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Best Travel deals website?
Old 10-02-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
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Best Travel deals website?

I did a search and got some older threads and posts, but nothing even fairly current.

We retire end of year and want to see the USA over the next few years. Fly some drive some depending on destination and price.

Anyone with recommendations for best websites for good deals on air and maybe hotels?

thanks..
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
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kayak.com for air, priceline for hotels.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:14 PM   #3
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Don't forget to check Southwest Air, as they don't show up on most travel booking sites, but have free baggage and schedule changes, all at competitive prices.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #4
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I generally start with kayak.com for air but also check the actual air carrier web sites for the top two or three carries.

Hotels.com is my personal favorite for lodging.

Do not forget that sometimes package deals (flight + hotel, flight + hotel + rental car, etc.) can sometimes save significant money over booking each piece independently. For expensive trips (long flights/stays, expensive cities, etc.) it is generally time well spent to price things out both ways on multiple sites.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #5
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I have gotten some great deals on Travelzoo .
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:29 PM   #6
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Booking.com and AirbNb are good. Also sign up for the cheap airfare emails to see what is on sale from your referred airport.

I also recommend checking out specific hotel chains for specials. As well as airlines.

We use miles and points for travel, so that dictates a lot of our research.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:27 PM   #7
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hotwire.com is the ultimate for car rentals and hotels.

The only thing is, for both cars and hotels, you don't know the hotel/car rental company until after you buy it - and it's a non-refundable transaction.

However, with hotels, they show you a map with a general area, they give you the # of stars (so you know what the quality level is), AND (most importantly, UNLIKE Priceline), they tell you the amenities of the hotel....like free airport shuttle, or free breakfast, or free parking, or efficiency w/ kitchen, a pool, etc..

And with cars, you can select your class of car, so you know what you're getting, just not the company you will be booking with.

But the savings are unbelievable sometimes, (up to 40%-50% or even more at times), so it's definitely worth it!
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CoolChange View Post
I generally start with kayak.com for air but also check the actual air carrier web sites for the top two or three carries.

Hotels.com is my personal favorite for lodging.

Do not forget that sometimes package deals (flight + hotel, flight + hotel + rental car, etc.) can sometimes save significant money over booking each piece independently. For expensive trips (long flights/stays, expensive cities, etc.) it is generally time well spent to price things out both ways on multiple sites.
We've saved some significant money doing the package deal thing before as well. Especially to Florida. We get flight/car/hotel (1or2*) from one of the tour companies affiliated with a discount airline and just never bother checking into the hotel. The flight/car was cheaper than a one way with a major carrier !
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:52 AM   #9
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Ditto on many of the other suggestions above re: air tickets.

I also like hotels.com for hotel reservations, as they seem to have as cheap a price as any of the online booking sites, and have a lot of discounts and specials. But what I really like is that you get a free night's stay for every ten nights booked/stayed, regardless of which hotel chain/brand you use. The value of the free night is the average of what was spent on the previous 10 night stays, and you can apply the value to any hotel, any time.

This is great for people (like me) that don't like being locked in to a particular chain, or having to be restricted in using hotel points due to blackout days, as I'm always sure to get something back.

For US camping, ReserveAmerica is a good consolidator site for all public and private campground reservations.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:33 AM   #10
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I use Google Flights for finding the best dates and prices for airfares.

If you take a minute to play around with it, you can see the price changes for changing the length of your trip, your start date, etc. Also, you can get a visual on how the airfare prices change over a span of time. Then a simple click will take you directly to the fare/carrier you are interested in.

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Old 10-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #11
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believe JetBlue is another airline that doesn't show up in kayak or expedia, so a visit to their site is warranted
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:37 PM   #12
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We use Priceline and Travelzoo quite often.

Recently, i read about Zalyn for rental cars. We booked a car via this site for an upcoming trip to ME/MA. It was Budget (never used them before) and came out to $70 less than any other site I found, including Hotwire. Here's to hoping it is a good experience.

I will report back in a few weeks.
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Thanks everyone for replies
Old 10-05-2013, 08:44 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for replies

I've compiled responses so far


kayak.com
travelzoo.com
priceline.com
hotels.com
hotwire.com
zalyn.com (cars)
Southwest.com
booking.com
airnb.com
googleflights
jetblue
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
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We've used Costco to book cruises lately. Their cabin prices are usually comparable or lower...but in most cases they give generous on board credit that the cruise lines or others don't give. Always worth checking out when shopping for a cruise. Right now we have 2 booked...both on Azamara Cruise Lines. Nov. Rome to Seville and in March we will go thru Panama Canal..Costa Rica to Miami...with one of the stops in New Orleans..an overnight stay there. No stops in Mexico which is another thing we like about this particular cruise.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:20 PM   #15
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If you want to read reviews for Hotels I check out TripAdvisor.com. Once you are ready to book they will point you to price line.com, expedia, hotels.com etc. Cheers.

Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:54 AM   #16
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i start here to know what fares are possible Matrix - ITA Software then i often use the direct airline site for booking to get frequent flier perks,ability to change seats etc.

No matter how i fly or to what airport in usa - i always use the southwest air site for rental cars. For hotels i also check aa.com as they have specials in the list often.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:00 AM   #17
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i start here to know what fares are possible Matrix - ITA Software then i often use the direct airline site for booking to get frequent flier perks,ability to change seats etc.
I found in the past, that ITA software frequently does not have all "promotional" fares, especially in the international market. But it's a good place to start.

Another website to add to the list: FareCompare Where-to-Go Getaway Map
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:49 PM   #18
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I would also suggest VRBO.com for longer stays. We used them recently to book a 30 day stay in the San Francisco bay area, which allowed us to bypass the normal hotel taxes cities charge for stays of 29 days or less. We'll be doing the same for a 30 day trip to Paris in 2015, averaging less than $90 a night for a small apt in the city centre that includes a stacking laundry unit, small stocked kitchen, cable TV and WiFi.

I'd also second (third?) TravelZoo.com. We've booked some terrific travel deals through them.

VacationsToGo.com is excellent for cruises, particularly their 90 Day Ticker link, which tracks last minute price cuts by cruise lines, some stunningly low.

For modestly priced tours to places far flung, we use Gate 1 Travel (gate1travel.com). They've been reviewed favorably by Lonely Planet for the way they structure their pricing. They provide well trained, professional tour guides, transportation, including to/from airport at arrival and departure, lodging, some meals and some activities, and allow you to round out your trip by either booking their optional activities, or using your free time to go off on your own, including finding your own cozy spot to have dinner each night should you wish.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #19
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We use hotwire & priceline extensively.

I start with betterbidding.com, a forum that logs input from users of both services. At more popular destinations, you can use this information to guess the hotel that you'll get. I'll sometimes check what Hotwire is charging for a room & then bid a little less on priceline for the same class of hotel. It works sometimes, but isn't always worth the effort.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:54 PM   #20
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On rental cars, I've noticed that Hertz has multiple boxes for discount codes, so you can stack codes. I have a discount CDP code from my former employer that I combine with Hertz's own promotional codes (PC) from their website. In addition, I rent off airport, so in total, Hertz can be the cheapest deal for me, even though they typically are more expensive than other car rentals.
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