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Budget Travel

The best KAYAK alternatives when looking for cheap flights

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What is in this blog? Table of contents:

KAYAK is widely regarded to be the original trailblazer in regard to making use of metasearch for travel. Way back in 2004 they pioneered the ground breaking software, no one else that we know of had had the ingenuity and vison to simplify booking travel in such a way.

Fast forward to now, and the use of metasearch is an industry standard, with everyone, ourselves included, using similar methodologies to provide you, the user with the best possible array of options when it comes to booking a flight.

Today, the KAYAK group encompasses 7 leading, international brands:


With this in mind, you could be forgiven for jumping straight on the KAYAK bandwagon, and using them to book your next flight...

But, while KAYAK has long stood as one of the go-to resources for travel planning, including comparing prices for flights, hotels and car rental prices, in the ever evolving landscape of online travel booking it was inevitable that other platforms would catch up!

Below we rank the best flight search engines and online travel agencies (OTA's) that provide the same service as Kayak.

You maybe thinking what is the difference between and flight search engine (aggregator) and a online travel agent (OTA). Simply put, an OTA allows you to book tickets through them directly, whilst an aggregator just displays flight tickets available to book.

An aggregator collects flight information from around the web and displays it all in one place. The aggregator then sends you to an OTA to book your ticket.

The best KAYAK alternatives

In this age (the Digital Age), there are seemingly boundless options when it comes to online anything, and travel booking and searching for cheap flights is no different!

In this guide we are exploring beyond KAYAK, searching for alternative platforms that you, the modern traveller, could utilise when searching for flights to your next getaway!

Each of the platforms we are about to look at offer a selection of unique features and selling points, designed to couple efficiency with comprehensiveness, to really elevate your future travel planning experiences.

So, if you are looking to broaden your horizon beyond KAYAK, look no further!

The best KAYAK alternatives we will be looking at include:

  • Skyscanner
  • Google Flights
  • Moonsand
  • Expedia
  • Orbitz
  • Travelocity
  • Priceline
  • TripAdvisor
  • Booking.com


Top Kayak Alternatives - Skyscanner

1. KAYAK alternatives: Skyscanner – The global navigator

Flight Search Engine (https://www.skyscanner.net/)

The first KAYAK alternative we will be looking at is a verified powerhouse in the online flight booking sphere, we are of course talking about Skyscanner.

Having been founded in 2003, just a year before KAYAK, Skyscanner has been in the travel-sphere for two decades! With that, comes all the know how and nous you would expect to find in one of the longest running and largest online travel agents!

But where Skyscanner really excel is their intuitive interface and user friendly design. Available both on the web (either desktop or mobile), or via the app, they make it simple and easy for the end user to select the option that suits them.

Additionally, they have an extensive offering of destinations and partner airlines, which allow them to provide flight routes to pretty much anywhere in the world.

For us, the standout feature is probably their ‘Everywhere’ search feature. This allows users who are perhaps a little unsure on where they want to go next, to browse the best deals of the day from their nearest airport. Instead of ‘Everywhere’, they should have called it ‘Inspiration’!

Pro: Multi-route search - Skyscanner offers a multi-route search option, making it simple for users to book flexible trips to multiple destinations within the same search and/or trip.

Con:
Price discrepancies - A common feedback from Skyscanner users is that the prices displayed during the search, often differ slightly from the final amount shown during checkout. These price discrepancies are caused by fluctuating flight prices and potential fees added by the airline or travel agent.

But, being as thorough as we are, we have also put together a helpful guide on the Top 11 Skyscanner Alternatives available on the web, have a read of that here.

Top Kayak Alternatives - Google Flights

2. KAYAK alternatives: Google Flights – The smart assistant

Flight Search Engine (https://www.google.com/travel/flights)

No matter what you do online, it is seemingly impossible to escape from Google’s dominance (unless you’re a Microsoft user, in which case you might be more familiar with Bing!), and the online flight comparison field is no different.

Enter, Google Flights. Coupling the sort of advanced algorithms that Google are synonymous with, with the trademark minimalist design which Google rolls out across all its platforms, Google Flights gives users the some of the best, most efficient fast and flexible flight searches anywhere on the web.

Excelling in aspects such as speed and efficiency, it utilises predictive analysis to great effect, while it also seamlessly integrates with other Google services as you would expect. Overall, Google Flights is a good option for anyone looking to simplify their flight search, planning and booking process.

During the search, Google visually displays the flight emissions, and also details what flights are better for reduced carbon emissions, promoting stronger eco-friendly travel. A great tool for looking after our planet.

Pro: Flight Price Alerts - Google Flights offers flight price alerts, these alerts notifies the user by email when a price significantly increases or decreases. These alerts allow users to monitor when is best to book their flight and potentially save money on airfare.

Con:
Limited coverage on smaller airlines and routes - Whilst Google offers a vast range of flights for international routes and also flight routes within the Unites States, Google Flights has a lighter offering of routes and airlines in some regions in comparison to it's competitors.

Just as with Skyscanner, we’ve also been thorough and done a detailed review of the best Google Flights alternatives, sound good? Read more here.

Top Kayak Alternatives - Moonsand

3. KAYAK alternatives: Moonsand – For travellers, by travellers

Flight Search Engine (https://www.moonsand.co/)

No KAYAK alternative piece would be complete without mentioning ourselves! And that is not just out of vanity, we are genuinely up there with the big boys when it comes to the use of metasearch to compare flight prices online.

We (Moonsand) feature a user friendly interface, as well as popular flight destinations linked directly from our homepage if you are looking for a little inspiration! As travel enthusiasts ourselves, we’re in this for the love of travel, just like you! That means that we endeavour to offer our users the best possible experience, from search right through to booking (and yes, we include prices in this as well, aiming to give you the best possible price!).

Aside from all of this, we also offer a feature that allows you to estimate the cost of any additional or checked baggage, a feature that very few other flight search engines currently offer, and one that we are proud of. It helps to minimise the potential for any unexpected, hidden costs to crop up midway through the booking process, which impacts the amount of spending money you could have on your trip!

Pro: Moonsand displays the cost of the flights both with and without luggage the price of luggage during the initial search. Meaning there are no hidden surprises when you get to the payment.

Con: Although Moonsand aggregates thousands of flights from around the web, Moonsand does not offer direct booking with the airlines. Instead users will be redirected to the OTA or airline to complete their flight booking.

Top Kayak Alternatives - Hopper

4. KAYAK alternatives: Hopper – The predictive prodigy

Accredited OTA (https://hopper.com/)

The platform that perhaps utilises predictive technology the best is Hopper, forecasting prices for hotels and flights with remarkable accuracy. This fantastic use of tech enables its users to save money if they follow the platforms recommendations of when to book.

They also have their ‘Watch a Trip’ feature, which, when notifications are enabled, allows its users to receive updates in real time of any price drops for a selected route.

Pro: User friendly platform - Hopper provides a modern and user friendly platform to search and book flights/hotels. With this Hopper also offers large filtering options on amenities which some competitors do not offer.

Con:
Booking fees - Hopper does charge booking fees for booking through it's app. Whilst these fees are generally displayed during the booking process, they do inflate the prices and this is less efficient for budget travellers.

Top Kayak Alternatives - Expedia

5. KAYAK alternatives: Expedia – The travel tycoon

OTA (https://www.expedia.co.uk/)

Expedia, aka the Travel Tycoon, is a robust, all-in-one booking platform for everything from flights to hotels, car rentals and even holiday activities!

But the aspects that make it a formidable tool are those that enable the user to save money, either through their rewards program, bundle booking deals, and even mobile-exclusive offers! As far as alternatives to KAYAK go, Expedia is a great choice!

Pro: Extensive travel options - As one of the major players in the travel industry, Expedia offers a great range of options when searching for flights, hotels, car rental and often comes out on top in terms of flight and hotel availability.

Con:
Hidden fees - Reportedly Expedia do not always provide upfront pricing, with hidden fees and charges swallowed in the costs. The additional costs can include booking fees, service charges, or taxes that are not clearly displayed during the search process.

Top Kayak Alternatives - Orbitz

6. KAYAK alternatives: Orbitz – The wanderer rewarder

OTA (https://www.orbitz.com/)

If you are a fan of rewards programs, then another great option for you could be Orbitz, who aim to offer their users rewards on each step of their journey.

Not only do they offer a selection of great rewards, including flight credits and free nights stay in hotels across the globe, but they combine this with some highly competitive pricing!

Overall, Orbitz (who are owned by the Expedia Group) is a great option for anyone looking to add overall value to their travel experience.

Pro: Loyalty reward programme - Orbitz offers a loyalty reward program, allowing you to earn Orbucks. These Orbucks can be redeemed for discount on hotels and stays booked through their platform. Reward members also receive additional personal discounts and bonus upgrades.

Con:
Smaller product offering - It is suggested that Orbitz has a smaller product offering with regard to flight, hotel and vacation packages. This may result in smaller airlines and hotel accommodation not being displayed in their search results.

Top Kayak Alternatives - Travelocity

7. KAYAK alternatives: Travelocity – For the adventurous explorer

OTA (https://www.travelocity.com/)

With a customer centric, customer first approach, Travelocity really appeals to those seeking a little reassurance within their adventure. They feature 24/7 support, a great feature when you find yourself in a different time zone on your travels.

In addition to this, they provide a price match guarantee, and have a broad selection of travel options that appeal to novice and seasoned travellers alike.

Pro: Price match guarantee - Travelocity offers a refunded price match guarantee. This meaning, if their customers find the same hotel, flight or vacation on another website within 24 hours of booking with them, they will refund 100% of the difference.

Con:
Flight cancelations - Travelocity have stricter rules and regulations surrounding cancelling and changing flights. Also, in some instances, Travelocity charge fees on cancelling or altering a flight.

Top Kayak Alternatives - Priceline

8. KAYAK alternatives: Priceline – For the bargain hunter

OTA (https://www.priceline.com/)

Priceline
have one feature that really sets them apart in the travel industry, and that is of course, its ‘Name your Own Price’ feature that allows users to bid on last minute, discounted flights and hotel rooms.

Used correctly, this can lead to users snagging some unbeatable, last minute deals, making luxury travel available to even the most budget conscious of travellers.

Pro: Name your own price - Priceline offers a very unique service called 'name your own price' - And, as it says on the tin, Priceline allows you to search with a pre-selected price, then matching you to based on your budget and inputted data.

Con:
Limited transparency - One drawback of Priceline is their limited transparency. Linked to the 'name your own price' feature above, Priceline will not show you many (if any details) regarding your booking until you are ready to confirm the booking.

Top Kayak Alternatives - TripAdvisor

9. KAYAK alternatives: TripAdvisor – The travel community

Aggregator / OTA (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/)

TripAdvisor goes beyond simple price comparison tool, and incorporates millions of reviews, photos, and forums into its search functionality.

This veritable wealth of information and USG (user generated content) can be invaluable when it comes to making informed travel decisions.

Pro: User feedback - TripAdvisor is majority based on user-generated reviews and experiences, this gives you an authentic insight into whatever you may be searching, The extensive database of user insight provides an honest overview on millions of flights, hotels, accommodation and activities worldwide.

Con:
Limited booking functionality - Originally a database for feedback, TripAdvisor is not a dedicated booking platform, therefore some users may find the booking functionality and related features on TripAdvisor are limited in comparison to other more booking driven platforms.

Top Kayak Alternatives - Booking.com

10. KAYAK alternatives: Booking.com – Ace accommodation

OTA (https://www.booking.com/)

Finally, we have Booking.com, which is best known for its broad array of accommodation around the globe. But, it also boasts booking options for flights, hotels (or flights and hotels if you are looking to save some money), as well as car rental options, local attraction booking and even airport taxis!

With a user-friendly interface, flexible cancellation policies, and real-time availability, it really is tough to beat!

Pro: Wide range of flights - Being one of the major players, Booking.com offers an extensive range of flights, airlines, accommodations, and activities through their platform. They also offer direct in-house booking through there websites and mobile apps.

Con:
Inconsistent customer service - User review and reports from the web suggest Booking.com have a somewhat inconsistent customer service, with some users reporting both ineffective and unresponsive support, with long winded wait times.

To conclude, the world at your fingertips

In the digital era, the modern traveller has a plethora of different tools and platforms available to them when it comes to searching for cheap flights. No longer are we restricted to single platforms, but rather we can leverage the different features available on different platforms to create a trip itinerary perfectly tailored to unique needs such.

So, embark of your flight booking journey with an open mind, and let the various tools available to you online guide you towards your next unforgettable adventure.

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