Maybe it’s because I do a lot of travel reading – likely more than the average twice-a-year traveler, but are you noticing the same thing as I am? Almost every day, another article claims that this site or that site has THE best travel search. Really? I have to wonder, who’s right, who’s not and who has ulterior motives?
A few recent ‘bests’
Here are a few examples of articles suggesting that certain travel search sites are best:
- This one touts Kayak and Google Flights
- This one, Google Flights or Expedia
- Frommers lists Momondo on top
And though this article advocates Momondo as ‘cheapest flight comparison site’, at least it’s a balanced view and goes on to name the ‘best flight comparison sites’.
How are search results influenced?
Pay-to-play advertising typically factors heavily in the order that travel search results are presented. Often, advertiser options top the search list before unpaid options. Aggregators may also have purchased inventory that is presented in a prioritized way.
This Skift article, ‘Google is rigged. Just not the way Trump thinks it is” outlines how search engines can be, but aren’t always, biased when it comes to Google travel searches.
Finding best travel options from unbiased sources
So that begs the question – how do you find good or best travel options from unbiased sources?
- Usually, you can’t trust the top-of-list options to be unbiased. Dig deeper into the 3rd or 4th screen results. Here you will often find better, unbiased choices.
- Many travel searches offer criteria selections and filters that enable you to view results by best price, best route, specific amenities, number of stops or a favorite airline or hotel. When it makes sense, apply a filter or two and scroll down the list through several screens to find hidden gems. Sometimes, I go directly to the end of the search results and scroll from bottom to top.
- Check at least four or more favorite travel search sites. Finding that favorite site depends on personal needs. Are you looking for cheapest, for best value, for a specific airline/hotel chain, for package deals, for a group rate or for last minute deals? You may prefer one search site over the other because of its visual appeal or ease-of-use, or maybe because you accumulate travel points.
Searching More Options Faster
One of the easiest, fastest and most comprehensive ways to check several travel search sites is to use OppteeTM Travel Search. Opptee offers both aggregator and Online Travel Agent (OTA) site searches options as well as direct travel providers. Opptee offers options for flights, hotels (including private rentals), cruises, car rentals, and vacation packages. The numerous search provider options are listed alphabetically so you can easily choose from a variety of flight choices such as Google Flights, Expedia, American Air, Southwest Air and Delta. Or for hotels, cruises, car rentals and vacation packages check Orbitz, Marriott, Celebrity Cruises, Hertz, Sunwing, and many others. Opptee provides options that you may never have heard of before. Why not try a few new ones!
When searching four or more sites, speed and ease of use is an important factor. With Opptee Travel Search you need only input your travel dates and location once. Opptee auto-populates that information for each provider you choose, making the comparison shopping task much easier.
Now go out there and check as many of the touted ‘best’ sites as you’d like: Google, Expedia, Kayak, Momondo, Delta, United – all from one convenient source.
OppteeTravel Search: Your Personal Travel Agent