The Internet's top booking sites are so good, they'll get you where you want to go and probably save you money, too.
Time Required: an hour
- Acquaint yourself with the major reputable online travel agents (see "related features" below).
- Devise a dream trip: Pick when you'd like to go, and where.
- Test the site's flight tool to see what kind of fare it returns.
- Note if the site brings up alternate flights and prices. (Sometimes you can save a lot of money by flying on a different day.)
- Create a simple chart to track how several different sites perform.
- Evaluate how easy it is to get hotel information and rates.
- Call the site's customer-service department with a specific question, and decide how helpful the person on the other end is.
- Subscribe to one or two free newsletters published by online travel agents, and stick with the one you like the best.
- Acquaint yourself with the site's extra features, such as paging services, mileage benefits, vacation selection, special offers, etc.
- Don't feel as if you have to use one site exclusively.
- Always compare fares and offers between at least two sites before buying anything.