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How To Use Expedia To Find Great Deals on Flights, Hotels, Vacation Packages (and More)

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
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Keri Stooksbury


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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
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Expedia has been around for a while, and we’re sure most of you have used it at least once to search for a flight.

But do you really know all that Expedia has to offer? And are you really saving money when you book through Expedia?

Let’s dive deep into this site to answer all of your questions and show you everything Expedia can do for you!

Expedia Flights

While you can use Expedia to book lots of different things, flights are probably what comes to mind first. You can access the flight search by clicking Flights in the main search bar at the top of the page.

How To Book a Flight on Expedia

Booking a flight on Expedia is a simple process.

First, plug in your departure and arrival cities, dates of travel, and the number of passengers. You can also specify preferences such as ticket type (economy, premium economy, business class, first class), one-way, round-trip, or multi-city.

Expedia flight search
You can use Expedia to search for flights. Image Credit: Expedia

The search results page will include sorting and filtering options to the left of the screen.

If you have some flexibility and would like to see prices for different dates, click on Flexible dates right above the search results. This is a great tool to see if you can save some money by adjusting your travel dates (the lowest price options will be highlighted in green while the most expensive will be in red).

Expedia flight search flexible dates
Use the flexible dates feature to find the cheapest option. Image Credit: Expedia

The prices you see are per person for a round-trip flight, and they include taxes and fees (except for any baggage fees the airline charges).

Once you have found the departure flight you like, click Select to continue with your purchase.

Next, you will be prompted to choose your return flight. Notice the flights that show a +$0 round-trip price — these are the options included in the price you were quoted.

Some flights could have a higher price, which will be added to the original price. Again, click on Select once you have chosen your flight.

Expedia flight price difference
Your return flight choice may increase the original price. Image Credit: Expedia

You will then be prompted to bundle a hotel with your flight to save money — more on this in the Packages section below.

From here, you can confirm your flight details and add upgrades if you wish. Double-check your price on the right side of your screen. If there are any booking fees for your purchase, they will be listed here.

Expedia flight total
You can double-check the price including fees before completing your booking. Image Credit: Expedia

Click the blue Check out button to proceed. Then you can fill out your payment and traveler information to complete your purchase.

Hot Tip: Expedia offers free cancellation within 24 hours of booking your flight!

Protect Your Flight

As you are completing your booking, you may be asked if you want to purchase travel insurance. Purchasing additional insurance is a personal decision, so be sure to do what you are comfortable with. However, make sure you are an informed consumer first.

There are many travel rewards credit cards with travel insurance so you may not need an extra policy. Cards including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card come with perks such as trip cancellation insurance and lost luggage insurance.

So if you are purchasing your flight with the right credit card, you could already have all of the insurance you need.

Hot Tip: For a full run-down of the types of insurance offered by credit cards, check out our guide to credit card insurance. And for the times you think you might need to purchase additional coverage, be sure to refer to our guide to buying the best travel insurance.

Price Comparisons

Does booking your flight through Expedia save you money? Let’s take a look.

We searched for a round-trip flight from Columbus, Ohio to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and compared the cheapest option on Expedia to other OTAs and the airline’s website.

For this search, we actually got the exact same price on Expedia, the airline’s website, and on other websites like Kayak and Orbitz.

We did a second search, from Atlanta, Georgia to Paris to see where we could find the lowest price, and again, the same price was found on all of the sites.

In these situations, it’s best to decide what type of rewards you want to earn (Expedia Rewards vs. Orbitz Orbucks vs. airline miles for example), so you know the best place to book.

Bottom Line: Unfortunately there isn’t an exact science to finding the cheapest flight prices. While Expedia turns out to be a good option many times, it’s always best to take a few minutes to compare prices before you make a purchase. 

Expedia Hotels

How To Book a Hotel on Expedia

To start your hotel search on Expedia, just click on Stays in the main search bar. Input your destination, travel dates, and the number of travelers and rooms, then click Search.

Hotel search on Expedia
Click on Stays to search for accommodations on Expedia. Image Credit: Expedia

You’ll be able to filter your search results using the map or various features including amenities, price, or property type listed on the left side of the screen.

Expedia hotel search filter left bar
Expedia offers lots of filtering options to make your hotel search easier. Image Credit: Expedia

Each search result will show you the price per night.

The search results will also give you some other information at a glance, including the cancellation policy and any special amenities the hotel might offer (like free breakfast or a resort credit).

Expedia hotel search benefits
The search results will provide information including the cancellation policy or any perks like free meals. Image Credit: Expedia

Click on a selection to see more information, including room types and prices. The price shown is always for a base-level room. If you want a premium room or suite, your price will increase from what is initially shown.

Once you have selected your room, click on the blue Reserve button to continue. Then you can fill out your traveler and payment information.

Pay special attention when booking all-inclusive resorts or other types of properties that charge by the person. Be sure you are booking for the correct number of people!

Hot Tip: When searching for accommodations on Expedia, you’ll find vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, condos, and villas in addition to hotels and resorts.

Hotel Insurance

Just as when booking a flight, Expedia will try to sell you hotel booking protection, aka insurance. So, what does it include, and do you really need it?

Expedia hotel insurance
Expedia will recommend that you purchase hotel insurance but it might not be necessary. Image Credit: Expedia

The first thing you need to know is that this insurance will vary depending on the state you live in. Go here to access the policies for each state.

While there are definitely situations when purchasing extra insurance is a good idea, often you will have some degree of coverage from your credit card, so double-check your benefits before considering an additional purchase.

Many major credit cards offer travel insurance options, including varying degrees of travel accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and trip delay insurance.

Member Pricing

You might notice that some properties offer special member pricing. All you need to do to access these prices is to create a free Expedia account.

Expedia member pricing on hotels
Keep an eye out for special member prices. Image Credit: Expedia

After a comparison of prices before and after creating an account and logging in, the member prices were indeed lower.

For the properties checked, the savings ranged from $18 to $58 per night. So, it’s definitely worth creating a free account if you plan to book a hotel through Expedia!

Bottom Line: If you are going to book a hotel through Expedia, be sure to create a free account. You can unlock lower members-only pricing!

Price Comparisons

Now let’s see if Expedia can save you money when booking a hotel. Here are our search results for a week-long stay in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for 2 people:

Hotel NamePrice on ExpediaPrice on Hotel’s Website
Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa All-Inclusive$3,695$3,692
Eden Roc at Cap Cana$6,528$6,528
Barceló Bávaro Palace All Inclusive$1,469$1,714

Expedia matched (or almost matched) or beat the prices for all 3 of the hotel examples. Plus in each instance, Expedia offered a more flexible cancellation policy.

When you are booking a chain hotel such as Hilton or Hyatt, it usually makes sense to book through the hotel’s website even if the price is the same. Hotels booked through Expedia won’t earn hotel points, and any elite status you have may not be recognized.

Bottom Line: When booking a hotel that has its own rewards program (like Hilton Honors or Marriott Bonvoy) through Expedia you won’t be able to earn points or enjoy elite benefits. If those things are important to you, book directly through the hotel’s website.

Expedia Packages

If you’d like to book a combination of a flight, hotel, and/or rental car, check out the Packages section of Expedia.

Expedia Packages
You can book a flight, hotel, and even a rental car at one time using Expedia Packages. Image Credit: Expedia

You will see search results that look familiar — you can sort and filter your list just as you do when you search for a hotel or flight separately. The thing that is different is that the price listed is per person and includes all portions of your trip (hotel and flight, for example), plus taxes and fees.

Expedia Package
Package prices are listed per person and include all parts of the trip. Image Credit: Expedia

After you choose your hotel, you will be prompted to choose a flight.

When reviewing the second part of your package, you might notice that there are different prices. If the price is negative, your trip cost will go down; if it is positive, the cost will go up.

Expedia Bundle Save flights
The package price will change based on the flights you choose. Image Credit: Expedia

Continue to select the rest of your flights and any other portions you bundled with it. Right before you finalize your payment, you will have the opportunity to upgrade your flight or add things like airport transfers and activities.

Do Package Deals Save You Money?

While not a guarantee, during our research, we’ve found that package deals can be where the biggest savings are.

Let’s take a look at some examples for a week-long hotel stay and round-trip flights for 2 people:

Trip DestinationExpedia Package DealFlight Price if Booked SeparatelyHotel Price if Booked SeparatelyCost Difference Booking a Bundle and Save Deal
Austin, TX to Seattle, WA$2,010$513$1,467+$30
Columbus, OH to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic$2,443$1,018$1,865-$440
NYC to Paris, France$3,363$1,549$1,947-$133

While you can see that you don’t always save money when booking a Package deal, there is the potential to save quite a bit — as much as $440 from these examples!!

Bottom Line: Expedia package deals combine a flight, hotel, and/or car rental in 1 package. While these deals don’t always save money, more often than not, you can save quite a bit. 

Expedia Car Rentals

How To Book a Rental Car on Expedia

To book a rental car through Expedia, select the Cars tab in the top menu bar.

You’ll need to input your pick-up and drop-off locations and dates, and you can also specify your preferred rental company or input a coupon code by clicking the I have a discount code dropdown arrow.

Expedia Car Rental Search
You can specify your preferred car rental company or add a discount code on Expedia. Image Credit: Expedia

Your search results list will default to Expedia’s recommended choices. To change the list to sort by price, just select Total Price in the sort options right above your search results.

To narrow your list, use the filtering options at the left side of your screen. You can filter your results by options including car type, price, and even payment options.

Before completing your booking, you’ll be able to double-check the details of the reservation and request extras such as a navigation system or child car seat.

Expedia car rental extras
You can add extras including a car seat or navigation system to your reservation. Image Credit: Expedia

Hot Tip: You might notice that there are 2 different prices listed: per week/day and total price. Pay attention to the total price — this will be the higher of the 2, which includes all days and taxes and fees.

Next, you will need to fill out your payment information and decide if you want to add insurance.

You can feel confident declining the insurance if you have a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which comes with primary rental car insurance. This benefit covers any loss, theft, or damage to the rental car, as well as towing.

Expedia car rental insurance
You may not need to purchase insurance if you have the right credit card. Image Credit: Expedia

There are many credit cards with rental car insurance, so check your wallet before purchasing an extra policy.

Keep in mind that these policies don’t apply to all car types (luxury sports cars are generally not included) and can vary by card, so be sure to double-check the specifics for your card.

Price Comparisons

In comparing prices between different online travel agencies, we have come to this conclusion: there is no single place where you will find the best prices every time.

Here is what we found when searching for a week-long economy car rental in Punta Cana:

WebsitePrice for 1-Week Car Rental
Fox Rent A Car$95.47
Payless Car Rental$93.14
Priceline$79.57 (pay at the time of booking)

In this example, Priceline offered the lowest price, but you had to pay for your reservation upfront. All of the other prices were for reservations that you could pay at the time of rental. So if flexibility is important to you, Expedia would be a good option here.

Expedia Cruises

How To Book a Cruise on Expedia

The search feature for Expedia cruises is pretty simple. First, click on Cruises in the main menu bar. Input your destination, month of departure, and the number of travelers, then click Search.

Expedia cruises
You can use Expedia to book your next cruise. Image Credit: Expedia

If you choose a popular destination like the Caribbean, there will be a lot of choices, so you will want to use the filtering options to narrow your results by things like cruise length, departure port, or cruise line.

You will also have the option to sort your list of results by price (listed per person), departure date, and length of cruise.

Each cruise result will display basic information and the price per person.

Expedia cruise filtering and sorting options
You can use the filtering and sorting options to find the exact cruise that’s right for you. Image Credit: Expedia

Choose Cabin Type and Dining Preferences

Next, you’ll choose your cabin type. This can be a bit overwhelming if you have never cruised before! You will have options including interior cabin, ocean view, balcony, and suites. Then there are even more options in each of those categories.

You will also be able to see if there are any special offers that come with each room type — these offers are usually from the cruise line and not exclusive to Expedia.

Hot Tip: Read the description of your room very carefully — many categories of rooms sound similar. An ocean view room usually just has a small porthole (often with obstructed views). Large ships can have balcony rooms overlooking the atriums in the center — so if you want a balcony that faces the ocean, be sure to book an ocean view balcony, not just a balcony! 

Price Comparisons

When pricing out several cruises, we found that most of the time, the price was the same on Expedia as it was on the cruise’s website and other online travel agencies.

While the base prices tend to be the same across most websites, you’ll often find that the extra perks and benefits like ship credit or free specialty dining can vary by website, so it’s always best to check a few before booking.

If you collect Expedia Rewards points, it might make sense to book through Expedia. Otherwise, you might want to book directly with the cruise line or see if any other sites offer any extras.

Either way, make sure you are using a credit card that earns bonus points on cruise travel when booking direct or a card that earns points on general travel when booking through Expedia to earn lots of points for your purchase.

Hot Tip: Booked your cruise but not sure how to prepare? Check out this ultimate cruise packing guide with tons of tips and advice. 

Expedia Things To Do

How To Book Activities Through Expedia

You can use Expedia to book activities at your destination, too. Just go to the Things to Do tab in the main menu, enter your destination and dates of travel, and then click Search.

Expedia things to do
You can book activities through Expedia. Image Credit: Expedia

You will likely have lots of results, which you can filter by criteria including activity type and budget.

Each result will give you some basic information about the activity, including the price per person and the name of the tour company. Remember, it’s always a good idea to check what the prices would be if you booked direct.

Click on any result to get more information, check availability for your dates, and complete the booking.

Hot Tip: You can earn or redeem Expedia Rewards points when booking activities through Expedia.

Price Comparisons

When pricing out a few activities, we found that the prices were all over the map:

  • Some activities were the same price on Expedia versus the tour company’s website
  • An activity was available on Expedia but not the tour operator’s site
  • An activity was more expensive on Expedia, but Expedia offered the ability to book for 1 person; the tour operator’s site was less expensive but had a minimum of 2 people

So, again, there is never a right answer here. Expedia is often a good choice for booking things to do during your vacation, but it never hurts to do a quick check on the tour operator’s site.

Expedia Deals

If you’ve got some flexibility, check out Expedia’s featured deals under the Deals tab under the More travel dropdown menu.

Expedia Deals
Check out Expedia Deals when you have some flexibility in your travel plans. Image Credit: Expedia

The deals are broken down by location and are usually only available for specific dates, so it’s good to have some flexibility if you’re looking to save the most money.

When you click on each deal, you should be taken to a search results list with your chosen deal at the top, but we found that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes we could see the deal, but sometimes it was nowhere to be found.

Expedia Coupon Codes

You can find Expedia coupon codes in a few different places.

First, you can try the Expedia coupons page. Coupons are not always available, but it’s good to check before making a purchase.

You can also check some of the popular coupon sites. Here are some links to check out the next time you are using Expedia:

One Key Rewards

One Key is the rewards program shared by Expedia,, and Vrbo. It allows you to earn points called OneKeyCash on eligible hotels, vacation rentals, flights, car rentals, and more across the 3 brands.

Members receive 2% in OneKeyCash for every dollar spent on eligible hotels, vacation rentals, activities, packages, car rentals, and cruises. Unfortunately, the earning rate for flights is poor — just 0.2% in OneKeyCash for every dollar spent on eligible flights.

Members can also receive discounts of 10% or more on hotels and up to 30% when booking a hotel and flight together.

One Key Status

Just as with most frequent flyer or hotel rewards programs, Expedia’s One Key offers different levels of status. Status levels are determined based on how many trip elements you collect. You’ll get 1 trip element for each hotel or vacation rental night, each flight, each car rental day, each cruise night, and each activity ticket.

Requirements0 to 4 trip elements5 to 14 trip elements15 to 29  trip elements30+ trip elements
Earn OneKeyCash on eligible stays, flights, car rentals, and moreYesYesYesYes
OneKeyCash bonusNoneEarn 50% more OneKeyCash on stays at VIP Access properties on Expedia and Hotels.comEarn 2x OneKeyCash on stays at VIP Access properties on Expedia and Hotels.comEarn 3x OneKeyCash on stays at VIP Access properties on Expedia and
Member savingsSave 10% or more on over 100,000 hotels worldwideSave 15% or more on over 10,000 hotels worldwideSave 20% or more on over 10,000 hotels worldwideSave 20% or more on over 10,000 hotels worldwide
Get access to free price tracking for flights on the Expedia Appxxxx
Traveler supportPriorityPriorityPlatinum VIP
Get an extra perk when staying at select VIP Access properties  (such as food and beverage extras)xxx
Room upgrades when available at VIP Access propertiesxx
Price Drop Protection at no extra cost on eligible flight bookings made on the Expedia appxx
Receive up to $100 off hotels to upgrade your stay and celebrate the launch of One Key (using a one-time Expedia discount of 10%)x

VIP Access Hotels

VIP Access Hotels are a group of over 3,000 properties that offer higher standards and consistently get rave reviews and ratings.

Expedia VIP Access hotels
One Key members get extra perks at VIP Access hotels. Image Credit: Expedia

All members earn 2% OneKeyCash when booking VIP Access properties and Silver, Gold, and Platinum members get extra perks.

Bottom Line: One Key is Expedia’s loyalty program. OneKeyCash is earned at variable rates by booking eligible flights, hotels, cars, activities, and vacation packages through Expedia,, and Vrbo. 

Expedia Mobile App

Expedia offers special deals and benefits when you book through its mobile app (iOS and Android). You can earn double Expedia Rewards points on every booking through the app and save up to 30% by booking a mobile-exclusive deal.

If your trip is booked through Expedia, you will also get notifications on changes or delays and will be able to access your itinerary.

Expedia mobile app
There are special perks available when booking through Expedia’s mobile app. Image Credit: Expedia

Expedia Rewards Credit Cards

Expedia used to offer 2 co-branded cards, the Expedia® Rewards Card from Citi and the Expedia® Rewards Voyager Card from Citi, however, they are no longer available.

AARP Travel Center

As an AARP member, you can enjoy extra benefits through the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia. Reservations can be made through the AARP Travel Center or by phone at 800-675-4318.


AARP Members get an extra 10% off the following hotels:

Best Western

Choice Hotels

  • Ascend Hotel Collection
  • Cambria Hotels & Suites
  • Clarion Hotel
  • Comfort Suites and Comfort Inn
  • Econo Lodge
  • Mainstay Suites
  • Quality Inn
  • Rodeway Inn
  • Sleep Inn
  • Suburban Extended Stay Hotels

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

  • Days Inn
  • Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
  • Howard Johnson
  • Knights Inn
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites
  • Ramada Europe, Middle East, & Africa
  • Super 8
  • Travelodge
  • TRYP by Wyndham
  • Wingate by Wyndham
  • Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

$50 Visa Gift Card

AARP members will get a $50 prepaid Visa gift card when booking a vacation package that includes a flight.

Group Hotels

AARP members receive a 5% cash rebate (up to $350) on eligible group hotel bookings in 9 or more hotel rooms.

Car Rentals

As an AARP member, you are eligible for up to 30% off select car rentals at participating Avis and Budget locations and 5% off at Payless locations, as well as free upgrades and 1 free additional driver.


AARP members can receive up to $100 in extra onboard credits on select cruises. The amount will be determined by the cost of the cruise.

Reservations can be made through the AARP Travel Center or by phone at 800-675-4318.

Final Thoughts

Expedia is a huge online travel agency that offers lots of different products and services, including flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises. While it isn’t a slam dunk for the lowest price every time, there are deals to be had.

One Key offers points-earning capabilities to get even more value out of every booking you make through Expedia.

Whether or not Expedia is your go-to travel search site, it’s worth taking a look at when booking your next trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Expedia Rewards?

Expedia Rewards was Expedia’s loyalty program until mid-2023 when it was replaced by One Key.

How much are Expedia Rewards points worth?

Expedia Rewards points are worth 1 cent each. Until February 1, 2022, they were worth 0.7 cents each.

How do you earn One Key rewards points?

You’ll earn OneKeyCash each time you purchase an eligible hotel stay, vacation rental, rental car, flight, and more across 3 brands — Expedia,, and Vrbo. Members receive 2% in OneKeyCash for every dollar spent on eligible hotels, vacation rentals, activities, packages, car rentals, and cruises and 0.2% in OneKeyCash for every dollar spent on eligible flights.

Does Expedia offer a credit card?

No, Expedia doesn’t offer a credit card anymore. The Expedia Rewards card and Expedia Rewards Voyager card are no longer available.

Are Expedia vacation packages a good deal?

Expedia vacation packages can be a good deal, but not always. Most of the time, bundling 2 or more things together (like a hotel and flight) will save you money, but it’s best to do a price check before you make a purchase.

How do I contact Expedia customer service?

To contact Expedia customer service, click here. If you need help with a trip that is already booked, you will need to log in to your account.

Katie Seemann's image

About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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