If you’re flying to your destination, you’ll get the most expansive search through Kayak.com. The site brings together deals from several popular travel search sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, CheapOair, Priceline and Hotwire. Kayak, along with Booking.com, is owned by Priceline, so you get a huge range of information through a single search. But for some deals, you’ll be booking on Expedia through Kayak’s interface, which can increase the price of your purchase.
AirfareWatchdog / HotelWatchdog
Kayak is amazing, but it can’t show you the kind of specials and deals you would get if you pursued discount codes or looked directly on the websites of specific airlines. That’s why AirfareWatchdog has people scoping the deals with a microscope, looking for last minute deals and specials. You’ll find obscure specials and airfares from smaller airlines that don’t appear on Kayak. HotelWatchdog is a similar service for hotel accommodations from the same company.
Although Kayak will display very similar results, there’s a markup. You may find the same accommodations a few dollars cheaper through Hotels.com. If the extra search is worth saving a few dollars will be up to you, but Hotels.com also connects with loyalty programs of 85,000 hotels. You might not get that through Kayak.
If you’re not booking your hotel the same day you plan to stay there, it’s worth your effort to use TripAdvisor’s Tingo.com. If the price of accommodations drops, the service automatically rebooks your accommodations for the lower price and refunds the difference to your credit card. It’s an easy way to make sure you get the best deal.
You could spend hours on a massive search of the twenty-plus travel search sites out there, but the time and effort might not be worth the savings. With these sites, you get the most deal for the time invested.