By Terry Gardner
Special to the Los Angeles Times
April 25, 2010
From finding cheaper flights to scoring last-minute lift tickets, here are some websites that will help ease you on down the road (or slopes).
This airfare, hotel and rental-car search engine, based in Reykjavik, Iceland, was inspired by chief executive Frosti Sigurjonsson's struggles to find connecting flights between Nice, France, and Iceland.
Flight search focuses on price and connections.
Hotel search includes more than 300,000 properties and has an easy-to-use sliding price bar filter.
Car rentals in the U.S. and overseas.
You can't search for more than one city at a time.
Some airlines aren't searched (Southwest).
Partner Martin Lumbye says Momondo meant "my world" in ancient Spanish. This Google-like flight, hotel and car-rental search engine was created in 2006 to provide "price transparency for consumers and show as many prices from as many suppliers as possible," Lumbye says.
Find low fares other search engines miss.
Incorporate high-speed trains in Europe (various rail lines) and the U.S. (Amtrak) into searches.
Display a price graph (or calendar) showing the cheapest days to fly.
Pinpoint properties on a map.
You can't search for more than one city at a time..
A meta-search enginefor hotels that includes customer reviews. The site, which has its headquarters in Sydney, Australia, launched in 2005 to offer travelers one-stop shopping for hotel deals.
Easy-to-use price and location filters.
Price comparisons and offers available from multiple suppliers.
Lacks a default so you must enter the number of travelers or rooms.
This website provides in-depth reviews and photographs of hotels. Its 14 destinations include Hawaii, New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. A popular site feature is photo fake-outs that compare a hotel's photographs to photos taken by Oyster's reporters, says chief executive Elie Seidman.
Concise reviews that offer pros and cons.
Numerous photographs to help you choose where to spend your hotel dollars.
Only 14 destinations, but Seidman promises more will be added.
If Couchsurfing and Flipkey had a love child, it would be Airbnb. Co-Founder Brian Chesky says Airbnb "began with an airbed in our living room." Lodging options range from an airbed in a living room to a real bed in a home, igloo, tepee, tree house or castle. With accommodations listings in 2,751 cities in 117 countries, Airbnb functions more like a hotel booking site accepting payment via Paypal, credit card or bank transfer.
Users create a Facebook-type profile and build an eBay-style reputation via mutual feedback.
Payment goes to Airbnb rather than to the host, who isn't paid until the guest has checked in, thus reducing the risk of an unsatisfactory lodging.
Coupon codes Tweeted on Tuesdays.
Some destinations not listed, such as Bonaire and Tahiti.
This website sells discounted date-specific lift tickets for single or multiple days. It has grown from seven resorts when it launched in October 2006 to 120 resorts in the U.S. and Canada this season.
The average discount on lift tickets is 33% and sometimes as much as 80%.
Some resorts are not yet participating.
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