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Time for a Much Deserved Vacation!

With pandemic-related worries in the rearview mirror (hopefully), it’s time to book a trip to one of your favorite destinations and enjoy some relaxation.

However, some things have changed since 2019. One of them? Hotels.com has made coupon codes rarer to come by…although some coupon websites have the few remaining Hotels.com coupons and more.

This seems unfair. Hunting for coupons when booking travel is one of the great experiences of the booking process. If you find the right promotion code or coupon code, you can relax by the pool and let the other travellers know you paid less than they did. Isn’t that what vacations are supposed to be about in the first place? Showing others up?

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So what’s the purpose behind this decision? According to emails obtained from Hotels.com’s affiliate team, the reason is consumer confusion. Specifically, with using Hotels.com’s rewards program.

You might be familiar with the ‘stay 10 nights, get a free night’ rewards program with Hotels.com. Well, if you use a coupon code on your hotel stay, you don’t earn a reward, so you’re no closer to the free night. And since most of their promo codes are for 5% to 10% off hotel stays, it works out to about the same amount of savings.

It could also shift a change in promotional strategy away from coupons in general. With most coupon companies like Honey offering browser extensions to automate coupon codes anyway, creating dozens of alphanumeric digits each year and expiring them might seem like a waste of time.

My opinion is that it’s a cost cutting measure. It’s not secret that the travel industry suffered a big blow starting in 2020 and cutting into revenues with promo codes might be too much for them. What does that mean for you? Right now, you can still use them. But it also means that if you enjoy using coupon codes on your travel booking (and who doesn’t?), then you may want to start booking with Priceline, Hotwire, or another booking service that freely offers promotional codes as an incentive for you to continue booking with them.

Their rebate program is still in full effect, so you can still earn up to $100 on your hotel & flight vacation package. But the promo codes themselves are becoming rarer.

So pack up your things and prepare to spend some time hunting for coupons. At least until Hotels.com changes its minds and brings them back.