Using the top travel booking sites on the web will make planning your vacation a cinch while saving you a great deal of money. Unfortunately, as with most OTAs, you will not be able to earn loyalty points or elite nights with the hotel’s program when booking through If you generally aren’t loyal to 1 brand or don’t have elite status with a brand, this probably doesn’t need to be a factor in your decision of where to book.

For those seeking an ‘out-of-the-box’ travel experience, check out Unusual Hotels of the World ( ). This fun travel site lists only the most unique hotels in the world, including tree houses, ice igloos, tepees and wigwams, safari spots and lighthouses.

For one itinerary, a nonstop flight that the other sites offered was not available when booking a Hotwire package (though it was available when booking a separate flight on Hotwire), and the pricing on some searches was a little higher than on the other sites.

For flights, after you type in your basic information (point of departure, destination, and dates), you’ll be greeted with a chart displaying how much each cabin class will cost, flight arrival and departure times, and the available amenities for each flight.

Some may even stumble upon amusing travel sites like Ghost Tours ( ), offering spooky white-knuckle tours of Australia’s seemingly most haunted locale, Brisbane; Dog Friendly ( ), with useful titbits for travellers who insist on sharing their pillows with their slobbering Rottweilers; or Couch Surfing ( ), a social website enabling backpackers and adventurous young ‘uns to find welcoming hosts and comfy couches in destinations far and wide.