TravelZoo was launched in 1998 out of Mountain View, California. Unlike most travel booking sites, TravelZoo does not primarily function as a travel provider. Instead, they are classified as an internet media company which hosts a site with published deals from more than 2,000 travel, entertainment, and local businesses (such as restaurants). TravelZoo is currently the largest publisher of all three discounted deals (travel, entertainment, business).
The TravelZoo platform helps thousands of travelers each week reserve and manage their travel accommodations all in one place. Users can book airfare, hotel rooms, rental cars, and even cruises by simply supplying a limited amount of travel information. From there, travelers can quickly sort through the search results and nail down their vacation specifics in a matter of minutes.
In an attempt to publish all deals and available attractions, TravelZoo has included sections not commonly found on other online travel booking platforms. For instance, there is an entire branch of their website completely dedicated to restaurants. This allows users to go through and find unique cuisine options in their desired destination. Additionally, users will be able to search the entertainment page which include upcoming events a traveler may want to take part in while on vacation. There is even an activities page where travelers can book tour or tickets to see popular attractions or take part in various local activities.
The best part about TravelZoo is the fact that they display the rates and information from all of the largest online travel booking providers on the internet. Users can quickly see what other online booking agencies are charging and compare them in order to book the best rate. Not only can a traveler book the necessary accommodations for the upcoming trip, but they can also take advantage of a number of other services provided through TravelZoo. After making reservations, users can navigate the platform to receive additional help and guidance. These features include:
The SuperSearch feature is also helpful to users who are in the vacation/trip planning mode. The SuperSearch tool allows customers to book all four main areas of accommodations and bundle them together for additional savings. Travelers also can earn rewards through various points systems when using the tool to book their travel.
TravelZoo essentially acts as a third-party source to travel providers. That means that the deals and discounts published on their platform are not from their own strategic partnerships, but instead, consist of aggregated data from around the web.
That means travelers will be working through TravelZoo, but are doing business with another accommodations provider. When booking vacation "packages" (which consists of bundling an array of travel accommodations), users will have to complete the booking all through one provider. That means the user cannot book the airline through Orbitz and then the hotel through Expedia.
Since TravelZoo only publishes deals and discounts from other providers, they do not have their own unique rewards system. Travelers can earn points or cash back rewards if they book using their travel-specific credit card or if they are part of a membership program from the booking site that hosts the actual deal. Other than that, travelers will not be able to earn TravelZoo points since there is no system in place.
They were nice on the phone each of the dozen times I called them. That's the end of the niceties. They play good cop to their travel partner's bad cop. We booked a trip to Greece last September through TravelZoo with their "partner" Jetline Airlines. In early March, I called Jetline with concerns about COVID19, and was told that I had nothing to worry about. I was told if the airlines or hotels cancelled on me, I'd be fully refunded. Three days later, the whole world shut down, including Jetline Holidays. They were not available to be reached by phone or email. I began calling TravelZoo, who were easy to reach, and each time, the associate said they'd try to get ahold of Jetline and get me an answer. In the days leading up to our Honeymoon, I contacted our airline, Turkish airlines. They said that indeed our trip had been cancelled and our money had been refunded to Jetline Holidays back in early March, and that I'd need to get our money from them. I still haven't been able to get Jetline on the phone, 3 months later. But I did get an email from TravelZoo saying the AIRLINE refused to give us a refund. Which I confirmed again, on the phone with Turkish Airlines, is untrue. Jetline is withholding our refund, and TravelZoo is doing nothing about it.
Get emails from site. The interface always seems so old and bad that I can’t tell if it’s a legit website. Then, whenever I click on a deal it is a nightmare getting to the actual page for details. Poor poor execution.
I really like Travel Zoo if you're just dreaming of going somewhere, and you want to know whats available for a good deal.