It's no secret that these days people are flocking to travel websites instead of travel agents when planning their trips. No one wants to pay more for their airline tickets than they have to, and comparison websites allow people to search for the best deals conveniently and quickly. However, now that this option is so readily available and sites are plentiful, it's hard to know which sites are the most user-friendly, have the best features and the best deals.
A company like Orbitz is more than just a search engine for cheap tickets; the site offers numerous features to help you find what you need for your trip. You can search for hotel accommodations, car rental and flight options together (or separately), you can get a discount price on all reservations and you can often choose from many flight departure times. Another useful feature is Orbitz's “flexible dates” option, which expands the search up to three days before and after your initial search. A chart is generated showing you the cheapest flights within a six-day period so you don't have to search these days individually. Further, you can search for the best weekend fares, or the cheapest flights for an entire 30-day period. Using the site's “Deal Detector” service, you can input the price you want to pay for your ticket and Orbitz will alert you via email when an airline is offering seats matching or below your target price, so you don't have to continually return to the site to check prices.
Sometimes the easiest way to find good travel deals is to use a site that does not offer airline tickets, but rather can be used as a tool to search through many sites selling tickets to find the best prices. Booking Buddy is one site that can be used as a helpful search engine; simply enter your dates and destinations and check which sites you would like Booking Buddy to search for you. Expedia, Priceline, Bing, Orbitz, CheapoAir and more sites are linked to Booking Buddy for easy searching and quick comparisons. The drawback to Booking Buddy is that you cannot put in flexible dates to be searched; if you wish to do this, you must go to the individual ticket selling site to search.
If your travels will be taking you to Europe, check out deals on Ryan Air flights. This minimalist budget airline specializes in getting you to your destination for less, and has excellent links to help you once you've arrived. Not only can you check in online, rent a car, and search for a hotel or hostel at Ryan Air's site, you can also download city guides, reserve camping spots, and even buy a roaming SIM card so you have a cell phone when you reach your destination. For your birthday, graduation, or special occasion, Ryan Air offers gift vouchers throughout their website that can be redeemed on any of its flights.