8/14/2017

BEST TRAVEL SITES FOR YOUR VACATIONS


Find the best deals online for plane tickets, hotel rooms, vacation packages and car rentals, domestic or abroad.

Airfares

1) Kayak.com scours hundreds of online sources for the cheapest fare available. The more flexible you are on time and destination, the better your chances of finding a great deal. Search for dates up to three days before and after your ideal travel dates or on any weekends in the next year. And with the site's Explore tool, you can scan a world map for all the places you can reach within a specified per-ticket price range. It also lets you specify your preferred flight time, vacation activities (beach, gamble, golf or ski?) and weather (based on temperatures).

Kayak can also help you bite the bullet and buy your ticket, or not, with its "price predictor," which forecasts whether fares will go up or down. Enter your desired itinerary and the site will return a list of flight options, along with a recommendation to either buy now or wait for a fare drop. But the tool is not omniscient. Predictions appear with confidence rates and are limited to certain cities, round-trip, coach flights and specific time frames depending on your departure and arrival cities.
2) AirfareWatchdog works best for travelers ready to take off at the drop of a deal. The site has actual people lurking on airline Web sites in anticipation of fare sales. They sign up for rewards programs to snag promotional codes and discount offers that can be passed on to AirfareWatchdog users. Plus, the site includes fares from Southwest, Allegiant and other small airlines that may not appear on bigger search sites such as Kayak.
(Also, in November 2014, the site added a new service, Hotelwatchdog, which fetches hotel listings that offer great values, meaning they have prices lower than similar nearby hotels, good locations and favorable TripAdvisor reviews.)
.3) WhichBudget.com will help you build an inexpensive, overseas flight plan by using local, budget airlines — a great way to save on international travel. Select your overseas starting point, end point or both, and the site will list airlines you've probably never heard of that service each route. For example, if you search for flights from Bangkok to Beijing, you'll get options from China Eastern and Hainan Airlines.
4) Several major airlines, such as American, AirTran and Jetblue, will refund you the difference, usually in the form of travel credits or vouchers, if the fare falls below what you paid for your ticket. Enter your flight information at Yapta.com, and the site tracks the fares for you. If the price dips below the threshold your specify, Yapta will shoot you an e-mail or Tweet and walk you through how to collect your refund
5) Hotels.com lets you search just one site for accommodations at hundreds of thousands of properties. You can find particularly good last-minute deals, which are updated daily. But even advance-travel planners can score big bargains with the site's seasonal sales, destination-specific deals and other special offers.
Frequent travelers will appreciate the simplicity of the site's Welcome Rewards program — for every ten nights you spend at any combination of the program's 100,000 member properties, you'll earn a free night's stay worth up to the average daily rate of your ten nights.

6)  AllTheRooms is the world’s first and only complete room metasearch engine, combining hotels with home stays (like Airbnb), secret deals (like Hotwire), and all other types of accommodations. Existing hotel-focused metasearch engines, never present travelers with all of the rooms available in a given destination, forcing the traveler to visit dozens of different sites. They save the customer time by combining 

https://www.alltherooms.com/

7) RAILEUROPE  : BUYING TRAIN TICKETS THROUGH A US RETAILER
The easiest way for North Americans to purchase train tickets is through RailEurope.com. Basically, RailEurope is the North American representative of 50 railroads throughout Europe.
With RailEurope, you can have physical tickets mailed to you before your trip. You also have the option (in some, but not all cases) to print your own tickets, print an e-ticket at the self-service kiosk in the train station, or have an e-ticket sent to your phone. This is nice because collecting tickets purchased from European rail services can sometimes be problematic.
Plus, the site actually functions (which not always a given with European sites — but they’re getting better). You also have the benefit of not needing to deal with non-English-speaking customer service.
However, there are a few downsides:
  •  Tickets are sometimes more expensive than buying them from their European counterparts.
  • RailEurope doesn’t always list all the available rail journeys.
  • Some tickets can only be mailed, so you can’t buy them while you’re traveling.

BUYING TICKETS FROM EUROPEAN NATIONAL RAIL SERVICE WEBSITES

Each country in Europe has its own rail service, and most allow you to purchase tickets online.This is the cheapest way to purchase train tickets because you can take advantage of current promotions and discounts — so you’re paying the same price as the Europeans. And remember, the earlier you buy, the cheaper the tickets (on most high-speed and long-distance tickets).
Theoretically, all you need to do is purchase the ticket via the website and then collect the tickets at the train station or print your tickets at home. Some sites will send an electronic ticket to your smartphone. Sometimes you’ll need the same credit card you used to purchase the ticket in order to collect your tickets.
Note: You’ll need a card with a chip if you want to pick up your ticket from a machine. If you have a standard “swipe” card, you’ll have to go to the service desk. 
Most rail service websites function well and are fairly straightforward. And most have an English language option — additionally, Google Chrome will auto-translate foreign websites if you can’t speak the language. However, some websites are plagued with bugs and are designed terribly. In Eastern Europe, online booking is sometimes non-existent.
The best national rail service sites are:
There is another great site you should check out:
TrainLine (formerly known as Captain Train): TrainLine is a new startup that sells tickets for French, German, and Italian trains, and it finds the cheapest tickets. Plus, you can use any credit card to buy tickets, and nearly all the tickets offer print-at-home or collect-at-station options. Furthermore, the site is slick and simple to use.
Note: When purchasing an international ticket (i.e. Germany to Italy), always book from the departure country. For example, if you’re going from Germany to Italy you should use the German rail service website. This is because some rail services only allow you to pick up your ticket in the country where you booked the ticket. So, in our Germany to Italy example, the Italian rail service would sell you the ticket, but you would have to pick up the ticket in Italy.  
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