Best Travel Search Engines

This is a comprehensive list of search engines that give users the ability to book cruises, flights, train tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and entire vacation packages online.

Most of the web sites listed here allow travelers to compare pricing, read reviews and provide feedback on each of the major traveling agencies. Some of them aggregate listing from various other Internet booking sites, while others get the data directly from the servicing businesses.

Top 10 Travel Search Engines

Search EngineAlexa Rank*Unique Visitors*
tripadvisor.com20921.8 M
expedia.com51519.3 M
hotels.com6008.9 M
priceline.com66712.4 M
kayak.com6816.7 M
travelocity.com14039.6 M
orbitz.com14467.1 M
lonelyplanet.com1704894 K
hotwire.com21535.6 M
travelzoo.com32963.2 M

*Alexa Traffic Rank (global). **Monthly Unique Visitor estimates from Compete.com (U.S. only). Updated for 2014.


Summaries

TripAdvisor.com – Founded in 2001 by Stephen Kaufe, TripAdvisor is one of many popular industry websites operated by Expedia, Inc. It prides itself on providing unbiased reviews, a travel guide, and features advice on flights, resorts, hotels, vacation packages and rentals. Their on-click price comparison tool allows you to compare prices from multiple reservations websites.

Expedia.com – Originally founded in 1995 as a division of Microsoft, Expedia is probably the most well-know Internet-based travel reservation websites. You can use their tools to plan your trip, buy airline tickets, read reviews, reserve a hotel and find deals on vacation packages.

Hotels.com – The site which began in 2002 is yet another Expedia, Inc web property. This one is dedicated to helping people who need to stay in a hotel, but also assists travelers with finding deals on complete vacation packages, including rental cars and airline flights. Use it to pick from thousands of luxury, cheap, bread and breakfast, and 5 star hotels by reading their reviews, detailed descriptions and price comparisons. It integrates a map, and provides access to high-quality photos online. They also currently offer a Price Match Guarantee.

Priceline.com – Founded in 1998 by Jay S. Walker; Priceline helps travelers get deep discounts on hotels, flights, rental cars, vacations and cruises. It also offers exclusive deals that can’t be found anywhere else.

KAYAK.com – Created by the Cofounders of Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz in 2004, KAYAK gives travelers with multiple choices of where to book their airline tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals. The site helps you find the cheapest deals by comparing hundreds of web sites all at once. They also offer an itinerary management tool, flight status updates and price alerts.

Travelocity.com – Started in 1996 at Tulsa International Airport as a subsidiary of Sabre Holdings – which is a subsidiary of American Airlines – it claims to be the the six-largest travel agency in the United States. You can use it to book vacations, and find specials to get cheap airfare and stay fees.

Orbitz.com – Originally formed by several major airlines in 1999, they aimed to compete in the fast growing online travel industry. The Orbitz website, which officially launched in 2001, allows deal seekers to book cheap airline tickets, make hotel reservations, rent cars, plan entire vacations and find the best promotions. Orbitz Price Assurance guarantees customers a cash refund if they don’t get their cheapest airfare and hotel deal for your destination.

LonelyPlanet.com – There’s over 30 years industry experience going into their guides and tips regarding popular destination. They help you shop rooms and other deals.

Hotwire.com – Created in 2000 by several individuals and United States airline companies, Hotwire is yet another industry related property now operated by Expedia, Inc. It negotiates deep discounts from its suppliers to help travelers book unsold airline seats, save on motels and get cheap auto rentals, with significant price savings.

TravalZoo.com – Founded in 1998 by Ralph Bartel, it works with over 2000 companies world-wide to help people find the best offers on individual seats, lodging, automobiles, cruises and entire trips.

Keep in mind this top ten list of travel search engines is based on Alexa Traffic Rank only; not necessarily which ones are best from a user’s perspective. If you’d like us to review another search engine missing from our one of lists don’t hesitate to send us the web site information via our contact form.

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