Trips Ahoy!

Best Online Travel Value

Quikbook.com & Hotels.com
Big-business-style buying power is a keystroke away.

Why pay retail when the hotel you want, or one nearby, might offer the same thing for much less? While new limited-service hotel chains like Comfort Inns are a good value, they are rarely located in central downtown locations in major cities, where hotel prices are sometimes prohibitive.

Bargain-savvy business travelers can turn to online hotel booking sites like Quikbook.com and Hotels.com for help. These hotel consolidators purchase room blocks from upscale hotels in many major cities at deep discounts and then pass part of the savings on to travelers who book through their sites.

While there's no fee for the site's service, you are required to pay for your entire stay in advance with a credit card when using Hotels.com. The Quikbook.com service usually doesn't require advance payment, but its selection of higher caliber hotels is smaller than that of Hotels.com. Both provide discounts ranging from 20 percent to 60 percent off standard hotel rates. Plus, both services can sometimes find rooms in cities that are otherwise "sold out."

Best Budget Car Rental
Payless Car Rental
Almost as cheap as walking

Earlier this year, Payless Car Rental introduced a corporate account program designed just for small-business travelers. It offers a 5 percent discount off the lowest rate available at the time you make your reservation (typically including low promotional rates). Because the rates at Payless are usually significantly less than the rates at major car rental companies to begin with, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better deal. Keep in mind, however, that Payless caters mostly to the leisure travel set, so you may occasionally find yourself in a long line with the straw-hat-and-sandals vacationing crowd. But at least you'll know you've shaved a few dollars off the travel budget. Payless has rental facilities in 120 cities in the United States and abroad.

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This article was originally published in the April 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Trips Ahoy!.

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