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Travel Sites: Ratings of Sources

Total of 17 Sources
1. Travel and Leisure
Oct. 2010
Best Travel Websites
by Tom Samiljan
Our AssessmentTravel and Leisure's Tom Samiljan names Kayak.com as the top search engine, and Momondo.com as the best destination for flights in Europe. If you want to wait and see if the price drops, Samiljan says Yapta.com has the most detailed fare tracking system. Priceline.com is named the best pick for a "cut-rate room," and TripAdvisor.com is invaluable for finding out "what a hotel is really like." Airfarewatchdog.com, WebFlyer.com, InsideTrip.com, SeatGuru.com, Flightaware.com and iFly.com provide helpful flight information. CruiseCritic.com provides extensive cruise information. Several destinations for finding accommodations are named. Seven other sites are listed that aren't specific to travel to round out the 28 categories.
2. PC World
Dec. 2010
The Web's Best Travel, Shopping and Dining Sites
by Robert Strohmeyer
Our AssessmentThis review picks four travel sites among a list that also includes shopping and dining sites. PC World's Robert Strohmeyer recommends Kayak.com for quickly comparing fares at major travel sites. Hipmunk.com is an airline search engine that "presents the results in an intuitive timeline format that shows you fares, layovers, connections and airlines at a glance." Hotels.com is named as the best booking site for flights, hotels and travel packages because of its "dependable, friendly 24-hour phone assistance." With Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO.com), you can rent a house or other property by dealing directly with the owners.
3. WalletPop.com
Dec. 2010
Find Cheap Hotels Using One of These Six Magic Websites
by Jason Cochran
Our AssessmentThis consumer finance information site picks six top sites for finding cheap hotels in an article written by travel expert Jason Cochran. Momondo.com takes the top spot for its ease of use. HotelsCombined.com, Hotelly.com, Hotelicoper.com, Wego.com and Kayak.com also receive favorable mention.
4. Kiplinger.com
Aug. 2009
28 Best Travel Sites
by Stacy Rapacon
Our AssessmentKiplinger.com publishes personal finance advice and business forecasts. In this 2009 update of travel sites, Stacy Rapacon names Kayak.com, Bing Travel (formerly Farecast.com) and Airfarewatchdog.com as the top sites for flights. Hotels.com is the top site for locating accommodations and finding last-minute deals, she says. TripAdvisor.com gets the nod for the largest number of user-generated reviews of hotels, and BedandBreakfast.com, HomeAway.com, Villas International, Hostelz.com and HomeExchange.com are top sites for finding specific lodging. Rapacon also names favorite sites for rental cars, vacation packages, themed vacation and travel advice. A brief article in December 2010 also names Kayak.com as the best booking site and HomeAway.com as the best site to find a vacation rental.
5. Budget Travel
May 19, 2009
Five Great Travel Booking Sites
by Brad Tuttle
Our AssessmentThis article names five top travel search sites. Dohop.com and Venere.com are recommended for overseas travel, and Kayak.com is the top site for finding low fares on domestic flights. Priceline.com's blind bidding isn't for everyone, but it's useful for getting low rates on luxury accommodations. If you aren't sure where you want to stay, the number of user reviews at TripAdvisor.com is unmatched.
6. TriponaDeal.com
2009
Trip on a Deal
by John Palacio and Luz Montez
Our AssessmentThis site features numerous videos hosted by John Palacio and Luz Montez, which cover a variety of travel topics. Episode 17 (season 1) interviews Arthur Frommer about his new book, which recommends Momondo.com for finding the cheapest domestic flights, Australia-based HotelsCombined.com for accommodations and BreezeNet.com for the best deals on car rentals. In the episode titled "The Best Sites for Booking Flights," (episode 29, season 1) Palacio and Montez agree that Momondo.com may have lower fares because it includes budget airlines, aggregators and consolidators that major sites don't. They say to also check fares at Kayak.com, and try a bid of at least 20 percent lower at Priceline.com. For international flights, they say to check Mobissimo.com and Vayama.com.
7. Time magazine
July 2009
50 Essential Travel Tips
by Brad Tuttle and Erik Torkells
Our AssessmentBrad Tuttle and Erik Torkells say to start with Kayak.com but also check Momondo.com, which covers a wider range of airlines. For international flights, they say to check Mobissimo.com and Dohop.com. Kayak's fare history charts are a way to get a ballpark figure for what prices others have recently found for the same flight. Tuttle and Torkells suggest looking at the airport websites to indentify budget carriers and then check for cheap flights at the websites of those airlines.
8. Time magazine
Aug. 2010
50 Best Websites 2010
by Editors at Time magazine
Our AssessmentStay.com and SeatGuru.com are the two travel sites are included on Time magazine's list of top 50 websites for 2010. Stay.com recommends hotels, restaurants and tourist spots, and sorts them by popularity, price and location. Your selections are compiled into a personalized guide you print out. If you want to make an informed choice about where to sit on a flight, SeatGuru.com's color-coded seating charts for most types of planes show the pros and cons of each seat location.
9. PCMag.com
Aug. 2010
The Top 100 Web Sites of 2010
by Brian Heater and Eric Griffith
Our AssessmentKayak.com is the only travel website included in this comprehensive list for 2010. The description is brief, but the authors say that because Kayak pulls information both from company sites and aggregators, if there's a travel deal to be had, this is the place to find it.
10. ABC News
Dec. 1, 2009
Cheap Christmas Airfare: The 10 Best Web Sites
by Scott Mayerowitz
Our AssessmentScott Mayerowitz uses five different flight routes and travel dates to compare Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, Sidestep.com, Kayak.com, Fly.com, CheapOair.com, ITASoftware.com, FareCompare.com and Bing Travel. No one travel site found the best deal on all five flights. Travelocity.com is described as "clunky and not cheaper than any of the others." CheapOair.com was also difficult to use and not cheap. Kayak.com didn't find the cheapest on any of the flights, but prices were "comparable to the average."
11. The New York Times
Feb. 21, 2010
Sites That Do Your Fare Digging
by Michelle Higgins
Our AssessmentWriter Michelle Higgins searches for flights on Kayak.com, Bing Travel and Fly.com. In one instance, Fly.com finds the lowest fare, but in another it was higher. The article points out some unique features of these sites and also discusses Momondo.com for international flights.
12. PC World
Feb. 2, 2009
Travel Sites Venture Beyond the Bottom Line
by Janet Fullwood
Our AssessmentThis article moves past the well-known travel comparison and booking sites to focus on smaller sites that fill niches in travel planning. Sites highlighted include ones that select a travel destination for you based on your personality or interests, such as BestTripChoices.com. DealBase.com brings hotel deals and offers together in one place. Compete4YourSeat.com lets you build a trip and receive bids from competing travel agents. Other examples are given, but no site is specifically recommended.
13. Lifehacker.com
Nov. 2, 2008
Five Best Travel Sites for Cheap Tickets
by Adam Pash
Our AssessmentLifehacker.com is a community site that allows members to nominate the top five picks in a given category and then gives readers a chance to vote on their favorite among the five nominations. Kayak.com, Yapta.com, Farecast.com (now Bing Travel), Priceline.com and Sidestep.com are nominated as the top five travel sites for cheap tickets. Reviewer Adam Pash conducts a brief and "completely unscientific" test of these sites by searching on a round-trip flight between Los Angeles and Omaha. Farecast.com is slightly higher than the others, which found nearly identical fares. Kayak.com is the clear favorite among more than 3,850 readers – capturing more than half of the votes. This information, however, is more than two years old.
14. Los Angeles Times
Jan. 21, 2009
These Websites Help You Choose the Right Cruise Ship
by Vani Rangachar
Our AssessmentThis article gives advice on who should -- and should not -- book a cruise online, and then lists the top websites for booking a voyage. Each capsule review includes information about what makes the site worth visiting. Sites are not rated or recommended, however.
15. Epinions.com
As of Jan. 2011
Online Stores & Services: Travel
by Contributors to Epinions.com
Our AssessmentUsers have posted opinions about more than 100 travel sites at Epinions.com, but most sites have accumulated only a handful of reviews. Priceline.com receives more than 500 user reviews and Expedia.com and Orbitz.com each has more than 250. It's best to sort the reviews by date, since some were posted nearly a decade ago. Recent reviews for these three websites mostly give the lowest rating of one star. Users complain huge fees to make changes and poor customer service after the booking. Other users say the price increased during the booking process or they never received a confirmation email.
16. Viewpoints.com
As of Jan. 2011
Travel Web Site Reviews
by Contributors to Viewpoints.com
Our AssessmentAlthough Kayak.com, TripAdvisor.com and Travelzoo.com get good ratings from more than 30 users each, all the travel sites that involve booking airfare, hotels or rental cars have garnered mostly negative reviews. This is a good site to learn from the mistakes of others before booking a trip online. Hotwire.com, in particular, gets poor reviews from about 100 users. One prevalent complaint is poor customer service from overseas operators. Many also complain that the hotel star-rating used by Hotwire.com is higher than what the properties are rated at other sites.
17. PracticalHacks.com
Oct. 6, 2008
The Ultimate List of Top Travel Sites
by "Kevin"
Our AssessmentThis aptly named list of travel sites is extensive, though there's not a great deal of discussion given to any one site. The article identifies approximately 60 travel sites for booking flights, hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises and eight other categories. Momondo.com is named the best search engine, although it's not clear why. Hotwire.com draws a kudo for car rentals. The brief summaries of the other sites aren't particularly insightful, and some of the information is now outdated.

Travel Sites Runners Up:

Momondo.com

5 picks by top review sites.

HotelsCombined.com

3 picks by top review sites.

Airfarewatchdog.com

2 picks by top review sites.

Bing Travel

2 picks by top review sites.

Mobissimo.com

2 picks by top review sites.

Dohop.com

2 picks by top review sites.

HomeAway.com

2 picks by top review sites.

TripIt.com

2 picks by top review sites.

SeartGuru.com

2 picks by top review sites.

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