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 given route.
- Budget airlinesInternational budget airlines whose fares are not listed by the major sites below.

The general sites to look for airfares and hotels are:

- Kayak (New and very good)
- Sidestep (I don't like it; you might)
- Mobissimo - Expedia
- Travelocity, same as Yahoo! Travel
- Orbitz
- Qixo
- Priceline
- CheapTickets

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:

- JetBlue
- Southwest
- American Airlines
- Delta
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 routes.

Also, check out plane seat goodness/badness at:

- Seat Guru
- Love My Seat

and wireless availability/costs at:

- TravelPost's Airport Wireless Internet Access Guide

Places to look for hotels, packages, and special deals are:

- TravelZoo
- Site59
- Frommer's (also travel advice)
- Smarter Living
- ( is now part of CheapTickets.)
- Last Minute Travel
- TravelWorm
- IACE (Japan)

If you're flexible you can use Bidding for Travel, which is a message board gives you all the hints on how to use 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 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.

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