Travel Sites FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Travel Sites

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How reliable are travel sites?


Each travel site that we have reviewed is reliable for booking valid reservations. The difference between services is in the overall ease of use, prices offered and expansiveness.

Do travel sites have mobile apps?


Many of the top-rated travel and booking sites feature mobile versions of their service for users who are smartphone-savvy. These apps are often very similar to the desktop version and are easy to navigate. Some services even offer discounts for users who complete their reservation through their mobile apps. It should be noted that if a travel site doesn't have a mobile app, it usually has a mobile version of the site that is easy to use on your smartphone or tablet.

Can I use more than one travel site for the same trip?

Yes! The great thing about travel and booking services is that they each have their own respective strengths. For example, some sites are more focused on hotels and can offer users lower prices than a competitor. Similarly, some services will host more competitive prices on flights or rental cars. Travelers should plan to spend some time browsing a couple of travel sites to find the perfect combination in order to complete the reservations for each aspect of their trip.

Once I've booked my trip, who can I contact if I need assistance?


If you're need to make changes to an upcoming trip, you'll first want to contact the travel site, as it can likely still make such changes. On the other hand, if you need to make changes once you started your trip, you'll want to call the actual company (hotel, airlines, etc.) that is providing the service, as they will be able to make last-minute changes. Airlines, hotels, cruises and car rental companies will almost always make their support lines very accessible for travelers who need help on the go.

Can I cancel or make changes to my reservation once it's been made?


Yes, travelers usually have the option to update or cancel their reservation for flights, hotels and car rentals though the travel site or the service (hotel, airlines, etc.) they booked. It should be noted that you may not be able to cancel or make changes to vacation packages or activities you plan through a travel site without a fee. As such, it's best to read the cancellation policy before you book such packages or activities.

Do I have to pay for my travel plans upfront?


Some travel sites allow users to make use of a "book now, pay later" option. For the most part, this is applicable for hotel reservations as most flights will need to be paid for upfront. If you do choose to exercise this option, you make the reservation online (providing your credit card information to secure the reservation) and pay upon arrival at your hotel of choice.

Why are airline prices different from site to site?

Airlines practice a concept called "yield management." This means that travelers cannot specifically pinpoint one price for a seat on a given flight because some tickets will be sold at different prices for different reasons. For example, some corporate fares are given out for certain users and some seats are sold through a consolidator at a discount. However, buyers can rest assured that they are being given a competitive price on each site.

Why can I only book certain hotels or flights through some travel sites and not others?


Some travelers may notice that when comparing booking sites, the list of available flights and hotels are not always the same. In our experience, this problem mostly occurred because either the hotel or flight in question was either completely full or it wasn't offered through that booking site. While travel sites include an array of flight and hotel options, they are often unable to include all options, as some smaller airlines or hotels may not allow booking sites to host their potential travelers or guests.

How early should I book a flight through a travel site?


If possible, travelers are recommended to book their flights six weeks in advance, as prices are lowest on airfare around this time. On a similar note, booking a flight last-minute will produce the highest prices.

How early should I book a hotel through a travel site?


Unlike airlines, hotels almost always offer their lowest prices on rooms at the last minute. This is because they want to fill all of their rooms and are willing to offer a discount on those that are vacant. Unless the hotel is offering a package deal through a booking site, travelers are better off waiting as long as possible to book their hotel.

How old do you need to be to rent a car?

Renting a car through a travel or booking site requires the renter to be at least 25 years old, although some exceptions can be made for a small insurance fee. That said, drivers are generally only required to be 18 years old with a valid drivers license.

Top Travel Sites

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Bottom line: Bright, inviting interface offers users a pleasant experience and options for a tailor-made vacation; features some of the lowest prices available for flights and hotels
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Bottom line: Simplistic approach to booking the basics; uncluttered interface and low prices offered to travelers looking for a quick and efficient reservation process
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Bottom line: Intensive and interactive forum for the experienced traveler; low prices are available for those willing to do some digging
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Bottom line: Geared toward travelers with some flexibility; allows users without concrete travel dates to place bids and enjoy marginally lower prices
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Bottom line: Simple and clear-cut approach to travel and booking services at fair prices; customizable deals and focused results but few filter options
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Bottom line: Lodging options only available for booking; helpful and clear-cut approach to online hotel reservations
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Bottom line: Somewhat cluttered interface and overwhelming number of pop-up offers are distracting from an otherwise helpful and thorough travel site
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Bottom line: User-friendly and simple service with standard search features and filters; helpful for those looking to book more than one reservation simultaneously, but somewhat lackluster in specific search tools
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Bottom line: Simplistic approach to booking hotel reservations; highly specific search filters are a singular bright spot in an otherwise frustrating booking process

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