This is Insane, But True. Your Hotel Booking Site is Not Being Honest with you. They charge differently depending upon your browser and tell a fair few fibs to you.

You have seen

Last chance! We have 1 room left!

Just missed it!

We reserved our last available room at this property

We’ll likely sell out of apartments at this hotel within the next 2 hours.

Do NOT believe one word of this.


It’s Personal

We did a road trip to Tropical North Queensland recently, where we were booking hotels the day before, if not on the day. We were getting these messages, ‘Just missed it! We reserved our last available room at this property’. For the first day or two we believed this information and looked at other accommodation options.

Then we got to a town where there was not a chance that the hotel was booked out because we stalked it, and all of the doors to the rooms were open and there was not a car in site.

We sat out the front in our car, and got our phones onto it. We both got the ‘Just missed it! We reserved our last available room at this property‘, on three booking sites that we checked.

So … We walked into the motel in Yungaburra, Tropical North Queensland and talked to the owner. He had not had a guest for a week, and we were his first. He was pleased to see us, and we were pleased to see him but annoyed that yes, we have found another issue with booking sites. Most hotels have a lowest price guarantee and are willing to match third-party sites anyhow but we felt so sorry for him, we just paid the price he asked. Here is a free plug to the Yungaburra Park Motel, clean and friendly and perfectly located in this artsy village.


Even The Computer you use and the browser you use can cost you

If you are a regular reader of our site, and we sure hope you are, you may have read Traveler Alert: Which Web Browser Should you Use to Save Money? where we revealed that different web browsers and different computers will yield very different results if you are booking accommodation online or even flights.

In brief, our research showed that prices varied considerably depending on the computer and the search engine you use, not to mention where you live.

If you are a Mac user, then the assumption is that you make more money and are interested in fancier hotels, and ‘can pay the higher prices, and this is what you are given.

However, if you are a PC user and use Internet Explorer as your search engine, then you will get a much lower price, because you must be poorer.

If you live in a poor neighborhood, you get an even cheaper price.

If you live in a poor neighbourhood, use an old PC and have Internet Explorer, chances are the hotels will pay you to stay with them

This is called dynamic pricing apparently though I am sure that a few of we Mac users, who have Safari might come up with a different term…and that ain’t a pretty term.

You should read the article in full, you will be quite astounded as to how you are being manipulated.

Booking Sites Tell Fibbies

Booking sites know that if you are looking for accommodation, then you are looking for accommodation. These messages, like Last chance! We have 1 room left! , are to scare you into making a booking. The more you look at the one destination, the faster it is, that someone from Hong Kong, or Los Angeles or wherever is also looking at this property.

The message is … seriously Paula, do you really want to miss out and be homeless for the night?

It is psychological warfare and very often they win when you are tired, you want to stay in a place with limited accommodation, and you know no better.


We turn off Country and Western to expose this scam

Instead of listening to road trip music in some parts of the journey, I looked up random hotels anywhere, rang them, to see if they had any accommodation. We specifically targeted those that claimed to be sold out, or who had only one room left. Only once from about 20 phone calls, did the hotel say that they had no rooms left, and I believed them. Customers are money to them, booking sites not so much. They are just 3rd party companies looking to make a profit. And there is only so much Country and Western I could cope with ..just joking.

If you see this on the booking site, and all of the booking sites are as guilty as one another, it is probably false. We traveled to the Village in the Rainforest, Kuranda and to the Kuranda Hotel. The booking sites claimed that they had 1 room left.  We rang them and got a room and we were the only guests in the entire place the 2nd night. There was one other couple there on the first night, and the rest of the rooms were free.


It’s Not Just Us

Even the New York Times have written about Third-Party Hotel Booking Sites Can Mislead Consumers 

What can you do?

  • Don’t panic
  • Don’t let them make you think you will be sleeping in the car or in the middle of nowhere.
  • Ring the hotel directly, and use these 3rd party rates as a bargaining tool. If you are booking an overseas hotel, it is worth paying for Skype and calling them yourselves.
  • Make a note to share this information with everyone you know so that your friends and family know that booking sites are fibbers.


I have compiled a list of the 30 Most Authoritative articles on Travel Hacks and many of the ways that we are all being scammed. Take your time and use this as a resource to check what is happening. No one wants to give away hard earned money because of some form of trickery dynamic pricing.

30 Most Authoritative Articles on Travel Hacks

  1. 8 Hotel Booking Hacks Every Traveler Needs to Know
  2. 25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers
  3. 8 Hotel Booking Hacks Every Traveler Needs to Know
  4. How To Travel Hack Your Hotel
  5. Hotel Hacks: The Best Way to Book a Great-Priced Room Now
  6. How to Get the Best Hotel Deals
  7. 20 Hotel Hacks To Save You Money On Your Next Trip
  8. Booking Cheap Hotels
  9. 13 Hotel Booking Hacks for Business Travelers
  10. 22 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight
  11. How to Hack Your Way to a Cheaper Airfare
  12. 29 travel hacks that even frequent fliers don’t know
  13. How to Find the Cheapest Flights
  15. 60+ Amazing Travel Hacks Everyone Should Know!
  16. 10 Travel Hacks That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Trip
  17. What are the best travel hacks?
  18. 29 travel hacks that even frequent fliers don’t know
  19. 10 Travel Hacks Every Business Traveler Should Know
  20. The smartest travel hacks for a hassle-free holiday
  21. These are the ultimate travel hacks
  22. 24 Of The Smartest Travel Hacks You’ll Ever Need. #22 Is Crucial.
  23. 100 Life Hacks That Make Life Easier
  24. 10 clever travel hacks for jet-setting women
  26. Vacation Travel Hacks — Straight From The Pros
  27. 5 more travel hacks
  28. Eight of the best business travel hacks
  29. What 100 Million Web Searches Reveal About Summer   Travel
  30. Five Travel Hacks and Trends to Optimize Your Summer Travel


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