The Essentials

Travel Comparison Shopping

Something very strange is going on in travel and branding.

Want to hail a taxi in Vienna? A 10-minute ride could cost you 30 Euros. But call Uber, and the fare drops to $17. Then, surprise, your Uber driver is driving a cab!

Want to book a room at a Marriott? Check out the price. Then go to Airbnb in some cities, and book one of the site’s rooms at what’s often a much lower rate. And guess what you booked? You booked that same Marriott room.

Talk about confusing branding. But it speaks to a much larger and essential need for travelers to be better comparison shoppers, even with brands and services they thought they knew.