CONSUMER ALERT: Tips to book your summer vacation

CONSUMER ALERT: Tips to book your summer vacation

(WAFB) - If you typically book your hotels online, you probably check multiple websites to see which company can offer the best price. Sites like Expedia, Hotwire, and Travelocity or the many others out there that offer the same service.

But, a new report by Washington Consumers' Checkbook shows that this "world of options" is an illusion.

Did you know that almost all of the travel booking sites have been bought by either Expedia or Booking Holdings, previously known as the Priceline Group? Together, they now control 95 percent of third-party online hotel bookings.

The two companies bargain with each other to decide how hotel rooms are priced and they've come up with an agreement for their hotels to offer the same room at the same price across all platforms.

So, when it comes to typing in your travel dates and personal information on 5-10 different websites you're wasting your time.

A tip on how to actually get a good deal is to head straight to the website of the hotel where you want to stay. It might have an even lower price than Expedia.

Travel experts also advise consumers to stay away from package bundles for flights, hotels and cars.

They say these deals often include travel that isn't ideal like flights with several layovers.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.