Kayak is a travel booking search engine and price comparison site for hotels, flights, car rental, travel deals and vacations. What will strike the reader on visiting this travel portal is the very attractive yet simple and clean interface. I have seen a lot of booking sites, and not one comes close to the combined simplicity and attractiveness of kayak.com
While you will struggle to find out where to begin among the clutter and distractions on most travel sites, Kayak gives you a simple menu and pages to book a flight, hotel, car, vacation and travel deals on its home page. The home page alone makes me want to book a flight.
Kayak flights offers one-way, round-trip and multi-city trip. The flight booking search engine is intuitive. Your first step is to fill the [From] box and the [To] box. You can also choose to show airports near your destination and location. If you are interested in maps, then you can click a link to see the airport map.
The next row on the flight search page is the field to fill in your date of departure and date of return. If you have not planned a schedule, then you can make your dates flexible by clicking a link to this option. Flexible dates allow you to choose a time range in which you are ready to travel. It is a normal thing for travelling plans to change and for trips to be delayed, postponed and not go as planned, therefore an allowance must be made for this event. Flexible dates allow you to adjust your stay for any eventuality or change of plans. You might want to extend your holiday in Tokyo or Bali for whatever reason or the business meeting that was supposed to take 2 days had an extra day added to it at the last notice. Fexible dates allow you to take care of these contingencies when you choose this option on Kayak.
The third step is to select the number of adults or children that are in your group and the passenger class. Four types of cabins are available, with Economy being the regular class and First / Business being the luxury class for businessmen and wealthy passengers with money to spend.
Kayak.com allows you to book a non-stop flight to your destination. Simply choose [nonstops only] on the flights search. This is good for passengers who value time and want to avoid the delays caused by stopping in transit. Along with your flight, you can also book a hotel and car. Click [Find Flights] to see the results. The interactive Google Maps flights application on http://www.kayak.com/explore/ allows you to sort through thousands of flight deals from 400 airlines and find the right budget, flight time and weather for travelling throughout the year. You can even search stuff that you would like to do at your destination.
Kayak gives you the ability to search hotels among thousands of hotels in the world. Results are obtained from hundreds of booking sites such as Expedia, Priceline, Hotels.com, Booking.com and Travelocity. The booking site claims to provide a network of over 350,000 hotels around the world. The travel site seems to be popular in the USA where the top 50 cities in this country are listed at the footer. By using Kayak.com, you are expected to save at least 25% of the regular cost. There is a big difference between Kayak and Expedia because unlike Expedia, Kayak’s staff does not negotiate rates with travel agencies and hotel owners. They are simply giving you a platform to compare rates from various reputable sources on the internet. Their application is good at filtering results and showing you the cheapest rates.
To find and book the cheapest hotel, go to http://www.kayak.com/hotels
Enter the name of the city or airport in your destination country, the date range, rooms and number of guests in your entourage. Click [Find Hotels] and you should see a list of hotel prices. You can arrange the results by in order from lowest price to highest price or vice versa.
Hire a Car
Travelers can choose to hire a car by going to http://www.kayak.com/cars
This simple car hire section allows you to rent a car in your destination. Cars can be hired to take you within the city limits and the surroundings or you can book a car to take you to another town in a different location. Cars can take you anywhere and they are the best option to move around a tourist site if you know the map. You can get a guide to show you the routes.
To rent a car, enter your destination airport or town, then choose the pick-up and drop-off times. Click [Find Cars] and to see the car rental rates and services in your destination. Kayak can search for car hire services in 36,000 locations around the world. Prices are obtained from hundreds of international and local car hire companies like Hertz, Budget, Avis, Alamo, AA and Thrifty. You will find car rental discounts starting from 35% and above. The top 50 rental car locations in the world are listed at the bottom including the most popular cities in the USA.
Daily Deals and Vacation Packages
Kayak aims to keep its visitors coming back again by offering a deals page. The travel deals page at http://www.kayak.com/deals is updated on a daily basis to keep you in touch with the latest deals. The top deals can be quickly fished by using the search function. Enter your travel destination and click [Search] to get the latest deals for your destination.Alternatively,you can browse the list of destinations at the bottom that includes Las Vegas,Hawaii,Caribbean,Florida,Asia South Pacific, Europe and South America. You can also browse deals by interest – all inclusive, vacation rentals, beach, resort and spa, ski, family, luxury and others. The most popular destination deals are listed as well, and these include Aruba, West Palm Beach, San Juan and Fort Myers among others. Check the sidebar to see featured deals.
Travelers can sign up with Kayak to receive an email update of daily deals. It is a good idea to sign up for deals because some of these travel deals can only be seen by signed up members.
Kayak.com offers a search for vacation packages from hundreds of booking sites and travel agencies. Vacation packages are special holiday deals that offer a combo of services at the lowest rate, for example a helicopter tour and river cruise to Las Vegas. Combos might include free dinner, accommodation and adventure trips. It all depends on the travel agency and the organizers of the holiday package. Vacation deals are good for people on a budget, for example, a family or couple that wants to explore the most amazing tourist attractions and experience the luxury of a premium service that can only be afforded by the rich.
Mobile Travel Booking
Kayak is not just a travel website or booking search engine to compare rates but it is a social experience.Indeed, I have not yet seen a travel site that takes social networking seriously like Kayak.com
They have a Facebook application, a travel app with over 20 million downloads. When you sign up with Kayak via their website or Facebook app, you will be able to manage your trips, bookings and receive email alerts about hotel / flight prices. They have a mobile app that allows you to compare prices, search a flight, hotel and check your flight status via a mobile device. Support is available for the iphone, android phone, iPad, Kindle Fire and Windows phone. The app is free to install and use, and it will help you to book your travel needs within a few minutes.
After booking a flight on Kayak, you can track your flight status by calling the airline or going to the airline’s website. The list of airlines that can be booked via Kayak.com is listed on http://www.kayak.com/airlines
The contact telephone number is given for each airline and if there is no phone number, you can go to the airline’s website. To see airlines that operate between your travel routes, simply enter your location, destination and the anticipated date of departure. You can enter a date or date range. Click [Find Flights] to get a list of airlines.