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Kayak.com

Reviewed
February 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Kayak.com

Best travel search engine

Pros
  • Searches for all types of travel
  • Compiles results from 200-plus travel sites
  • Historical airfare information
  • Alerts for airfare and hotel price changes
  • Apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry
Cons
  • Not a travel booking site
  • Prices may be obsolete

Reviewers and users agree that Kayak.com is the best resource for finding the cheapest air, hotel, cruise and car rental prices. Booking sites search only their own databases, but Kayak.com includes more than 200 booking and service-provider websites, including some international ones. One interesting tool lets you see the best fares for similar routes searched by other Kayak.com visitors; you can also receive daily or weekly email alerts if prices change for designated routes and destinations. You can't book travel through Kayak.com, and occasionally the price for the travel you select may not be available when you go to purchase it at a booking or service provider's site. Kayak.com offers apps for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. If you want to track airfares after booking to receive a possible refund if the price drops, Yapta.com has the same search engine as Kayak.com and offers post-booking tracking.

Kayak.com receives no shortage of media attention. We found endorsements for Kayak.com at Travel and Leisure, PC World, WalletPop.com, Kiplinger.com, BudgetTravel.com, Time magazine and TriponaDeal.com. Older reviews in The Washington Post and Lifehacker.com also recommend Kayak.com. ABC News and The New York Times include Kayak.com in their evaluations of several sites. About 30 users post opinions about the site at Viewpoints.com.

Where To Buy
Happy Family Kayak.com
 

Our Sources

1. Travel and Leisure

Tom Samiljan's update of best travel sites for Travel and Leisure covers 28 categories. Kayak.com is named the top search engine for its ability to compile results from hundreds of other travel sites and then narrow the choices down with customizable filters.

Review: Best Travel Websites, Tom Samiljan, Oct. 2010

2. PC World

This review picks Kayak.com and three travel sites among a list that also includes shopping and dining sites. PC World's Robert Strohmeyer says Kayak.com is ideal for quickly comparing options at major travel sites.

Review: The Web's Best Travel, Shopping and Dining Sites, Robert Strohmeyer, Dec. 2010

3. DailyFinance.com

Jason Cochran, the travel expert at this consumer finance information site, picks Kayak.com and five other sites for finding cheap hotels.

Review: Finding Cheap Hotels Using One of These Six Magic Websites, Jason Cochran, Dec. 2010

4. Kiplinger.com

This article selects 28 travel sites in six categories. Kayak.com is one of five sites selected for finding flights, primarily because of its ability to search hundreds of sites simultaneously. Bing Travel and Airfare Watchdog are also recommended in the airfare category.

Review: 28 Best Travel Sites, Stacy Rapacon, Aug. 2009

5. Budget Travel

Kayak.com is one of five sites recommended by Budget Travel, which has extensive experience with travel search sites. Kayak.com is especially recommended for finding low fares on domestic flights.

Review: Five Best Travel Sites, Brad Tuttle, June 2009

6. TriponaDeal.com

Trip on a Deal isn't a mainstream site, but it features videos in a news format relating to various travel topics. Kayak.com is recommended in the Episode 17 interview with Arthur Frommer, of the Frommer Travel Guides, as well as the episode titled "The Best Sites for Booking Flights."

Review: Trip on a Deal, John Palacio and Luz Montez

7. Time magazine

Brad Tuttle and Erik Torkells say to search for flights at Kayak.com, rather than a booking site like Expedia.com, Orbitz.com or Travelocity.com. However, they also add that while Kayak.com is the best search site, even it misses some airlines and flights, so you should check other sites as well, and specific sites are named.

Review: 50 Essential Travel Tips, Brad Tuttle and Erik Torkells, July 2009

8. Time magazine

Adam Fisher includes Kayak.com on this list of top 50 websites. Fisher says Kayak.com is the best site for searching for flights.

Review: 50 Best Websites 2009, Adam Fisher, August 2009

9. PCMag.com

Kayak.com is the only travel site that makes the cut on PCMag.com's extensive list of top 100 websites of 2010. Brian Heater and Eric Griffith describe Kayak.com as "the travel metasearch to end all travel metasearches."

Review: The Top 100 Web Sites of 2010, Brian Heater and Eric Griffith, Aug. 16, 2010

10. ABC News

Writer Scott Mayerowitz uses Kayak.com and nine other travel sites to search for the lowest airfare on the following five routes: New York to Denver, Chicago to London, Nashville to Omaha, San Francisco to Houston and Minneapolis to Miami. Although Kayak.com wasn't the lowest, its prices were "comparable to the average."

Review: Cheap Christmas Airfare: The 10 Best Web Sites, Scott Mayerowitz, Dec. 2009

11. The New York Times

Writer Michelle Higgins compares flights found on Kayak.com to Bing Travel and Fly.com. She praises the baggage fee calculator at Kayak.com but doesn't pick one site over the other.

Review: Sites That Do Your Fare Digging, Michelle Higgins, Feb. 21, 2010

12. The Washington Post

Kayak.com earns a listing here as one of five best overall travel sites. Kayak.com is one of five sites listed in the all-around travel category. Michael Shapiro says you should not rely on one site for the best deal, but adds that Kayak.com's concept of searching lots of sites of once "sounds good, and it often is." This review, however, is rather outdated.

Review: 54 Online Travel Sites to Bookmark Now, Michael Shapiro, Feb. 3, 2008

13. Lifehacker.com

At this community site, members nominate Kayak.com, Yapta.com, Farecast.com (now Bing Travel), Priceline.com and Sidestep.com as the top five travel sites for finding cheap tickets. After a round of voting by readers, Kayak.com captures more than half of the votes and emerges as the favorite. We wish more recent input from readers was available, however.

Review: Five Best Travel Sites for Cheap Tickets, Adam Pash, Nov. 2, 2008

14. Viewpoints.com

Kayak.com receives mostly favorable ratings from 40 users. They agree the site is easy to navigate and yields low prices on flights and other types of travel.

Review: Kayak Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com

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