Based out of San Francisco, Airbnb burst onto the scene in 2008. It was founded as an accommodations site which allows travelers to book unique temporary visits all across the world. The Airbnb community made it possible for travelers to book apartments, homes, villas, and even castles in over 191 countries at a reasonable rate. Over 60 million people have booked their travel accommodations using Airbnb to date and they have over 2 million listings worldwide. It is important to note, however, that the only travel booking that can really take place on the Airbnb platform are lodging reservations.
Expedia was launched by Microsoft in 2001 and spun off as a multibillion-dollar company. Expedia is one of the world's largest booking services and has many subsidiaries that help customers set up travel plans. In addition, Expedia was one of the first travel sites to accept Bitcoin, helping international travelers pay more easily with different types of currencies.
Founded in 1997, Priceline is a travel site that helps consumers find and book flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and vacation packages. The company has several other brands and subsidiaries under its umbrella in order to help customers receive the best deals on travel accommodations.
While many people recognize American Express as a credit card company, they also double as a travel booking service with their online platform. The New York-based company started its travel arm in 1915 and has since become the primary focal point of the public company. American Express is synonymous with offering some of the best travel rewards. The online travel company makes it possible for travelers to book flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises. Customers who choose to plan their next trip either directly online or enlist the services of an American Express Travel Insider. Travelers can also book their next trips with points earned from completing purchases with their American Express credit card.
Founded in 2005, CheapOAir is a travel booking site that has a unique search engine that allows users to search over 450 airlines simultaneously to find the best possible price. CheapOAir has been featured in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and Travel and Leisure, among other magazines, newspapers, and websites.
Founded in Hawaii in 1986, CheapTickets is a subsidiary holding of Orbitz. The company focuses on the leisure industry and offers airline tickets, hotel bookings, car rentals, and more.
Google Flights is a functionality that is built into one of the world's best search engines: Google. Google purchased ITA software that allowed it to build an algorithm for flight searches and compete with other flight booking sites.
Founded in 1996, Travelocity is one of the most well-known online travel sites. The company, which falls under Expedia's umbrella of brands, allows consumers to book flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and vacation packages using its platform.
TripAdvisor is a search engine for travel accommodations, including flights, hotels, and cruises. The company pulls information from several other sites, including Expedia and Travelocity. Occasionally, information is pulled directly from travel service provider websites. TripAdvisor is unique because its website was one of the first travel search engines to feature user-generated content.
Kayak, which is a subsidiary of The Priceline Group, began offering travel search engine services in 2004. The company offers global search services for a wide variety of travel options, including flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and vacation packages.