Top Picks of Travel Booking Sites

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Traveling is exciting and rewarding whether on a business trip or vacation. Fortunately, there are many travel sites where you can book from the comfort of your home. with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know which to use. So here are the top picks of the best booking resources for each type of category from booking accommodations to buying travel gear.

Hotels & Alternative Stays

Accommodations from
Image credit: is a favorite for many travelers. It’s not just hotels but also apartments, hostels, guesthouses, villas, homestays, luxury resorts, and even holiday homes. It’s often a big list of places to stay wherever you go and for all kinds of travel styles and budgets. As a matter of fact, the booking site comes in very handy for finding accommodations in Europe, often showing more properties than its rivals, especially in the less visited places. The downside is you won’t earn reward points from your bookings to redeem for future discounts.


Accommodations from Expedia
Image credit: Expedia

Expedia is another popular booking site for accommodations. Though the platform has a smaller inventory of properties compared to, it’s still a big list of over 3 million around the world. And you can find a wide range from the budget-priced hostel rooms to top-of-the-class luxury homes. For each property, there’s often a wide range of rooms and booking options. You can also book for flights, car rentals, and things to do. What’s more, you can bundle the bookings into a package deal for some savings.

Accommodations from
Image credit: has over 600,000 properties around the world. A big chunk of it is in the United States and Canada. Outside, it’s still a big list in the big cities and popular tourist spots of Europe and Asia. You’ll find mostly hotels, guesthouses, apartments, motels, hostels, and entire houses at Stay 10 nights in a year and get 1 night free, based on the average price of 10 nights. You can redeem a room that cost more and pay the difference. You can easily find coupon codes over the web for extra discounts.


Accommodations from Priceline
Image credit: Priceline

Priceline features top-rated hotels including boutiques and major brands like Holiday Inn, Best Western, and Hyatt. Most are in the downtown areas and popular tourist spots around the world. The website is popular for its mystery deals, where you’ll only know the name of the hotel after you pay. So what’s the deal? Room rates are offered at big discounts ranging from 20 to 60 percent than the published or regular rates. Most mystery deals are in North America and Europe but don’t discount destinations in other parts of the world.


Accommodations from Agoda
Image credit: Agoda

Agoda is an Asian subsidiary of Booking Holdings, which also owns With over 3 million properties, you can find a place to stay almost anywhere in the world. That said, Agoda is best for finding a wide range of accommodations in Asia. After all, Agoda has the largest inventory of properties on the continent compared to its rivals. Many small budget-friendly boutique hotels and hostels in Asia found at Agoda but may not be available on other websites. Especially so in the lesser-known destinations.


Accommodations from Hostelworld
Image credit: Hostelworld

Hostelworld is the largest booking site for hostels. You can find other budget accommodations as well including guesthouses, bed & breakfast inns, and even campsites. Hostelworld has over 17,000 properties in nearly 180 countries. The travel site is popular with young travelers and backpackers traveling on small budgets. Most are below 35 years and often traveling alone. Besides offering budget-friendly accommodations, hostels are also with young travelers for meeting up and sharing experiences.

Vacation Rentals


Vacation rentals from Airbnb
Image credit: Airbnb

Airbnb offers the whole home instead of small hotel rooms. With that in mind, vacation rentals are great if you want the convenience of a home. These properties belong to individual owners and you’ll find a range of stays including studios, condos, apartments, townhouses, and even luxury villas. There are also homestays, where owners rent out rooms at their homes and stay with them. It’s a cheaper option if you’re traveling alone or with a partner. With nearly 6 million properties worldwide, you’re sure to find a place at Airbnb.


Vacation rentals from Vrbo
Image credit: Vrbo

Vrbo stands for Vacation Rental by Owner. It’s also another popular booking site for vacation rentals, with over 2 million properties around the world. The website is popular with families, and you’ll find filters to narrow your search for homes that are great for families, kids, and even pets. Unlike Airbnb, Vrbo is only about renting the entire place and not rooms. If you plan to stay in a vacation home, check both Vrbo and Airbnb for more options and deals. As a matter of fact, many homes are found on both websites.

Homes & Villas

Vacation rentals from Homes & Villas
Image Credit: Homes & Villas

Homes & Villas is by Marriott International, the largest hotel chain in the world that includes JW Marriot, Ritz Carlton, Sheraton, Westin, and Renaissance. The website has just over 30,000 vacation homes in more than 200 locations, mostly in North America and Europe. Though a small inventory compared to Airbnb or Vrbo, Homes & Villas is only about upscale curated homes. After all, the travel booking site carries the Marriot brand. You’ll find only posh apartments, luxury villas, penthouses, and chic bungalows here.


Vacation rentals from Sonder
Image credit: Sonder

Sonder is another booking site for first-rate vacation homes. The website lists only exclusive properties that come with 5-star hotel-style service. There are nearly 9,000 in more than 40 cities in 10 countries. Locations include New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Rome, Venice, and Dubai. Typically, you’ll find them in upscale areas of the cities. The range include studios, apartments, apartment hotels, and lofts. Sonder’s guests include solo travelers, couples, and families on short and long-term rents.

Cheap Flights


Cheap flight tickets from Skyscanner
Image credit: Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a metasearch site that scans airfares from over 1,000 booking platforms or providers. Providers include online travel agencies (OTA) as well as full-service and low-cost airlines. All bookings are with the travel providers and not Skyscanner. The website is a good place to search for scores of flight options and compare their prices to help you decide which is the best deal for you. Give it a try if you haven’t tried this website before. Choose flights that feature the Greener Choice label to reduce your carbon footprint.

Cheap flight tickets from
Image credit: is an OTA that searches fares from over 750 carriers including 250 low-cost airlines around the world. You can opt for the cheapest route if you don’t mind changing flights and possibly a long stopover at the airport. Or take the fastest cheapest route, often non-stop flights. You pay extra though but you can still find good deals. For peace of mind, the Guarantee is a paid service that’ll cover you in case of disruptions caused by the carrier. It’ll cover your trip or part of it with another flight or a refund.


Cheap flight tickets from CheapOair
Image credit: CheapOair

CheapOair is an OTA site and popular in the United States where over 70 percent of its website visits come from. The travel site searches over 600 carriers including low-cost airlines. You can also search for hotels and car rentals but it’s best for flights. It’s not always the cheapest airfare on CheapOair but there’s a Price Match Promise if you find the same flight cheaper (with taxes and fees) on another website, within 24 hours after you’ve booked. You can claim a refund for the difference or cancel your reservation.

Scott’s Cheap Flights

Air tickets from Scotts Cheap Flights
Image credit: Scott’s Cheap Flights

Scott’s Cheap Flights is not a booking site but sends out email alerts to members of deeply discounted airfares. These deals are only for flights departing from the United States. To begin, add the airports you want to see deals from. You can add the destination if you wish. Members who join for free only get alerts for international economy flights. Premium members (U$49 yearly) get alerts for international and domestic economy flights. Elite members (U$199 yearly) get all classes for international and domestic flights.

Ground Transport

Car rentals from
Image credit: is the largest online car rental broker. The company arranges cars for hire in more than 60,000 locations in 160 countries. The website searches over 900 car rental companies including major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Budget, Thrifty, Enterprise, Europcar, and Sixt. The search result often returns the best prices though not all the time. But there’s a Price Match Guarantee if you find the same deal at a cheaper price on another website. There are no hidden fees and the price you see is the price you pay.

Rail Europe

Train tickets from Rail Europe
Image credit: Rail Europe

Rail Europe is the official agent for 105 rail operators in Europe, covering 20,000 stations in 24 countries. It’s a great website if you plan to explore Europe by train. You’ll get cheaper fares if you purchase non-flexible tickets for second-class cabins. Cheaper still if you book 3 months ahead. Rail Europe also offers passes if you plan to travel a lot by train. Besides cheaper travel, passes are much more convenient than buying several single journey tickets. And they are available for single and multiple countries.


Bus (coach) tickets from Megabus
Image credit: Megabus

Megabus is an intercity bus service operating in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In the US, the bus company serves routes in the eastern and central regions. In Canada, it serves the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. And in the UK, throughout England, Scotland, and Wales. Megabus doesn’t have that many routes compared to Greyhound in the US or National Express in the UK. But on the same routes, prices are very competitive especially tickets purchased well in advance. Sometimes for as low as $1 or £1!


Buses, trains, ferries, and flights from Omio
Image credit: Omio

Omio searches for intercity buses, trains, ferries, and flights from more than 1,000 transportation providers in one click. The website focuses on transportation in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The search produces a single result so you can conveniently compare the various transport options, providers, routes, journey times, and prices on a single page. For buses and flights, it covers many routes across the US, Canada, and Europe. For trains, it performs best for journeys in the US and Canada.

Tours & Activities


Tours and activities from Viator
Image credit: Viator

Viator is an online platform where you can book attractions and activities around the world. You can book sightseeing tours, boat cruises, food tours, market visits, and a lot more. It’s a huge list of over 300,000 things to do from the local providers. And you can read the reviews about the activities from past travelers. There are no booking fees for purchasing through Viator. As a matter of fact, prices are often cheaper than paying at the gates. And you can cancel in advance before the specified date for a full refund.


Tours and activities from GetYourGuide
Image credite: GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide is another booking site for a host of attractions and activities organized by local providers around the world. To tell the truth, GetYourGuide and Viator are similar in what they have to offer. So you may want to compare both GetYourGuide and Viator for more options and deals before deciding. There’s also no booking fee at GetYourGuide and you can cancel in advance before the specified date for a full refund. What’s more, in many bookings you can reserve on the spot and pay at a later date.

G Adventures

Small group tours from G Adventures
Image credit: G Adventures

G Adventures has been around since 1990 when it was known as Gap Adventures. The company manages small group tours in more than 100 countries. G Adventures gives you the local experience, typically visiting places that are off the beaten track including wildlife tours, river cruises, and trekking. Tours are led by local guides, using local transport and lodgings. Each trip last up to 15 days and most are suitable for all ages though does require a general level of fitness. That said, some are specifically for travelers aged from 18 to their 30s.


Tours for young travelers from Contiki
Image credit: Contiki

Contiki Tours are for travelers aged 18 to 35. It started in the 1960s and back then had a history for “partying on wheels”. It’s now about discovering places in more than 70 countries across the globe led by local guides. Each tour is curated and can last from 3-4 days to as long as 6 weeks. The tours are typically a mix of sightseeing, exploring, experiencing cultures, visiting iconic sights, free time, and socializing. Some tours may include camping trips, trekking and hiking, safari trips, snorkeling, and island hopping.

Boat Cruises

Princess Cruises

Cruises from Princess Cruises
Image credit: Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is one of the world’s best-known cruise lines. It rose to fame in 1977 when one of its ships (Pacific Princess) was featured in the hit television show The Love Boat. Princess Cruises operates 15 modern ships cruising around the world, covering more than 380 destinations including many exotic places. Each ship is a destination in itself offering a wide range of amenities, a host of recreational activities, and plenty of dining opportunities. Land tours by local guides are also available in many destinations when the ships dock.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Cruises from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Image credit: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines departs from several ports in the United Kingdom including Southampton, Liverpool, and Newcastle. Destinations include the British Isle, Norway, the Baltics, the Canaries, the Mediterranean, and the Arctic. The cruise line has a fleet of 4 small ships ranging from 485 to 710 cabins. The smaller boats are perfect for reaching places that bigger ships can’t. And with fewer passengers, the atmosphere is friendlier. The ships are not short of facilities, offering a wide range of leisure activities and dining options.

Cruise Direct

Cruises from Cruise Direct
Image credit: Cruise Direct

Cruise Direct is a booking agent for over 20 leading cruise lines including Carnival, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruise, and Norwegian Cruise Line. You can expect to find cruises to many destinations around the world at Cruise Direct. And you can find plenty of choices for each destination. Popular destinations include the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and Alaska. With so many choices, use the filters to narrow the search by price, cruise line, departure port, customer review, and amenities.

City Experiences

Cruises from City Experiences
Image credit: City Experiences

City Experiences offers river, shore, and harbor cruises for day trips. Cruises in the United States include New York City, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, and 11 other destinations. Cruises in Canada include Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Gananoque. There are also cruises in the United Kingdom including London, Poole, and York. City Experiences offers more than just boat tours for sightseeing. You can spice it up and take a cruise that offers chic dining. Or hire the whole boat for private events like weddings and parties.

Travel Insurance

World Nomads

Travel insurance from World Nomads
Image credit: World Nomads

World Nomads is popular with backpackers and young travelers who are always on the move. It’s also popular for high-adventure travel and activities like skiing, hang gliding, scuba diving, and bungee jumping. But you don’t have to be young and adventurous as long as you’re not more than 69 years. World Nomad is popular for its very comprehensive plans, which are affordable. And have the option for the cheaper Standard or premium Explorer Plan. Most residence around the world are eligible for its travel insurance.

AXA Travel Insurance

Travel insurance from AXA Travel Insurance
Image credit: AXA Travel Insurance

AXA Travel Insurance belongs to the Axa Group, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. This travel insurance is for US residents only. The plans include Gold and Platinum. Whichever you choose, the plans are comprehensive and offer high-value coverage. Besides, there are non-insurance benefits like asking for hotel and restaurant referrals, entertainment information, and pre-departure details like the weather. If you’re a budget traveler, you may not need such high-value plans. World Nomads would be a much cheaper option.


Travel insurance from Coverwise
Image credit: CoverWise

Coverwise is an intermediary and policies are underwritten by AXA. Coverage is only for residents of the United Kingdom and a trip must begin and end in the UK. Plans are available for single and annual multiple trips. Group insurance is also available for families. You can get extra coverage if you have a pre-existing medical condition, going on business, or plan to do winter sports. Coverwise offers some of the cheapest travel insurance. Having said that, the level of coverage is adquate. So read the policy carefully.


Travel insurance from VisitorsCoverage
Image credit: VistorsCoverage

VistorsCoverage offers a wide range of high-value policies from several insurance companies. Categories include Visitors Insurance, Trip Insurance, and International Travel Insurance. Consider group insurance if you’re traveling with 5 or more people. It offers the same coverage for 10-20 percent less. Get a quote for any category and the result is often a big list from multiple insurance companies. So, compare and decide which is best for you. If you just want an affordable comprehensive plan, then consider World Nomads.

Travel Gear


Travel gear from Rimowa
Image credit: RIMOWA

RIMOWA is for travelers who are willing to pay the price for its range of stylish travel gear made from high-quality materials. It’s best known for its iconic luggage with parallel aluminum grooves, which makes them sturdy and lightweight. Today, they are also available in polycarbonate material. Each has been individually inspected and comes with a 5-year warranty. There are also quality backpacks, briefcases, cross-body bags, and totes. There are even accessories for the gear including suitcase covers, luggage tags, garment bags, and pouches.

Briggs & Riley

Travel gear from Briggs & Riley
Image credit: Briggs & Riley

Briggs & Riley is another quality brand for travel gear. Items include luggage, travel and laptop backpacks, weekend bags, cabin bags, and duffle bags to name a few. Accessories include toiletry kits, luggage covers, packing cubes, and shoe covers. The items are not cheap though. A suitcase will set you back U$550-740 and a medium-sized travel backpack U$240-380. But they come with a lifetime guarantee. If your luggage or bag is ever broken, Briggs & Riley will repair it free of charge with no questions asked.


Travel gear from REI
Image credit: REI

REI is the acronym for Recreational Equipment Incorporated. As the name suggests, REI sells a host of outdoor and travel-related items including backpacks, shoulder bags, traveling clothes, footwear, money belts, sleeping bags, phone cases and travel mugs to name a few. Prices are competitive, and the products are of high quality and built to last. Sign up for a U$20 lifetime membership and you’ll enjoy a 10 percent annual rebate for qualified purchases. Besides, there are regular discounts for more savings.

Cotswold Outdoor

Travel gear from Cotswold Outdoors
Image credit: Cotswold Outdoor

Cotswold Outdoor is a British outdoor recreational retailer with 4 online stores for markets in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and Australia. You can find a wide range of clothes as well as footwear, wheel luggage, backpacks, GPS units, and sunglasses to name a few. Goods are from popular brands like Skechers, Osprey, Coleman, Garmin, Adidas, and Patagonia. Click the sales button at the top of the page for items sold at knocked-down prices. There’s also a filter in each product category for discounted items.