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What is Orbitz?

Planning a vacation can be a very exciting process. Whether you are browsing travel blogs to get some inspiration of where to go or what you might do when you get there, comparing the cost of cheap flights and seeing what dates might be best for you to leave and return, or browsing hotels and other lodging options, every step along the way takes you a little bit closer to your trip coming to fruition. With each accommodation you book, the trip becomes more and more real, starts to take shape before your very eyes.

Anybody who has planned a big vacation also knows, though, that doing so can also be stressful from time to time. Maybe you can’t find any cheap flights on the days that you are hoping to travel. Maybe your preferred hotel is all booked up. Maybe the price of your trip starts to look a little unwieldy for your budget. There are countless little things that can go wrong along the way.

Don’t fret too much, though. I have some good news: these potential stressors can be minimized and, in some cases, eliminated entirely when you use the best travel sites on the web. It’s okay, you can take that sigh of relief now.

So, what are some things to look for when it comes to finding the best hotel booking site? Well, there is a good chance that this will likely depend on you and what kind of traveler you are. If you are more of an adventurer who likes to backpack for weeks on end summiting high peaks and camping in the wilds, well, the best hotel booking site for you probably won’t be one that places an emphasis on luxury or tropical resort getaways. Similarly, if you are planning a business trip you probably won’t fare well on a site like Couch Surfers. Figuring out which is the best hotel booking site, I have found, tends to depend on the nature of your trip (as well as the nature of the traveler).

That is not to say, however, that there isn’t a good amount of overlap in terms of what makes one hotel booking site better than another, generally speaking. At the end of the day, regardless of what your particular trip might look like, we all want the same basic perks, right? I think that everybody’s definition of “the best hotel booking site” looks something like this: the cheapest hotel rooms (without sacrificing quality, of course), a user-friendly and intuitive interface and mobile app for easy and simplified hotel booking that offers plenty of features, excellent customer support, a fair cancellation policy (sometimes stuff happens!), plenty of great listings and packages to choose from, and a solid loyalty program of some sort that rewards long-term or repeat customers. Is that asking for too much? When we’re talking about the best hotel booking site available today, I don’t think so.

One hotel booking site that comes up frequently in this discussion is Orbitz. This site has a great reputation for providing an excellent experience to its customers, it is reputable, it is dependable, and it has been in operation for nearly 20 years now. As a part of the Expedia Group, there is no question as to whether Orbitz is trustworthy … and you can almost guarantee that the Orbitz website and mobile apps are going to be of the highest quality.

Although Orbitz is widely considered one of the best hotel booking sites in the world, that is not all that would-be travelers can benefit from on Orbitz. Thanks to a lengthy list of features and accommodations offered, Orbitz has the potential to be your one-stop shop for all of your travel planning needs. In addition to booking hotel rooms, Orbitz also allows its customers to book cheap flights, car rentals, lock down entire vacation packages, find and reserve activities, and book cruises. Also, as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ Travel Association, you can rest easy knowing that your trip will be as inclusive as it gets – the site even goes out of its way to guide LGBTQ+ travelers towards LGBTQ hangouts and stays.

Regardless of how you self-identify, though, Orbitz offers a superior hotel booking and travel experience, from the preplanning phase of your trip all the way through the stay itself. Does it sound like Orbitz could be the best hotel booking site for you? Well, let’s take a closer look at the company, the site, and all that it has to offer to find out for sure.

Who owns Orbitz?

Orbitz was initially established in 2001 through a partnership of major airlines … therefore, the ownership structure of the company is rather complex. The flagship brand, though, Orbitz Worldwide encompasses not just Orbitz.com, but other popular travel sites as well, such as Cheap Tickets in the Americas, the European imprint eBookers, and Hotel Club and Rates to Go in Australia. Additionally, Orbitz Worldwide owns and operates a corporate travel company simply called Orbitz for Business.

It is somewhat ironic that Expedia now owns Orbitz, seeing as the airline industry established Orbitz in response to the meteoric rise of online travel agency sites like Expedia and Travelocity. The main players in the founding of Orbitz were Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Northwest Airlines. Later on, American Airlines jumped onboard as well. Together, these 5 companies invested a grand total of $145 million in November of 1999 to fund the project.

In its very nascent stages, Orbitz was known as T2, which was code for “Travelocity Terminator.” Once the project began to materialize and become more official, though, this corporate cohort announced their official name, Orbitz, upon commencing corporate operations as DUNC, LLC, the initials of the first 4 founding airlines (Delta, United, Northwest, Continental). The company began its beta testing phase early on in the next year and officially launched Orbitz in June of 2001. And the rest, as they say, is history.

How does Orbitz work?

I think the overall design of Orbitz is quite good. It is sleek, professional, easy to use, and inviting. It can be hard, I have noticed, for a hotel booking site (for any travel site, really) to provide a site design that doesn’t become overly cluttered or cumbersome to use. Orbitz, however, does not seem to have an issue with this at all.

From the moment you land on the homepage, you will be greeted by a large and user-friendly search engine. This allows you to decide whether you would rather dive right and search for the best hotel deals in your desired destination without delay or take some time and browse the site for inspiration. When searching for your hotel, you also have the option to add car rentals and/or flights to your search, making it as easy as it should be to search for every aspect of your travel needs in one go.

Once you plug in all of your trip details and hit “search,” the process remains just as smooth and easy. The hotel listings will appear in a very organized and browsable manner, leaving zero confusion, and filter and sorting options are intuitively placed and help create an enjoyable and convenient user experience.

What is Orbitz rewards?

Speaking of filtering and sorting options, when searching for the best hotel bookings on the web, you will find plenty of ways to pare down the list. Orbitz users can filter stays by star rating, budget, guest rating, cleaning and safety practices (a new feature, I would imagine, in a post-COVID world), payment type, property type, neighborhood, amenities, and more. You can also sort results by recommended, price, “price + our picks,” deals, “guest ratings + our picks,” distance from downtown, star rating, and rentals. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, because it goes to show that Orbitz is one of the most customizable hotel booking sites out there today.

As I already mentioned, though, Orbitz is not just one of the best hotel booking sites. It is also one of the best cheap flight sites, cruise sites, and car rental sites as well – not to mention the fact that you will also be able to book vacation packages and travel activities, too. As if that wasn’t enough, Oribitz also offers some of the best rewards schemes that I have ever seen from a hotel booking site.

Orbitz allows its customers to earn what they call “Orbucks” on all hotel bookings, flights, vacation packages, and activities. One Orbuck = $1 towards your next trip. When you book a hotel on Orbitz.com, you earn 3% of the total cost back in Orbucks (4% if you book with the app). This kind of loyalty program can add up quickly, especially if you travel a lot!

Does Orbitz have an App?

At this point in the review, it probably comes as no surprise that the Orbitz mobile app – available for both iOS and Android devices – is also one of the best hotel booking apps available. Don’t just take my word for it; the app has an average user rating of 4.8 on the Apple App Store – a well deserved rating for such a smooth, reliable, and dynamic hotel booking app.

What I Like about Orbitz

-Great loyalty program (Orbucks)

-Easy to book package deals

-User-friendly and intuitive site and mobile app

What I Dislike about Orbitz

-No price comparisons

Pros
  • Great loyalty program (Orbucks)
  • Easy to book package deals
  • User-friendly and intuitive site and mobile app
  • Good rewards scheme that will give you savings on future bookings
  • Travel blog to help decide where to stay
  • Option to book package deals
Cons
  • No price comparison available
  • Price guarantee feature difficult to find