Best travel websites to visit

With the number of online travel booking sites on the rise, which one’s the best for your needs?

Thanks to the Internet, planning and booking that travel vacation is now easier than ever

Thanks to the Internet, planning and booking that travel vacation is now easier than ever

With more Singaporeans going overseas and making their travel plans the DIY way, the number of online travel agencies has also risen.

But one question remains: With so many online travel agencies, which one should you use? We headed online and sussed out these three travel sites that we feel are pretty amazing.

Best for China travel: Ctrip

If your sights are set on China for your up and coming vacation, give Ctrip a try. You may not have heard about them but Ctrip, which launched in Singapore late last month, is a dedicated go-to website for all your travel needs when in China, even if your trip brings you to remote cities.

Book your flights, hotels and even your train passes. Yes, you read that right, train passes. Booking train passes on a travel agency website is something quite rarely seen. But on Ctrip, you are able to obtain information on train schedules, find a train and book your ticket all on one website with ease.

Though the new Singapore site may have a few temporary kinks, like charging credit cards only in Chinese Yuan, we hear from online chatter on Tripadvisor that Ctrip’s strong suits include stellar customer service as well as having the cheapest travel deals. The travel site is also excellent for booking rooms at independent hotels.

Ctrip is also fast expanding its reach into other parts of Asia, so watch their space for more deals.

Best site for last minute deals: Expedia

Possibly the granddaddy of all online travel sites, Expedia has come a long way since its beginnings to become one of the most famous online travel agencies around the world.

Find flights, hotels, hire a car and even things to do on your trip, all on Expedia. What’s more, instead of just giving you an already pretty competitive price for your flight or hotel, there are additional discounts if you book both your flight and hotel on Expedia. This means, the more you use Expedia the more savings you enjoy.

Adding to its already long line of benefits, Expedia knows that sometimes you just need to get out of the country in a jiffy. It is one of the only travel booking websites that has a dedicated “Last Minute Deal” page, where you can find last minute flights and hotels on Expedia without breaking the bank.

Best site for luxury travel: Classic Travel

If you like luxury travel and getting a good deal, try booking your next hotel stay with a Virtuoso agent, like Classic Travel.

Virtuoso is a luxury travel network made up of independent travel advisors, who are given exclusive access to deals at top-end hotels like The Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons.

However, most Virtuoso agents are based in the United States or Australia and only a few, including Classic Travel, allow online bookings. At our last check, we could not find any Virtuoso agents in Singapore.

Customers can look forward to perks such as complimentary upgrades and breakfasts, a generous food and beverage credit (The St Regis Singapore offers a US$100 ($136) credit, for example), and late check-outs.

The catch is that you have to pay a Virtuoso rate, but from our experience, this is usually the hotel’s best available rate, and not its rack rate.
By Geralyne Kaye

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