Driven by a fundamental evolution in the way Americans travel, spurred by the rise of the sharing economy and the prevalence of mobile booking, Priceline® today announced two major changes to its platform. Priceline has added more than two million listings of alternative accommodations, including apartments, vacation homes, even boats and treehouses. Priceline has also unveiled Trip Builder, a remarkable new booking platform that lets users bundle all of the most popular options, including alternative accommodations, into one transaction. And when they do, travelers gain access to privately negotiated rates that are otherwise unavailable.
Historically, bundled bookings involved a single round-trip flight purchased with one hotel or rental car. Bundling can dramatically lower the combined price due to the private rates. However, limitations abounded: travelers were required to include a flight with every booking, choose only one hotel, and could only book one trip at a time. Those restrictions still exist on other booking platforms, but Priceline has eliminated them.
Travelers can now book much more imaginative trips on Priceline, with less work and more savings. Trips with a flight and multiple hotels in different cities. Road trips featuring stays in private apartments and hotels, with no flight required. A mix of private homes and hotels, booked for trips to be taken at different times. When bundled together on Trip Builder, the collective price can be hundreds of dollars less than if they were booked independently.
“We know that bundles deliver real savings - an average of $240 per transaction on Priceline. But we also know the universe of customers who can save is much larger,” said Brett Keller, CEO of Priceline. “Our analysts found that for every one person who booked a bundle on Priceline, nine times as many people booked flights and hotels separately for the same trip. So we created Trip Builder, and added alternative accommodations to the flight, hotel and car options. Now our customers have the flexibility to book more creative trips in one sitting, even trips at different times, while saving much more money.”
Trip Builder is unique within the worldwide travel marketplace. It is powered by an advanced recommendation engine that uses machine learning to instantly analyze millions of prospective deals and present the best combination of choice and savings for travelers’ consideration.
How Travel Behaviors Have Evolved
The sharing economy has made alternative accommodations an increasingly popular travel option. The days of “one round-trip flight and one hotel in one destination” are disappearing. Today’s trips are far more imaginative. They include a mix of hotels and private homes, travel between multiple destinations and a near-ubiquitous reliance on mobile devices.
People now book trips closer to the day they intend to depart, and the majority of travelers book trips via mobile, versus desktop. This means more spontaneous trips to less expected destinations. Today’s traveler has a far easier time exploring the world, because a world of options are bookable via their mobile device.
Because alternative accommodations can be booked alongside flights, hotels and rental cars on Trip Builder, the kinds of trips that would typically be complicated to plan and book are now much simpler. Travelers will only have to manage a single itinerary, versus many. They will be able to pocket additional savings by booking trips that include many different components, even for trips that take place months apart.
Below are examples of trips that can be booked on Trip Builder, and the savings they could yield:
- The Wedding Warriors
A young New York-based couple has three weddings to attend over the course of three months. In one transaction, they book four-star hotel stays in downtown Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Trip Builder savings: $330.
- The Vegas Getaway
A husband and wife decide to visit Las Vegas for the first time. They book a round-trip flight from Chicago and elect to spend the week in three different high-end hotels within walking distance, rather than just one. Trip Builder savings: $301.
- The Sonoma Wine Tour
A pair of friends decide to tour multiple wineries throughout Wine Country. They book a round-trip flight from Atlanta, rent a convertible and spend nights in an upscale campground in Geyersville, a charming cottage in Sonoma, and in popular hotels in Napa and San Francisco. One transaction, one itinerary. Trip Builder savings: $395.
These trips and countless others can be booked in one transaction on Trip Builder. Savings estimates were calculated by comparing the Trip Builder price versus the cost of booking each component separately.
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