Merriam-Webster defines travel as “going from one place to another, as on a trip or journey.” While relatively straightforward in definition, people all over the world fulfill their idea of a trip or journey in many unique ways. Some, for instance, like to travel within state lines to a nearby city for their ideal getaway, while others would prefer to strap on a 42-pound backpack and trek through distant and foreign lands for months on end to appease their appetite for adventure.
Regardless of your choice, the ideal getaway is likely littered with questions. What are the cheapest flights to my destination? What’s the best way to get there? Once I’m there, where will I stay and how will eat? How do I know if the hotel I’m booking is safe or legit? What on earth will I do once I’ve made it to my destination?
To help you keep all your ducks in a row when planning your next vacation we’ve searched high and low for the best travel resources across the World Wide Web. We’ve got you covered, whether you’re looking for a cheap flight, a comfy bed to crawl in to each night, or a lengthy list of activities to fill your daily itinerary.
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- Best travel sites for finding a way to get there
- Best travel sites for finding a place to stay
- Best travel sites for finding what to do
The best travel sites for finding a way to get there
You’ve selected a destination, requested the time off work, and now it’s time to start planning. The first step is finding the best way to travel from Point A to Point B. A variety of airfare websites exist across the Internet devoted to finding the cheapest flights, yet so few of them deliver actual cheap airfare. Hidden fees, expensive bag costs, and blackout dates plague many an airline rendering those “cheap” flights quite the opposite. That said, take a look at our favorite sites for booking flights below to avoid spending the bulk of your travel budget on simply getting there.
Kayak is an excellent all-around resource for finding hotels, cheap flights, rental cars, and vacation packages. You can search through hundreds of different sites within a single interface, helpings you scour Web for the most affordable packages. The site performs searches in real-time so you’ll never encounter expired deals, and all the taxes and fees show up in the resulting airfare prices.
As is the case with most sites, the more flexible you are the more apt you are to finding a good deal. However, even with a little tinkering of Kayak’s filters, it’s easy to find a preferred travel package suitable for any kind of budget. It also lets you select your preferred flight time, the kind of weather you wish to travel to, and the kind of entertainment you’re looking for at your destination. Kayak’s innovative new Explore feature even lets you set a per-ticket budget and scan a world map to see the locations compatible with your price range.
Like Kayak, Skyscanner searches through a bevy of websites and airlines to bring you dirt cheap airfare. It differs from Kayak, though, in that it tends to find the cheapest flights of any site on the Web. What’s more, Skyscanner helps you find good rates on hotels and rental cars no matter where you travel. Sky scanner also helps you easily change the duration of your trip, your departure date, and how many stops you desire before updating fares accordingly. The site offers a series of “Travel Tips & Inspiration,” providing readers with insight regarding various cities and destinations. The articles are perfect for planning a weekend getaway, or merely finding a bit of entertainment while on the road for work.
A partner of Hotels.com — another popular site on our roundup — Expedia makes finding inexpensive flights a breeze. With the ability to add multiple destinations, Expedia lets you plan a multi-city vacation without the hassle of booking separate flights for each individual destination. It even provides cruise information, rental car deals, and vacation packages within a single hub, helping diminish the need to look elsewhere for the rest of your vacation planning. Moreover, Expedia’s “Things to Do” tab helps plan out your itinerary and offers information on the best places to visit upon arriving at your destination. Still, it’s Expedia’s one-stop-shop convenience that makes it one of the best travel sites on the Web.
Orbitz is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to finding hotels, airfare, and rental car services with a single site. It even gives users the ability to search through a variety of activities based on the places they visit. Traveling to Anaheim with the family and need Disneyland tickets? Orbitz has you covered, while offering special deals that let you get the most out of your trip. Its rewards program awards frequent users with up to 5 percent back on hotel stays and up to 2 percent back on flights, and with both silver and gold reward levels, avid and moderate travelers both have the ability to benefit using Orbitz.
If you love finding a good deal, and have a flexible schedule, Airfare Watchdog is the site for you. The site’s employees and analysts search the Internet for the best possible deals on airfare and then make them available to their customers. As soon as a fare sale gets posted, users receive email alerts and have the ability to immediately book the flight. You also have the option to select your home airport and see the best deals on some of the top cities in the world. Though you can set flight alerts for a particular destination, the site truly works the best when you remain open-minded regarding where and when you want to go.
Momondo scans hundreds of websites for the best deal much like Skyscanner, yet we’ve found the former site works best when traveling in Europe. Unlike some of the more popular sites on this list, Momondo also searches through charter and low-budget airlines when looking for low-cost fares. The site presents color-coded results depending on which days you choose, while offering the ability to easily view which days during the week airfare is cheaper or more expensive. Its “Inspiration” tab even features articles and insight from around the world, helping you plan your next adventure with plenty of pertinent information at your disposal.