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Best Sites to Book Holidays Online

Oh Mr. Google, why are there so many options, it's making my head spin?' Yes, researching online is very tough especially that you literally find everything online. We wouldn't blame you if you take the cheapest flight ticket in one website but cannot locate on the actual airline website. When on a tight budget, cheap flights and holiday packages are just mesmerizing and attractive and very tempting. Before you click on that 'book now' button, stop and spend a few minutes of your time checking and calibrating the validity of the website you are at. Trust me, getting fooled is very frustrating. Sorry, it may sound dramatic but it does happen to most if you're not very careful. When you look for holiday packages, what do you check first? Yes, we know its the price and next is the destination. But that's not all you should look into - you must check what are inclusive in the packages, you must check the response time of the site customer service, you must check on reviews of people who already use the site and their satisfaction level and a lot more. Many travellers dream of visiting a variety of countries in one go or maybe thought of rigidly exploring their destination, however, budget has always been an issue. Don't shed a tear anymore, may travel companies has a tailored travel packages design just for you. Yes, many of them. And when we say that, we are talking about thousands. Let us save your time from browsing the internet and end up booking your dream vacation at an unverified site. Take a glimpse of what we have stored for you, we're sure your friends and relatives heard about them before, and what we did is a more in depth review of where you can put your money and not ruining your vacation.

1. Skyscanner

Description

Skyscanner is a travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since November 2016 the website has been owned by Ctrip, the largest travel company in China. The site is available in over 30 languages and is used by 60 million people per month. The news section of the website includes regular news from the travel and flight industry and travel tips for customers. The website is the winner of many awards.

Review

Skyscanner is a great site for getting a comparison of flight prices and schedules from any two cities in the world. When you input the city you are flying from and your destination and dates, Skyscanner will give you a list of results which contain the airline, the price of the flights as well as the flight times, so it is very easy to compare and to choose the flight that suits you best. If you just want to browse and haven't decided on a destination yet, you can just input the airport you want to leave from and click to search "Everywhere". You will get a list of places that have the lowest air fares from your departure airport. You also have the option to "Add nearby airports" to your search, and you can choose if you only want the results to show direct flights. It is also possible to choose destinations from a map, and if you want the site to send you price alerts when prices change for your planned itineraries it is very easy to set this up. The results page also shows you the total flight time taken including stopover times. When you choose a flight you are then redirected to the websites offering the flights from where you make your booking.

The Best 7 Pros & Cons

Pros

Easy to compare flight prices between airlines
You can see the total flight time including stopovers
It is possible to add nearby airports to your search
Price alerts to inform you when flight prices change

Cons

You cannot book directly from the site
The third party sites may have some extra charges
Any problems with bookings are not dealt with directly by Skyscanner
-Cannot contact Skyscanner easily, though flights are dealt with by third parties.

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2. Momondo

Description

Momondo (stylised momondo) is a travel fare aggregator and travel fare metasearch engine. Momondo also operates a travel information blog, Inspiration. The website is part of the Kayak.com subsidiary of Booking Holdings. Momondo was developed in Denmark and launched in September 2006. In 2016, momondo was found to be "one of the best travel websites for sourcing travel deals with one of the most intuitive meta search engines", according to Forbes. Momondo was ranked first in Frommer’s list of "The 10 Best Airfare Search Sites

Review

Momondo is a great site with which you can easily compare the price of flights between any two cities in the world. It is very easy to use and compares many different airlines including low cost carriers. You can easily see the flight schedules as well as the flight duration including time for stopovers. You have an option to choose a one-way flight, return flight, or multi-city if you intend on visiting more than one destination. Momondo also has a Trip Finder option, so if you have not decided on your destination yet you may search by type of holiday (beach, skiing, shopping, cities etc) as well as entering your budget for the flight. It is easy to change between language and currencies too. The search results divert you to the site that has the price shown and you make your bookings from there. On the results page, you also get a bar chart showing you whether the prices are cheaper or more expensive in the days before and after your selection. There are options for hotel search and car rental and their "Discover" section gives you information on destinations based on your preference of Beaches, Cities, Nature, Ski and Unique Stays for those looking for something different.

The Best 7 Pros & Cons

Pros

Easy to use
Compares prices across other sites and airlines making everything easy to access from one place
Multiple languages and currencies
Trip finder option helps you choose a cheap destination

Cons

You cannot book directly from Momondo
There may be some extra charges from the third party sites
Search speed is sometimes a little slow
May not be able to calculate complex flights

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3. Kayak

Description

Kayak.com, sometimes styled as KAYAK, is a fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine operated by Booking Holdings. Its products are available in 18 languages. The company also runs travel search engines checkfelix and swoodoo. Formerly a separate company, the KAYAK Software Corporation was acquired by Booking Holdings on May 21, 2013. KAYAK was founded in 2004 by Steve Hafner and Paul M. English. Before KAYAK, Steve Hafner, KAYAK's current CEO, helped found Orbitz in November 1999 and led its business development, advertising sales, marketing, and product marketing activities. The company was originally incorporated in Delaware in 2004 under the name Travel Search Company, Inc. The name was later changed to Kayak Software Corporation in August 2004, and KAYAK Software Corporation in 2011.

Review

Kayak is a travel website that allows you to compare flight prices across a number of different airlines. Most of the time you are directed to another site to make your booking but there are sometimes options to book directly through Kayak. It is laid out very nicely and it is easy to see the different prices across the different airlines. You can also see the flight schedules so it is easy to choose the time that suits you best to fly. You may pick between a one way trip, round trip or multi-city if you are planning on staying at more than one city. Kayak have even managed to include flights from Ryanair in their search results, which is quite unique. Kayak allows you to search not only for flights, but also for hotels and car rentals. There is even an option to choose a package deal which means you can organise your entire trip very easily. It is also possible to book cruises through the website - you do not even have to choose a port or destination. You can just search by a month and Kayak will tell you what cruises are on offer. There is a restaurant search option, but many locations are not yet supported.

The Best 7 Pros & Cons

Pros

Easy to compare prices between travel sites
Lots of options including flights, car rental, hotel and cruises
Many airlines and third party sites checked for prices, including Ryanair
- No extra charge to use the site

Cons

Many locations not yet supported for the restaurant search
You have to make the actual booking from a third party site most of the time
The price shown may not include some extra costs such as checked baggage
- Sometimes it is difficult to find options on the site

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4. Expedia

Description

Expedia.com is a travel booking website owned by Expedia Group. The website can be used to book airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages. Expedia is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. The company is expected to relocate to Seattle, Washington, in 2019. In September 2014, Expedia Inc. partnered with Citigroup and created the Expedia+ card whose members can earn bonus points and earn benefits and priority customer service through the website. In June 2014, Expedia started accepting bitcoins.

Review

Expedia is a great service to use. The interface is really intuitive and being able to save on a deal by combining your flight booking with a hotel is really amazing. It is easy to search for flights, and you can order the search results by fares to get the best deal for you. You can also see the duration of the flight, including stopovers – a useful function for those long haul flights. If you click to show flexible dates, you can get a calendar with prices so you can see the cheapest options. Furthermore under the Things To Do tab it is easy to find museums, day trips and other activities in the area of your destination. Overall everything from booking, to making last minute adjustments or asking questions to the customer service is very smooth and it makes traveling less of a headache, whether for business or for pleasure. There is customer support 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You might even feel fancy and book a cruise with them. You can find your hotel too, and there is a section for car rental. Everything you need all in one site! Very useful travel site and highly recommended.

The Best 7 Pros & Cons

Pros

Option for flexible dates which shows a calendar of prices
Good selection of deals
Wide variety of flights
- Nice filters for hotel searches (eg. including swimming pool, high speed internet)

Cons

Sometimes takes a while to load search results
You have to choose your outbound flight before you see your return flight options
I would like a chat option for live customer support online
- Some sites give you the option to choose a departure airport but an open destination to see best prices. Expedia does not have this option.

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5. Travelocity

Description

Travelocity.com is an American Online Travel Agency. The website is owned by Expedia Group. Travelocity was created in 1995 through a joint venture between Worldview Systems Corporation and Sabre Holdings. The founding team at Worldview conceived of the idea in 1994 as an extension to their online travel database offering which had been distributed through Sabre, Bloomberg, AOL and many others. The founding team at Worldview joined with distribution partner Sabre in a 50-50 JV that resulted in the development and launch of Travelocity in 1995-1996. The founding members of the Travelocity team, responsible for the conception, development and launch at Worldview were: Steve Baloff (Founder, CEO), Sam Haugh (VP Operations), BD Goel (VP Engineering), Neil Checkoway (VP Marketing), Steve Bengston (VP Business Development), Helen Zia (Editor-in-Chief) and Katherine Chesbrough(CFO). Later in 1996, Worldview's investors (Advanced Publication and Ameritech) sold their stake in Travelocity to a subsidiary of Sabre Holdings and was run by long-time Sabre information technology executive Terry Jones. As one of the pioneers of web-based disintermediation, Travelocity.com was the first website that allowed consumers the ability to reserve, book, and purchase tickets without the help of a travel agent or broker. In addition to airfares, the site also permits consumers to book hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and packaged vacations.

Review

Travelocity is your one stop shop for all of your travel needs. You can do a search for your flight and you will get a list of flights from many different airlines. It is easy to compare prices between airlines and you also get a rating on how good the flight is out of 10 points. It is also very easy to see your baggage allowance for the flights in results screen so you do not have to go looking through menus for it. You can see the times of the outbound flight, though you have to select your outbound flight before you can see the times of the return flights. However, when you do get to the return flight section, you get a choice of many return flights, and you can easily see if there is an extra cost for flights at particular times or not. Travelocity not only handles flights, but you can book hotels, rent cars and even book activities to do in your destination from the site.

The Best 7 Pros & Cons

Pros

Easy to compare prices between flights
Allows you to book activities at your destination
Covers most destinations in the world
Can book hotels, rent cars, book cruises and many other options

Cons

Cannot see the return flight options until you click on the outbound flight.
This site has the ability to book everything you need for your entire trip, including activities but flights may be a little more expensive than similar sites.
Computer can sometimes hang during searches, though you can refresh and that usually fixes it.
Package deals are a little expensive

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6. Orbitz

Description

Orbitz.com is a travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine. The website is owned by Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., a subsidiary of Expedia Inc. It is headquartered in the Citigroup Center, Chicago, Illinois. Originally established through a partnership of major airlines, and subsequently owned by various entities, Orbitz.com – the flagship brand of Orbitz Worldwide – has been in operation since 2001. Other Orbitz Worldwide online travel companies include CheapTickets in the Americas; ebookers in Europe; and HotelClub and RatestoGo, based in Sydney. Orbitz Worldwide also owns and operates Orbitz for Business, a corporate travel company. Orbitz was the airline industry's response to the rise of online travel agencies such as Expedia and Travelocity, as well as a solution to lower airline distribution costs. Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, and United Airlines, subsequently joined by American Airlines, invested a combined $145 million to start the project in November 1999. It was code-named T2 — some claimed, meaning "Travelocity Terminator" - but adopted the brand name Orbitz when it commenced corporate operations as DUNC, LLC (the initials of its first four founding airlines) in February 2000. The company began Beta testing early the next year, and Orbitz.com officially launched in June 2001.

Review

Orbitz is a great site for finding flights to anywhere in the world. When you do your search, you also have the option to show flexible dates, so if your schedule is in any way flexible you can pick the cheapest fare from the calendar that is displayed. The search results also show flights from other airports that may be nearby so you can be sure to find the best deal. The results show the airlines, prices and flight schedules, and you can click on the flight to show the return flight options. You can also easily see your baggage allowance on the search screen, which is much easier than searching through the terms and conditions. The price displayed includes taxes and fees so there is no surprise when you finally go to book your flight. There are many other options on the site too, so you have the option to search for your hotel, car rentals and you can even book a cruise if you wish.

The Best 7 Pros & Cons

Pros

Includes all taxes and fees in price
Many airlines to choose from
Easy to compare prices
Lots of travel options including flights, hotels, car rental, cruises etc.

Cons

You have to choose the destination and date to look for deals rather than have a list of available deals
The return flight is not displayed until you click on your outgoing flight so it is a little inconvenient when comparing flights
Search results can sometimes take a bit of time to display
The only support option is to call which can cost a lot if phoning internationally

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7. Cheaptickets

Description

CheapTickets is an online travel services company focusing on the leisure market, offering airline tickets, hotel and vacation rentals, rental cars, customized vacation packages, and cruises. CheapTickets was a wholly owned subsidiary of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., and with Expedia's purchase of Orbitz, is now a subsidiary of Expedia. CheapTickets was founded in 1986 in Honolulu, Hawaii by Michael and Sandra Hartley when inter-island carrier Mid Pacific Air gave 3,000 tickets to Hartley's employer at the time, advertising firm Regency Media, as payment for its services at the time Regency closed its Honolulu branch. The tickets were advertised via newspaper classified ads and sold out in two weeks. The company grew into an airline ticket consolidator, acquiring seats from airlines at rates low enough to allow the company to resell them at fares lower than the airline's normal published airfares. It launched its web site in 1997, becoming a pioneer in Internet travel sales.

Review

CheapTickets is a very useful website that looks after everything you need for your holiday. Your search produces a list of flights to the destination and you can choose to list them by price, duration, or departure / arrival times. You may refine your search by number of stopovers, airline or arrival and departure times too. You also get the option to add a hotel to your flight. You can literally do everything you need to book your holiday directly from this site. There is a car rental option and you can even book tickets for events that are taking place, though not all cities are covered in this. There is an activities section so you can book the things from CheapTickets that you want to do when you arrive at your destination. The site is easy to use and though sometimes the search results can take a little bit of time, mostly it is quite fast. A great one-stop-shop for all of your travel needs.

The Best 7 Pros & Cons

Pros

Very easy to use the site
It is simple to compare flight prices
Everything you need for your holiday in one site
- Lots of airlines to choose from

Cons

No option to search for cheaper flights if your dates are flexible
Not all cities are covered for event tickets
Sometimes search results can take a little time to show
- A little difficult to calculate complex flights

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