The best thing about the Internet is also the worst: the wealth of information. It can be hard enough to find the Web site you are looking for, but when there are thousands promising the best or most up-to-date information, how do you know which to choose?
Cincy Chic has come to the rescue with your guide to all of the best travel sites the Web has to offer!
If you are looking for a free search engine that will scour the net for the best airfares around, Kayak.com has you covered. Kayak searches more than 140 travel sites to find the cheapest rates and allows you to buy directly from the airline or agency whose tickets you choose.
If you are planning your trip far in advance and want to know if you should buy your tickets now or wait to see if they will come down, Farecast is the tool for you. This Web site tracks airfares and predicts whether prices will go up or down.
For those ticket fire sales when airlines are desperate to book some flights, let the Airfare Watchdog do the work for you! This service offers yet another search engine for air fares, but what sets this Web site above the rest is that it typically gets lower rates and those fire sale tickets posted more quickly than other travel sites.
Trip Advisor lists more than 10 million professional and amateur reviews of hotels across the country. Just remember that calling the hotel you plan to stay at directly and speaking to a manager can usually get you more discounts than the Web sites offer.
We’ve all seen William Shatner workin’ it as the Priceline negotiator, and, in fact, Priceline can help you find the best rates for more high-end hotels. This site does have a few drawbacks though: you do not know the name of the hotel you are booking until you buy, there are no refunds if you cancel and you can be placed in a hotel outside your selected area.
If you are looking for a smaller hotel chain, check out Bedandbreakfast.com or if you’re staying closer to home, check out our all-inclusive guide for the best bed and breakfasts in the Tri-state area. And if hotels aren’t your thing, try a condo or apartment rental.
There is even an eco-friendly search out there. Check out environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com for a list of hotels rated on their dedication to saving energy and resources.
Orbitz searches seven car rental companies and does not charge a booking fee for car rentals. Just beware of extra fees from your car rental company.
Like Priceline, Hotwire does not tell you which company you are buying from until you have already paid, but there is much less risk involved with a car. While some hotel chains are bad no matter what state you’re staying in, a Ford is still a Ford no matter what company you have a rental agreement with.
If you want to be sure you have up-to-date information on all airport delays, let the Air Traffic Controllers Association’s Web site get you all the current information about flight delays across the country.
Making sure your luggage will meet the standards of the airlines in another important step of preparing for vacation. The Travel Insider stores luggage information about airlines across the country and supplies you with packing tips. Onebag also has helpful information about what is banned and how to pack your bags according to regulations.