Best Top Online Travel Sites in 2021

Best Top Online Travel Sites in 2021

The best top online travel sites will assist you in booking every part of your holiday – from flights and hotels to car rents and trips.

It’s time to begin reading the best top online travel sites for your next vacation. With travel restrictions gradually lifting, you can start to plan your next getaway – whether you’re traveling internationally or staying within the United States. A travel booking website can cover every aspect of your vacation, including day trips, park passes, evening entertainment, auto rentals, etc. Still, if you’d instead not plan too much, you can use them to book the introductory flights and hotels.

When choosing the best top online travel sites for this guide, we considered a handful of things. The most important, for us, was the range of destinations and accommodations on offer, the competitiveness of pricing, and the simplicity of the website itself. When choosing the right site for your needs, don’t automatically default to the one that shows the lowest prices. Often, you can get special discounts on specific sites, and you’ll probably save money if the site you’re booking through has a broader range of things like hotels.

The ability to customize your holiday is vital too. Yes, you may save money on a cheaper hotel, but some sites will offer extra features with your stay – like free WiFi and free breakfasts – that will save you money if you spend a little more upfront. Some online travel sites also have rewards programs, which can save you money if you’re regularly booking vacations.

If you only want a hotel (you may be planning to drive to your destination), we have an example, especially for the best hotel booking sites. And if you need more options while you’re on vacation, our listings of the best concert ticket sites and sports ticket sites should keep you interested.

Best Top Online Travel Sites in 2021

Expedia.com: Best top online travel site overall 

Best Online Travel Sites

Our best top picks overall with lots of ideas for continuing your journey and some good deals.

Reward scheme: Yes | Price guarantee: Yes | Customer support: Online chat, phone

Visit Expedia

  • Easy to use interface 
  • Can add up to five flights 
  • Cruises also an option 
  • Accessibility options are checked

Expedia is a big name in best top online travel sites and hotel booking services and owns many popular sites like Hotels.com and Hotwire.com. We’re fans of the original, though, thanks to its clean and straightforward-to-use interface. Hit the packages section of the site, and you can add up to five connecting flights, choose to add accommodation for all of or only part of your trip, and tag on car rents too. 

It’s all exceptionally well laid out, and it only takes a few seconds to start putting together your plan. But, we do wish there were a few more options for filtering out accessibility problems. However, for most people, Expedia.com has everything they’ll need, and there’s even the option of a cruise, too, if you fancy it. It’s as aspirational to look at as it is helpful too, well, use and there are extra discounts for booking multiple parts of your vacation with the site. A Things To Do section rounds off the site’s effort to help you plan your entire trip in one place.

CheapTickets.com: Best for finding things to do 

Best Online Travel Sites

Including opportunities for event tickets as well as things to do, CheapTickets has everything related.

Reward scheme: Yes | Price guarantee: Yes | Customer support: Online chat, phone

Visit CheapTickets

  • Extensive services available to book 
  • Student discounts 
  • Vacation Value Finder for when you’re undecided 
  • The results page give you the hard sell

CheapTickets is another site acquired by Expedia, but it does things a little differently. You can easily add on flight, hotel, and car or any combination of the three for package deals, although multiple flights are under a different option. So far, so Expedia (if less intuitive), you can also clearly purchase event tickets from the site, which is far more helpful if you want a one-stop-shop place to buy your trip. It’s something other sites provide, but CheapTickets is that bit keener to entice you into the process, even if the site itself is a little cheesier looking than others. 

There’s also the site’s Vacation Value Finder, which lets you tweak how much you’re willing to spend and what you’re looking for from a vacation before making some fun suggestions. It’s perfect for finding a last-minute deal if you don’t have your heart set in one place. Students will also appreciate a section dedicated to them with extra discounts once you verify they are students. All in all, it’s a beautiful, varied site for numerous different needs. 

Priceline.com: Best for user reviews 

Best Online Travel Sites

When you need to know you’ve picked a good hotel, Priceline has you covered

Reward scheme: Yes | Price Guarantee: Yes | Customer support: Online chat, phone

Visit PriceLine

  • Extensive bundle deals 
  • Easy to find rewards scheme 
  • Numerous reviews of locations 
  • Can’t use Pricebreaker offers with multiple services

Priceline is a big deal in the online travel site world for a good reason. It’s effortless to use, with options available for flights, cars, hotels, or any combination of the three. It’s mildly annoying that Priceline’s super cheap Pricebreaker deals don’t extend to packages, so you won’t get an incredible bargain like you would if you booked separately. But, combining the set is still a good deal with discounts offered for the more you bundle together. 

We liked that every hotel we looked at had dozens of reviews, and they’re all from verified customers. It takes seconds to gain a reasonably accurate picture of what to expect from wherever you’re considering booking. That’s the perfect peace of mind when you’re booking online, and you can’t be sure of what you’re getting without user reviews backing hotel statements up. Laid out, you can focus on enjoying rather than worrying. Finally, Priceline is keen to make its VIP scheme easily accessible with straightforward discounts offered to you over time — something that not all sites so clearly highlight. 

Hotwire.com: Best for renting properties 

If you’re watching to rent a villa or apartment, Hotwire is a great place to look.

Reward scheme: No | Price Guarantee: Yes | Customer support: Online chat, phone

Visit Hotwire

  • Extensive property types included
  • Well laid out discounts 
  • Dated layout
  • No reward scheme

Hotwire keeps things honest. All you need to do is enter what you’re looking for, and a somewhat dated interface tells you what’s available. It’s not as much as some sites, but we liked the extensive property type filters available. Want to stay on a houseboat or in a chalet at your destination? Hit the relevant filter, and you can find out if that’s an option in the locale. That might not matter if your heart is set on a hotel, though it’s a nice bonus even amongst the awkward site layout. 

Hence, it’s mostly business as usual, but that’s no bad thing. Well-laid-out discounts are available to compare reasonably swiftly, and most locations have plenty of reviews. If you feel like tracking down specific deals, you can do that too, with the site keen to offer up discounts to central locations if you’re not quite sure wherever you’d like to visit next. It feels like the site needs updating when you compare it to its rivals, yet it works well and speedily complete.

Kayak.com: Best for aggregated results 

If you’re in a hurry, Kayak will aggregate results from many different causes for you.

Reward scheme: No | Price Guarantee: No | Customer support: Online chat

Visit Kayak.com

  • Saves you a bunch of time
  • Loads of filters 
  • You don’t book with Kayak
  • Can only search for flight and hotel 

If you’re low on time, Kayak is pretty helpful. That’s because you enter where you want to go, and it aggregates results from many different sources. While it means you never book directly with Kayak, it does mean you get results fast and without having to search around yourself, even if you will feel a bit overwhelmed with adverts while you search. 

The site itself seems a little basic, but under the hood is a surprising number of different filters (although no convenience ones to speak of) and all the critical information you could require. However, you’ll be sent to another site for the full details. The site also has a deals section, which has some great bargains for things you can do once you reach your destination, along with cheap car rental deals. It might not be pretty, but if you don’t want to do the groundwork yourself, Kayak has you covered. It can be a real time-saver, and we reckon it’s beneficial if you’re mostly researching possible trips in the future and want rough price estimates. Just watch out for the fact you can’t bundle in car rental deals. 

 Our examination rule for online travel sites

We looked at how easy each site is to use during our testing, such as how quickly the site loaded and how easy it was to find what we were watching for. We examined whether the site felt cluttered with adverts or seemed like a dated interface. We also looked at how easy it was to find Contact Us pages, payment guarantee information, and any special deals section. 

We also examined how easily bundle deals could be arranged and how extensive they were, and any potential discounts tied to them. We checked filter options to see how flexible and easy it was to look up different needs along the way.

We saw trips between Los Angeles and Miami, Paris to Lisbon, and New York City to Los Angeles during testing. We also studied at lesser-known routes to see if they were also catered for happily.

Key features to see for in an online travel site.

Booking Travel Packages

Travel packages can let you join flights, hotel reservations, and car rentals for a better deal than booking individually. Any company, like Priceline, picks hotels and flights to get you to your destination for the lowest cost. Different companies let you mix and match flights, hotels, and car rentals to fit your schedule.

Booking Airfare

 One of the biggest reasons for searching on a travel site is to find cheap airfare. While there are dozens of airfare-specific websites, travel sites also give you the option to add hotel stays and car rentals. The best top travel sites combine flight information from over nine different airlines and let you sort flights by price, number of stops, duration, and flight class.

Booking International Travel

Discovering airfare for international travel is the most obvious part of booking an overseas trip. AirGorilla helps you find services and rent GPS units with your rental car so that you can find your way around. Usually, sites will suggest hotels that are far from your actual destination or event. Searching for reservations on a site that gives service recommendations will help you schedule an international trip with less tension.

 

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