Kayak.com: One Travel Search Engine to Conquer Them All?

Are all flight search engines created equal?

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That is a question I’ve pondered over and over again while surfing – searching and clicking, searching and clicking. Some search engines seem to use only some carriers, while others search different carriers entirely.

And from one search engine to the next, I’m sure I’ve seen different prices for the same flight and same airline. Some include all fees and taxes, while others claim they do until you check out and discover that “xyz odd-ball tax” wasn’t actually part of their super-duper price. Now their price isn’t so super-duper anymore.

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Doin’ A Little Research © AMagill

Other sites yet make it very difficult for somebody with a truly open itinerary to plan a budget-minded trip. I don’t know if I want to leave on Tuesday. I may just prefer to leave on Thursday that week if I knew there was a seat sale ”¦ or, heck, I’ll wait until the following week if I need to. Why can’t you tell me about that instead? In short: why can’t you just get inside my head and find a bloody cheap flight for me?!

Why, oh why, can’t I find an intuitive decent search engine I trust?

It was when I read Chris’s recent article on maximizing your travel budget that I may have found an answer.

Kayak.com seems to be one of the most comprehensive travel search sites I’ve seen in a while. They have a repertoire of over 140 sites they search and compile information from. By signing up (it’s free of course), you can also use the “my dates are flexible” option, which will show you 30 to 90 day trends in prices, helping you to choose the perfect time to travel.

In exploring the Kayak site, I’ve also signed up for a few fare alerts, which show me the cheapest round-trip tickets for flights I’m considering in the future, allowing me to find the best rates within the next six months. Not to mention some decent newsletters featuring deals that just may send me off my original travel itinerary — in a good way of course.

Kayak.com has an impressive list of fans and reviews, including “Best of the Web” by both Business Week and Forbes.com, “50 Coolest Websites” by TIME magazine, and “Best Search Aid” by Travel & Leisure, among a host of other positive remarks.

Once the flight is booked, Kayak appears to have an equally impressive ability to search for hotels, rental cars, and even cruises. You’ll often find me online lurking around their Deals section, working out the next step in my travels.

So give Kayak.com a try the next time you are in search of a decent flight itinerary. As the folks at Kayak.com say: “Life’s a Trip.”

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