Book a Cheap Trip This Holiday

Air travel
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As a recent Los Angeles transplant, a depressingly significant amount of my time is spent searching for the best air travel deals. Call it News & Views "news you can use," but I thought it fitting — before the holiday onslaught — to share the fruits of my travel booking travails.

For instance, you probably know about sites like Orbitz and Expedia, but there are a slew of newer indexing sites that may get you a better deal ...

Before You Book:
Farecast: Not sure whether that flight from Atlanta to Austin will be cheaper next week? This site searches prices up to 30 days ahead for accurate airfare predictions.

Priceline's PriceBreakers: These package deals may not always be want you want, but you never know — sometimes you might be on the lookout for a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise starting at $64 a night.

When You're Ready to Go:
Kayak | ITA Software | Sidestep: Definitely check these sites before you book your flight. Each searches hundreds of travel Web sites to find the best value on the Web. After you've found a price you like, book it directly on the airline's site to save on fees.

FlyCheapo: Traveling to Bucharest? This site will get you great deal on air travel in Europe.

In a Bind?:
LastMinuteTravel: Book a bargain on time-sensitive travel.

When You Get There:
HopStop: Find your way from Union Square to Times Square without asking a native New Yorker for help. Just plug in your destination, and it will give you the fastest public transit route.

TimeandDate: Synchronize your watch (and alarm clock) as soon as you land. Get the accurate time for any city on the globe.

Xe: Use this online currency converter when traveling overseas (and get concrete evidence of the struggling dollar).

What are some of your favorite discount travel sites? Do you know any online travel money-saving tricks?

Comments

 

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These websites would have helped a lot three weeks ago while I was looking for the best deals for the busiest travel time of the year; the day before thanksgiving.

Anyway, my go-to websites are "cheaptickets.com," "expedia.com," and searching for deals at a favorite airline's website. I also check out "pinchingyourpennies.com" for discounts for any online shopping (including travel). Sometimes you could get promotional codes to save an additional 5 to 10 percent.

But I know this, always look for the airline deals between Tuesday and Wednesday nights. According to experts, those days are the best times for great deals. I've used that theory for a few years and I think it's true.

Sent by Moji | 6:23 PM | 11-13-2007

Hotwire.com is always a good site, especially for last-minute air and hotel deals. It's similar to Priceline in that you don't know the exact details of what you're getting until it's confirmed. I got a great discount when my boyfriend and I visited Chicago for his birthday last year. You just have to keep in mind that travel sites often pump up hotel ratings for marketing purposes. In other words, 3.5 stars means more Holiday Inn than Hyatt, and 5 stars does not a Ritz make.

Sent by Elizabeth Jenkins | 7:00 PM | 11-14-2007

More and more, airlines are posting their best fares only on their own web sites. Example: Virgin America has a 25% discount if you use promo code ELEVATE25; Cathay Pacific has NY to Singapore for $800 RT with taxes; same flights on Cathay via Orbitz? $1200. Airfarewatchdog.com tracks these "under the radar" fares and compares them with Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. The site also includes fares on Southwest, SkyBus, Allegiant, and JetBlue,along with all airlines, big and small, and sends out free alerts from specific departure airports. Check it out.

Sent by Audrey | 9:56 AM | 12-6-2007

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