Best Travel Websites
December 23, 2008
The best travel websites help you find cheap airline tickets or hotel reservations with the least amount of hassle. Here are some of the things we look for in a travel website, whether using it to book a vacation or business travel:
- Lowest price on hotel rooms and airline tickets
- Easy to search and compare prices and features
- Ability to track prices on hotels or airline flights
- Easy signup and payment process
- Good overview of seasonal and last minute deals
Here are some of the best travel websites that meet some combination of these criteria:
Orbitz.com – Orbitz is known for it’s ability to find the lowest prices on flights, hotel rooms, car rentals; and combinations of the three. It’s interface makes it easy to compare prices; one of the things I like about Orbitz is that they show the total price, including taxes and fees, when comparing prices.
They also have an interesting feature called “Price Assurance”, where they promise to find you the lowest fare or give you an automatic cash refund. Here are some more details on how it works from the Orbitz site.
“Once you book a flight on Orbitz, we start tracking to see if another customer subsequently books the same flight on Orbitz at a lower price.
If that happens, we’ll issue a refund for the difference, between $5 and $250 per traveler. We’ll continue tracking until the day you fly. So each time the price drops and another customer subsequently books your same itinerary for a lower fare, your refund amount will increase.”
Expedia.com – Expedia is known for it’s breadth of vacation and travel deals, covering flights, lodgings, cruises, vacation packages, and rental cars. Expedia also offer deals on activities and excursions once you’ve arrived at your travel destination and they have a rewards program called the ThankYou Network.
Another useful feature to help save some money is the Fare Comparison Calendar that suggests travel dates that offer lower prices.
Travelocity.com – Travelocity has many of the same features as Expedia, letting you find good deals on flights, hotels, cars, cruises, and activities. Everyone probably knows the traveling Travelocity gnome by now from their commercials.
One of the things I like about Travelocity are the destinations guides they offer from Frommer’s travel, covering cities around the world. Their traveler reviews can also be helpful when trying to choose a hotel.
Kayak.com – Kayak’s interface is really slick. They really do a good job making it easy to filter and compare search results. All from one page, Kayak offers multiple different views of the results, lets you filter the results based on flight times, airlines, airports, layovers, trip length, and price. In addition, Kayak also has a feature where you can compare search results against Priceline, Expedia, and Travelocity.
Priceline.com – Priceline is known for it’s unique feature of letting you choose the price you’re willing to pay for hotels, airline tickets, cruises, and car rentals. Everyone I know that’s used it has a great story of how they got a nice hotel room for a bargain.
Our story is that we found a room on the upper West Side of Manhattan right off a subway line for real steal. A buddy at work saved a ton on a room right on Times Square. Of course companies don’t have to accept your bid but if declined they allow you to bid again after a few days.
All posts by Ben Edwards