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All vendors identified with their company logo below are preferred vendors. Just click on the logo and you can book direct in confidence.


 
 AIRTRAVEL 

There are hundreds of online booking sites for air travel. My approach to using online retailers is twofold. First I search for the best travel deal on one of the travel sites noted below and then I go directly to the actual airline website to see if the same price exists. If so, you are always better off working directly with the airline in case you need assistance downline.
Flight Deals Banner (155x155)

kayak.com
KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH
This is my personal favorite as kayak.com searches more than 200 sources in real time and you can customize your searches and queries to exacting details. Watch carefully as the site opens multiple windows in your browser and you can see the technology at work on your behalf. The site is also offered in multiple languages for travelers around the globe.
mobissimo.com KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH
"We search. You Travel." This is the motto of mobissimo.com which operates in a similar fashion to kayak.com. Unlike kayak.com, mobissimo.com offers a site in the Japanese language.
priceline.com KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH, LOWEST PRICE
One of the first discount online retailers, priceline.com continues to surprise me with incredible values in travel. I could do without William Shatner at every click, but now you now have the choice of making reservations using their discounted no-fee published rates OR through their famous name your own price bidding system.
momondo.com KEYWORD: AIRLINES, SEARCH, LOWEST PRICE, EUROPE
If you are looking for price comparisons in the European market, momondo.com is the best site. They canvas more than 800 global sites with each comparison and have a very user friendly interface. 
opodo.com KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH, LOWEST PRICE, EUROPE
Similar to momondo.com, opodo.com operates in the European market. Originally founded by nine European carriers, the site is now majority owned by the travel technology company Amadeus.
yapta.com KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH, FARE TRACKING
Yapta.com
is great if you want to track airline prices before and even after you travel. This is one way to ensure you are getting the cheapest flight available.
bing.com/travel
KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH, FARE TRACKING, GOOGLE
For those partial to Bing vs. the Google Empire, you can find a similar airline tariff tracking tool here from MSN.
webflyer.com KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH, LOYALTY, MILEAGE PROGRAM
If you want to know the ins and outs of frequent flyer programs, webflyer.com is your destination on the internet. If you need more perspective, also visit frequentflyer.com, traxo.com and mileblaster.com.
seatguru.com KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH, SEATING
Seatguru.com has been one of my favorite travel sites for years long before it was acquired by TripAdvisor.com. An essential tool to avoid the pitfalls of a bad seat assignment - especially on long international flights.
airfarewatchdog.com KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH, SPECIAL DEALS
If you are on the hunt for a special deal, let airfarewatchdog.com and their staff locat the best real time offerings. 
flightaware.com KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH, FLIGHT TRACKING
This is the easiest and most user friendly flight tracking website on the internet. Just plug in the flight number and you can see exactly where the flight is in real time.
ifly.com KEYWORD: AIRLINE, SEARCH, AIRPORT MAPS
The most exhaustive website with almost 700 airports (more than half international too!) and a handy mobile application too.
    




HOTEL

I use the same booking logic with hotels as I do with airlines. Check out one or two of the hotel reservation sites first and then check to see if your desired hotel can match or even better yet, beat the room tariff you have discovered online. You are always better off working directly with the hotel as the moment of truth is always at check-in. The front desk staff is empowered in most cases to give you the best room available in your confirmed category and  you can bet that when push comes to shove, the hotel clerk is going to give you the best room possible if you have booked your room directly with the hotel (online or by telephone) versus a popular online hotel booking site. Below are some of my favorite websites for hotels.

HOTEL TIP: When booking an airport transfer service to your hotel, ALWAYS do this through the hotel concierge. Hotels work with preferred car services and though they may often be more expensive, they will monitor your arrival to ensure that your room is ready for you when you arrive. One cannot put a price tag on a hotel that is watching out for you even before you arrive - a wise travel investment in my book.
Top Hotel Banner (120x60)  
priceline.com KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH, LOWEST PRICE
One of the first discount online retailers, priceline.com continues to surprise me with incredible values in travel, especially when looking for the best price for a luxury hotel room. You have the choice of making reservations using their discounted no-fee published rates OR through their famous name your own price bidding system.
Hotwire
KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH, LOWEST PRICE
A great alternative site to priceline.com where you will find significant savings on hotels and other travel-related products.
hotels.com KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH
Hotels.com is a very user friendly site to get information about hotels around the globe. I especially like the images that are provided for each property which gives one a better sense of the hotel and its services and amenities.
ikyu.com KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH, JAPAN
If you are looking for a luxury hotel in Japan, ikyu.com is your best bet. The link to the left takes you directly to their English language site.

Rakuten Travel, Inc.
KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH, JAPAN, ASIA, LOWEST PRICE
If you need inexpensive accommodations in Japan and other parts of Asia, Rakuten is where you will find a wide variety of accommodations from capsule hotels to some five star properties. Most of the high end hotels and inns in Japan prefer ikyu.com as a distribution system, so if luxury is your game, you can check Rakuten first and then head over to Ikyu. The link to the left takes you to their English language site.
jetsetter.com KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH, LUXURY, DISCOUNT
Jetsetter.com is part of the well known Gilt Groupe in New York City which brought luxury fashion sales to the internet with great success. They are using the same formula to bring luxury travel to a wider audience by working with hoteliers and other travel suppliers around the globe and offering deep discounts on travel when you book specific travel dates during their sale windows. The site is gorgeous with beautiful images and to-the-point commentary written by their in-house "concierges". The best part is that their offerings are actual places that I want to stay! If you have trouble getting a membership, let me know.
tripadvisor.com KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH, LUXURY, DISCOUNT 
Tripadvisor.com is one of my favorite pre-booking resources and now has almost 40 million user-generated reviews. There are the occasional hotelier self- generated reviews that are no doubt biased, but when you read through several for the same property, you do gain a more objective perspective and additional insight into the property and many of its pros and cons.
tripkick.com KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH, ROOM
If you want to get specific details about hotel room types, tripkick.com is your website. They have recently added international destinations to their portfolio, but be aware that some major cities are still lacking from their database. 
raveable.com KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH, REVIEW
"Hotel reviews without extra baggage" is their tagline and they survey multiple review websites on the internet and provide a robust aggregate profile of the property under review. At present the site only covers domestic USA properties so stay tuned for international destinations in the future. They also have a special section on their site that monitors all the best travel bloggers which I find most interesting and helpful in my pursuit of the new stories in travel.
luxurylink.com KEYWORD: HOTEL, SEARCH, AUCTION
If you are looking for a great value in luxury accommodations, luxurylink.com offers up to 65% off published rack rates. Also check out their sister sites familygetaway.com and vacationist.com for more excellent deals. A venture with Travel + Leisure.




CAR


Most of the online booking services that offer air and hotels reservations now offer substantial savings on car rentals. This is especially true when you bundle your car booking with your air and hotel. Below are some car specialists that you should consider before making your final choice. As with air and hotel searches, check out the car rental company website too to see if they match or even provide lower rates than the online offerings from other suppliers. 
$16.95 A Day Rental Cars from CarRentals.com
Dollar Rent-a-Car, Inc. Enterprise Rent-A-Car Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc.

autoslash.com KEYWORD: CAR RENTAL, SEARCH, DISCOUNT
Autoslash.com is a helpful site when you need to search for the best possible car rental rate. They not only track rates for you, but they also hunt for coupons that can be redeemed by car rental companies. 
autoeurope.com
KEYWORD: CAR RENTAL, SEARCH, DISCOUNT, EUROPE
Auto Europe
has been one of my favorite car providers for almost 20 years - long before the dot.com era. They are tops in the European market and their customer service and price guarantees receive top marks.
mapquest.com KEYWORD: CAR, MAPS, DIRECTIONS
The new design of mapquest.com makes it my top pick for driving directions.
maps.google.com KEYWORD: CAR, MAPS, DIRECTIONS
Google's impressive mapping technology makes for easy driving, but the website can use a little tweaking to make it a bit more friendly.



MISC

Here you will find a collection of interesting and helpful websites covering such topics as Vacation Rentals, Cruises, and travel curiosities from a variety of Travel Curators on the internet.American Express Travel
homeaway.com KEYWORD: VACATION RENTAL
Homeaway.com
has the largest global network of vacation properties now in excess of 230,000. 
flipkey.com KEYWORD: VACATION RENTAL
The closest website for comparison to homeaway.com is flipkey.com which boasts about 100,000 properties for rent around the world.
cruisecritic.com KEYWORD: CRUISE
Looking for the ideal cruise for your next vacation? Cruisecritic.com offers comprehensive commentary and reviews along with cabin photos to help you make the right sailing choice.
cruisereviews.com KEYWORD: CRUISE
The cool blue color of this website has me longing for the seas as soon as I land on the homepage. A great alternative to the Cruise Critic for those "cruisers" looking for the ideal voyage.
yipit.com KEYWORD: COUPON, DISCOUNT
Yipit.com is for all those travelers longing to use their scissors to cut out the latest coupons for a wide variety of daily indulgences. When you subscribe you get a simple email that packages all the discounts available to you in your area. Scissors not required.
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