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Travel Search Websites — México


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Before the advent of the internet, most travelers would consult a trusted travel agent, scour the travel section of their Sunday newspapers for discount ads, or call airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and other travel companies direct for price quotes. These are all still useful ways of searching for bargains. In recent years, however, with the proliferation of consolidator and discount travel agent websites, finding discounts has been vastly simplified — although, ironically, because of the sheer number of options available, at times, it can seem overwhelming. Still, time spent searching will be worth the effort. Besides, we're here to help you cut through the din.

For bargain hunters, travel search websites, such as www.expedia.com and www.travelocity.com, acting as consolidators, are often the quickest way to find the best deals available and to understand flight routing options. As an internet only service, consolidator websites undercut traditional brick-and-mortar travel agents by reaching a large online customer base and by finding, within seconds, the best deals available from airline and other travel databases. Different sites have different niches: some do wide searches across many travel databases; others buy unsold tickets in bulk and resell them at discounted prices or negotiate special rates with airlines; and still others specialize in finding the best deals in specific countries, regions, or types of travel.

Many discount travel agents offer cheap flights during peak travel times by contracting charter flights with airlines. Because the flights are chartered, they occur less frequently than regularly scheduled flights and travel dates are always fixed. Since travel agents cut deals with hotels as well, they're also a good place to bargain hunt for cheap all-inclusive package deals, especially at the last minute. They are, however, not without their problems. Be sure to review contracts carefully and be on the lookout for any tricks and traps. Some common complaints have been that flights have been canceled at the last minute and refunds can be difficult to collect. Also, check-in, boarding, and baggage claim often take longer because these flights are not regularly scheduled. That said, they often beat other discount sources for the best prices.

Do not automatically assume consolidator website and discount travel agent prices are always the lowest available; compare their quotes against the prices offered directly from the airlines' websites. Occasionally, the airlines will be lower.

Many international non-stop flights do not fly every day, so try different departure and returns dates. For instance, Continental flies non-stop from Houston to the city of Oaxaca 3 or 4 days a week, depending on the season. Shifting the departure and/or return date by a day or two could spare an extra connection in México City.

In addition to the websites listed here, check Spanish-language newspapers, magazines, and websites serving Mexican communities in other countries, especially the US.

www.expedia.com Measured in revenue, Expedia is the largest travel search website in the world. Its search engine checks hundreds of airline databases around the world for the best deals. Even though Expedia is US-based, it also has localized websites in sixteen countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and México.
www.travelocity.com Next in size, Travelocity also searches hundreds of airline databases around the world for discounts. Unlike Expedia, which only allows flexible dates searches for flights in the US and Canada, Travelocity allows flexible date searches for international flights. Needless to say, flexible date searches are extremely helpful when looking for discount deals and minimizing the number of connections involved in international flights. Also US-based, it has localized websites in 26 countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, and México.
www.hotwire.com Owned by Expedia, Hotwire checks airline databases around the world for discounts. It's hit-or-miss, but sometimes it does return better deals than its competitors.
www.orbitz.com Orbitz searches hundreds of airline databases around the world for discounts. Like Hotwire, it sometimes beats the competition for lowest fares.
www.kayak.com Kayak is a consolidator of consolidators that checks most major travel search websites and consolidates and displays the results for the user in a single portal.
ww.zuji.com Owned by Travelocity, Zuji focuses on discounts flights to, from, and, in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
www.lastminute.com Owned by Travelocity, Last Minute, as its name implies, focuses on finding flights on short notice.
www.cheaptickets.com Owned by Orbitz, Cheap Tickets focuses on returning the lowest fares available.
www.ebookers.com Owned by Orbitz, Ebookers is an online discount travel agency that focuses on discount fares and vacation packages to, from, and in Europe.
www.priceline.com Priceline is unique in that it allows users to bid on flights and other travels services. Service providers can then either accept or decline the bids. Bidders beware, once accepted, the sale is final.
www.lowestfare.com Owned by Orbitz, Lowest Fare, as its name implies, focuses on returning the lowest fares available.
www.cheapflights.com Cheapflights has a number of country-focused websites (US, Canada, UK/Ireland, and Australia/New Zealand) that run price comparisons between other consolidators and affiliate discount travel agents. Not all offers can be booked online. Some of the extremely discounted deals listed can only be booked over the phone.
www.travelsupermarket.com Based in the UK, Travel Supermarket checks most major discount travel search websites and consolidates and displays the results for the user in a single portal.
www.opodo.co.uk Based in the UK, Opodo is an online discount travel agency that focuses on discount fares and vacation packages to, from, and in Europe.
www.skyscanner.com Based in the UK, Skyscanner checks most major discount travel search and airline websites and consolidates and displays the results for the user in a single portal.
www.bestfares.com Based in the US, Best Fares is an online discount travel agency that focuses on discount fares and vacation packages to, from, and in the US.
www.flights.com Flights checks most major discount travel search and airline websites and consolidates and displays the results for the user in a single portal.
www.onetravel.com One Travel checks most major discount travel search and airline websites and consolidates and displays the results for the user in a single portal.


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