Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Favorite travel Web sites

Posted June 13, 2008

Where can you get the best deals for traveling? Do you have a favorite web site for booking flights, hotels and rental cars? What were your satisfying experiences and which ones left you saying “well, I’ll never try that again.”

I’ve been doing some research on-line and among WRAL staffers. Lynda Loveland is a big fan of and it's Fare Watcher service. Lynda recently got a great deal on airfare for her family to Missouri where the tall and talented journalist grew up. Mike Maze is attracted to for its excellent hotel deals. Elizabeth Gardner, Valonda Calloway and I are all big fans of

WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson is a huge and long time fan of a lesser known website. I have been checking it out this morning and it is quite impressive. I’ve been daydreaming about a trip to New Zealand and though quite expensive it might be possible if I can target specific weeks. gave me a lot of options to consider.

CNN recently did a survey and tabbed as the best overall web site for booking airfares. received high mark for international flight bookings. Kayak and Last Minute Travel also fared well in the survey.

What about you? Take this poll and pick your favorite travel web site.


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  • thefensk Jun 13, 2008

    I don't use them a lot, but did appreciate the ability to find, reserve and pay for a motel room using Orbitz once for my daughter who ended up geing stranded ... she did have her laptop and was able to print off the confirmation at a local printshop with wifi and she wasn't stranded any more!

  • bleslie Jun 13, 2008

    I have just posted the CEO Contest winners. Thanks for your help!

  • Brian Shrader Jun 13, 2008

    Ya didn't ask me, Bill! I can't rave enough about They scour the travel sites and find excellent deals through the day.

    Of course, if you're a Southwest fan (like me!), you have to download their DING! software. They offer some incredible discounts.

  • jaynet Jun 13, 2008 is the best. It is a search engine, not a booking site, so it shows you what's available and when you make your selection, it redirects you to the airline to book , or to the hotel's booking agent. and work the same way, but sidestep seems to find the better deals. I'll use sidestep to find hotels near when I want to stay, then cross-reference those same hotels with the traveler reviews from tripadvisor.

    Last June I stayed 1 night on the way out of the country and two nights on the way back in Winthrop, a small town just outside Boston and only minutes from Boston-Logan airport, for $80 a night (a steal for that area!). I had a very nice two room suite! The hotel was located in a quiet neighborhood a couple of blocks from the beach and 2-5 blocks from great restaurants. Found it through sidestep.

  • MaplesMom Jun 13, 2008

    mdoodle- I'm right there with you on the AAAAdvantage. All I have to do is call the AAA office and say I'm interested in vacationing in "xyz" and they are tripping over themselves finding me great deals and great things to do in that area.
    For businees- expedia and orbitz are usually my tops pics.... which reminds me, I've got an trip to plan for one of my execs... See ya later!

  • blytle Jun 13, 2008

    Since we use our AAAdvantage miles, we try to find bargains for vacation packages on American Airlines website. Our trip to London next year came from that site where they combine airfare with hotel accommodations. Once we have selected a place for vacation, I love to go to any and all websites about the city or country we are visiting.

  • mindofreason Jun 13, 2008

    I always use to find the best deal for my travel and then go to the airlines direct website, get a slightly reduced fee for the same itinerary, and call the hotel and get a cheaper rate, and call the rental car office and get a cheaper rate. All of these sites charge a surcharge. Also, Bill, did you post a winner for the CEO contest last week?

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