and Imelda May.