Traveling offers excitement, relaxation and adventure; improves your overall health, enhances your life and elevates your positive outlook towards life. Online travel sites make it easier to book your flights, hotels, activities and tours in the least amount of time. Once you become comfortable using your favorite sites you are able to book your trips quickly and efficiently and save money in the process.
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This is one of my favorites!
Skyscanner is a search engine that shows the latest best prices for the flights you are looking for.
This includes third party booking sites as well as the airlines. You click on the site and the price and Skyscanner checks whether that is still the best price and directs you to the site where you go through the booking process.
I have used Priceline many many times!
The site offers a tool called Name Your Own Price. The site offers deals on hotels, flights, vacation packages, cruise lines and car rentals. They also have an above average support team in case you have problems or questions.
Express Deals are only available for hotels for a short amount of time. You will find out what hotel you’re staying at after you book. You are however able to see the general area where the hotel is located and the amenities offered. It is a good idea to sign up for their email newsletters for additional savings.
Another favorite travel site of mine is Expedia. The company provides airline, hotel, cruise and tour reservations to destinations around the world. They are competitive and I have used them many times for both plane tickets and hotel bookings, including a South Asia trip.
Their mobile app is easy to work with. I use my phone to take screen shots of my itinerary for a backup just in case I have no internet connection while traveling and need to check my trip information.
Hotels.com offers access to hotels, flights, rental cars, vacation packages and activities. Their rewards program will earn you free hotel stays. When you pay for 10 nights you will receive a free hotel stay. There are no blackout dates, and booking 10 days out of the year gives you Silver status and 30 days Gold status.
Trivago is a hotel search and information website which compares hotel prices from over 200 booking sites worldwide. Per company, you have the ability to save an average of 35% compared to booking your room directly through a hotel.
The site searches travel sites and gives you a list of the best deals on the same property. Then you decide which site to go to and you will get rerouted there. You can book with little effort, and also look up the vendors separately and review their policies and restrictions.
I used Agoda for booking hotels for my trip to the Philippines. The site offers good deals on domestic and international hotel bookings. On some deals they are cheaper that Expedia. You can find lists of individual rooms, star ratings and guest reviews. You can also book a flight on this site.
This site's search features lets you look for airfare and deals in multiple different ways. The location based search feature allows you to find special deals and the best airfares out of your home airport and to a specific location, rather than just tickets based on the date of travel. It is excellent for travelers who are flexible with their travel dates and are interested in the best overall deal for their vacation plans. I used the site for my flight to Philippines. After booking through the site I called the airline directly to confirm my flight. Airline phone numbers are listed.
If your dates are not flexible, you can search for airfare based on the dates of travel and the location to which you are traveling. You can even include which airlines you wish to travel on. This benefits travelers who belong to frequent flyer clubs.
The site also provides vacation package, hotel and car rentals deals, travel tips and news.
Park Inn by Radisson is a mid-scale group of hotels. Their strategy includes expansion into North America and key emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India, Middle East and China. The focus of the these hotels are comfortable beds, clean rooms, service with a smile and a hassle-free experience. Recommended.
Ctrip is a leading travel agency in Asia and it's market cap has grown by more than 30 times since its listing on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in 2003. The company bought Skyscanner in 2016.
I have used the site to get a great flight fare to South East Asia. Confirmation email of my trip booking came very quickly and I was happy with the way they handled everything from beginning to end. As a rule, confirm your bookings with your hotel and airline and the amount you were charged by checking your credit card charges to make sure your bookings are confirmed before you pack your bags.
The worldwide standard for a solid guidebook, Lonely Planet covers most countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The Lonely Planet series offers comprehensive, no-nonsense facts, low- and mid-budget listings, and helpful on-the-ground travel tips.
Pacific Holidays , a leading US National Tour Operator for Asia , the South Pacific and Latin America has been in business since 1993. The Company offers a broad and innovative selection of itineraries to Asia, the South Pacific and Latin America, including a variety of web-only specials.
Now, the other sites:
This sites displays a free, independent online flight search showing the prices for several airlines in one clear and consistent place. Flights are displayed on its calendar so that the traveler can maximize savings assuming flexibility in travel dates.
You can search flights to cities around the world through linking out to other sites. It has unique features such as "I'm feeling lucky" feature that lets Google plan your trip, best prices for flights, showing the less expensive options and price monitoring.
Holiday Pirates is a UK focused site. They search for mistakes in airline pricing to find you cheaper flights. Though most of their deals are for UK, you may also be able to find deals around the world. Their US focused web site is called TravelPirates.com.
Kayak lets you search several major travel sites at once. The site is easy to use. After you enter your trip dates and destination in the search area Kyak will let you choose which sites you’d like to compare prices with. It will keep all of your searches open so you can flip back and forth between the sites. The ease of search makes it a valuable tool for your comparison shopping.
Hotwire offers savings on usold flights, hotel rooms and rental cars by partnering with other travel websites and their parent company Expedia.
You will not know which partner company you ar booking with until the sale is paid for and the partner is not competing with their own web site.
Easy search for flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages. Can book directly through Orbitz and the price is guaranteed.
You can also do flight search for more than one city, and have the ability to do three-day and multi-city flight searches. You will be able to save traveler info, previous trips and frequent flyer miles.
In addition to hotels, y ou can book hostels, resorts and vacation rentals through Booking.com. The site's newsletters brings you deals on half-price hotels and other secret and travel deals.
Booking.com also offers last minute special deals, and the mobile app is easy use. You can also search by themes, location, etc.
This is one of the more popular travel sites on the internet. Besides booking hotels, flights and vacation rentals many people turn to this site for reviews. Photos posted by the travelers can help you in deciding whether to book a hotel. I read the reviews myself and have found them to be a blessing before booking a trip.
Travel Insurance Although World Nomads is not a travel booking site, the company provides peace of mind when you travel. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of traveling to a far land and forget the importance of getting a good travel insurance policy. When you travel you are more likely to get sick or accidentally break a bone, specially if you are an adventure traveler.
I have used World Nomads in the past and will continue buying their policy in the future. They cover all sorts of adventure sports that many travel insurance providers don’t because of the higher risk for injury. The web site is easy to use and navigate.
Although World Nomads is not a travel booking site, the company provides peace of mind when you travel. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of traveling to a far land and forget the importance of getting a good travel insurance policy. When you travel you are more likely to get sick or accidentally break a bone, specially if you are an adventure traveler.
Airlines in Southeast Asia that I have used in the past:
I flew Eva Air to Philippines. They had no direct flights. However, the service was excellent and choice of movies on board to pass the time was good. If you don't mind a layover for a few hours in Taiwan I definitely recommend them.
I have flown Air Asia a few times. I was happy with their service. Their web site is relatively easy to use and you can also book your flights through affiliate US sites. However, after booking through a US site for the first time I found out that I had paid over $100 extra. Just be aware of currency conversion when booking directly.
I flew this airline between some of the cities in the Philippines. Their mobile app makes checking in easier. Overall, I had a pleasant experience. Just remember flight delays are a norm. As I have mentioned before, with a little patience Philippines is a great place to explore and Cebu Pacific can offer great deals when booked in advance.
Service staff, cabin quality, flight attendants, food and entertainment are all mediocre. No help from the staff once you get to your destination airport. You are better off paying more and not endure the long trip with this airline. Not recommended.
If you can spare a couple of hundred dollars, Eva Air will be a better choice. Expect basic service.
I booked the airline for domestic airlines. Staff was friendly. Recommended.