9/29/09

What about travel sites, anyway?

Many of us feel our lives would be incomplete without having seen at least one foreign country in our lifetime. There are travel sites that can help you do this on the cheap, but which one is best for you and your needs?

Let us look at a few and you can decide for yourself. Let us assume the trip is to take place a week from now [September 6th at 12:00 PM], and we're going from LAX [Los Angelis] to London Heathrow(Great Britains largest airport). We'll try for one adult round-trip ticket as well.

(Note: I'll be giving these results a subjective score based on service and features)

Expedia.com:



 Expedia has a quick, compact interface. One click to set your trip coverage (Hotels and cars are even included in the price as an option).

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Expedia gave me a price-tag of $845. Not quite on the cheap, the trick to Expedia is using their explore by destination interface on the upper-right. there you can find deals for hotels and flights (Maybe).

A real great feature of Expedia is marked "Today's Deals" There you can find quick in-country hotels and flights for under a hundred bucks.

Break down out of ten:

Ease of use: 10
Scenario Price: 4
Flexibility: 7.5
Difference in price: +106

Over all: 19.56

Hotwire.com:



Hotwire directly confronts the issue at hand. "Discount Airfare!" which is exactly what we want, especially considering the trip at hand.


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I got a better deal here, though you can't expect a great drop in price with the general distance of my test trip (What can I say, I like working with big numbers). Just for using Hotwire to book I only have to pay $713! More than a one-hundred-dollar Saving.

Right after i clicked the submit button the fair price changed to $739. Still a hundred-dollar save, but I'm hoping this is a rare find and not something concurrent.

Ease of use: 10
Scenario Price: 6
Flexibility: 7.5
Difference in price: -106

Over all: 24.56

Priceline.com:



Time for the standing holder of bragging rights. According to their commercials you can save up to half off of the competitors prices!? Let us check that, shall we?

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$849 I certainly didn't expect that. The site itself seems to work about as well as Expedia. The name your own price feature seems to put you on a wait list. I wouldn't click any further as it asks for some registration information.

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Ease of use: 10
Scenario Price: 3.8
Flexibility: 7.5
Difference in price: +110

Over all: 20.2

In the end, it's the specific trip you want that counts. I'm sure you can find something wonderful to do for a small price. I think it's best to plan your own walking tours using something like google maps.

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(Well... That might be more of an urban hike then a walk, but you get the idea)

--Isacc Weltrip

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