An independent subsidiary of The Priceline Group, Kayak.com processes over 1 billion travel queries each year. Available in over 30 countries and 18 languages, they offer discounts on hotels, airfare and car rentals.
Streamlined booking process
Built from the knowledge of the founders of industry giants like Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz, KAYAK has simplified the travel booking experience by enabling you to search several major travel sites at once. They’re not the only website to do this, but they stand out because of how easy it is to search and compare prices on their website. All you have to do is enter your trip dates and destination in the search field. You can choose which sites you’d like to compare prices with and then filter your results. KAYAK keeps all of your searches open in tabs on the web page so you can easily flip back and forth between them as needed. This is a great way to search alternate dates or compare two hotels side by side. You also have the option to browse through the available hotels in a given city rather than conduct a targeted search if you’d like to explore your options this way instead.
Deal search tool
Not only does KAYAK enable you to search for specific vacation packages, but they also have a deal search tool you can use to find discounted rates on hotels, flights, and rental cars without checking specific dates. This is a great place to start your search if you’re flexible about when you can travel. Another nice thing about this search tool is you don’t have to choose a specific destination. Say you’re planning a family vacation. Just search for family deals and see what comes up. Or, if you’re looking to spend some time in the sun, check out the beach deals. By leaving your options open like this, you still find what you’re looking for but dramatically increase the chances of earning some big savings when you book.
Impressive mobile apps
KAYAK’s mobile apps put the full power of the search engine in the palm of your hand, enabling you to search for, book, and view trip itineraries on the go. The apps also have a built-in flight tracker to let you know if your flight’s running on schedule along with price alerts. These notifications tell you if the rates for a trip have gone up or down so you can plan accordingly and book when the price is lowest. KAYAK’s basic app is free to download and works on Apple, Android, Windows, and Kindle devices. If you’re willing to pay a dollar, you can upgrade to KAYAK’s PRO app, which includes all the features of the basic app plus over 100 airport terminal maps.
View all your travel plans in one place
Even if you end up booking your travel arrangements on several different websites, you can view your itinerary all in one place by forwarding that information to KAYAK. When you receive a booking confirmation email, forward it to KAYAK or look it up on their website by confirmation number. All that information then shows up on your My Trips page in your online account. You can view it, print it out, or send to to family and friends. It also syncs with your smartphone.
Stay alert of changing prices
Once you add your vacation itinerary to the My Trips section of your KAYAK account, you receive email updates on the price of your travel arrangements so you can book when fares are cheapest. These emails show the changes in price over time as well as several of the most affordable options that meet your criteria. If you do decide it’s time to book, click the links right from the email to take you back to KAYAK where you can complete your purchase. Unsubscribing from these emails is easy to do from your online account.
Hard to search for cruises
KAYAK doesn’t have a search tool specifically for cruises, which means you have to do some digging. The easiest way to do this is by visiting the Deals page, searching for your destination, and filtering by cruise. However, you still don’t have the option to filter based on what type of cruise you’re looking for. You can only browse through the results that come up and hope that one of these fits the bill. A company like Last Minute Travel will be a better fit if you’re trying to find a cruise deal since they offer many of the same services as KAYAK in addition to specific cruise search tools.
Flight+Hotel deals only
When searching for vacation packages on KAYAK, you can find deals on hotels and flights together, but you can forget about booking a rental car. If this is something you need in addition to airfare and a place to stay, you have to conduct a separate search. However, this is more of a minor inconvenience than a serious problem, so it shouldn’t stop you from looking more closely at what KAYAK has to offer.