Updated 12 September 2006
NB: Most links are North America/USA-oriented
New and different:
- Farecast (beta): Uses data-mining
algorithms to predict whether fares will rise or fall in the future for a
budget airlines whose fares are not listed by the major sites below.
The general sites to look for airfares and hotels are:
If they fly where you're going, check out the individual
airlines--some discount airlines aren't accessible via the fare
searches above, and other airlines offer special deals or bonuses only
from their own sites:
- American Airlines
You may want to check your destination airport's website to see what
airlines serve it, since not all sites like Expedia check all airlines.
Most airports' websites will tell you which airlines service which
If you're flexible you can use Bidding for Travel, which is a message board gives you all the hints on how to use Priceline.com well, and yeah, you can save a LOT of money on hotel rooms and airfares. It's especially good and easy for hotels. You can book for later the same day now (very handy on our last Arkansas-California driving trip...the extra comfort was nice too).
Someone asked me why Hotwire.com wasn't on the list. In my opinion and experience, Hotwire offers you nothing that Priceline doesn't, with the same restrictions as Hotwire, and yet their prices are much higher. I don't think there's any reason to ever use Hotwire. The above bulletin board has some comparative discussion that agrees.
As an aside, for long distance, I highly recommend OneSuite. Their rates to Japan are as cheap as some plans' in-US rates. No monthly fee. (No, they don't give me anything.) And while I'm at it,
Inside Japan Tours, the flexible and thorough travel agency who set up our honeymoon in Japan.
Based in the UK, but you can use their services from anywhere.