Top Five Online Travel Booking Sites

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Top Five Online Travel Booking Sites

Now, if your travel agent looks like the gal with the laptop here, you might not care much for online travel sites.

 

If not, then let’s face it: you’ve neither the time nor the inclination to visit a traditional travel agent anymore. From the high pressure sales tactics to the lack of clarity on what you’re getting, agents have fallen out of favor. That’s not to say they are all bad, and for certain occasions – an exclusive rendezvous or honeymoon, for example – they are invaluable. But for your regular travel needs, the best place to get good value for money is the Internet.

 

Here’s a few of the sites my friends and I frequent and how they compare: 


Kayak

 

If I want a flight, Kayak is my first stop for a sense check as to pricing and departure dates. I’m a no fuss kind of guy, so I really appreciate their no nonsense user interface, and their new iPhone app is fabulous (so one fellow sojourner tells me). Plus they quote competitors as well.

 

The Bottom Line

  • Good Deals? Absolutely – as an aggregator, Kayak pulls in fares from all over the place. Excellent for business class fares as well.
  • Easy to Use? Simple, clean, and streamlined – just like I like it.
  • One Stop Shopping? Their strength is flights, but they do a good job on car offers. The package holidays section can be hit or miss, but when it’s good, it is very good.

Visit website >


Travelocity

 

Even if you’re not a fan of the garden gnome, you should be a fan of Travelocity; they have some fantastic deals and offers for package holidays, and even sweeter last-minute deals as well if you’re in the mood. They were one of the first Internet travel sites, so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect the process.

 

The Bottom Line

  • Good Deals? Offers their own in-house specials, which can be quite good.
  • Easy to Use? After first it seems like information overload, but Travelocity does a nice job of walking you through each step of the process.
  • One Stop Shopping? Definitely – flights, cars, hotels and package vacations are all covered.

Visit website >


Expedia

 

Expedia is quite similar to Travelocity in terms of offers and site layout. They’ve come under pressure in the past for customer service issues (particularly with major schedule problems or changes), but I haven’t experienced any issues so don’t let this put you off. They also have their own “Thank You” points membership scheme.

 

The Bottom Line

  • Good Deals? Indeed, their Expedia-only airfares are particularly good.
  • Easy to Use? Personally I find the site a bit “busy” though the selection grid to choose carriers versus fares is a nice touch.
  • One Stop Shopping? Yes – they have everything including the kitchen sink.

Visit website >


Orbitz

 

Orbitz is known for their low price guarantee – if another customer books on the same flight for cheaper, they’ll refund you the difference. It’s a policy full of holes, but I say it is better than nothing. Their easy-to-use site is second only to Kayak in terms of your overall browsing experience.

 

The Bottom Line

  • Good Deals? For sure. Their lack of fees and admin charges also helps.
  • Easy to Use? Superb experience – very easy to navigate and understand your options.
  • One Stop Shopping? Flight/car/hotel are the site’s strong points, but don’t overlook any gems in the vacation packages section.

Visit website >


Hotwire

 

Hotwire is one of those sites where you get massive deals but don’t always know the name of your hotel until you book. If loyalty programs are important to you then this isn’t the best option. But Hotwire, as their name implies, has some hot deals.

 

The Bottom Line

  • Good Deals? Yes, although for me these tend to be hit and miss.
  • Easy to Use? Not the best. Often slow to load with pop ups, which I personally find distracting and well, annoying.
  • One Stop Shopping? Yes, hotels are a strong point with airfares and packages coming in strong just behind.

Visit website >


There is an explosion of online travel sites and most of the better known ones will reliably get the job done. Which is the best for you is really a matter of preference. If you have not used one, getting started is usually the biggest challenge. I think any of the ones listed here will do a good job. Once you’re on there, then it is pretty easy way to conduct your routine travel affairs.


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