Saturday, July 29, 2006
Next Generation Travel Tools
A few relatively recent discoveries in the travel department...
Farecast is a site that predicts future trends in airfare prices. So, let's say for example you know you're flying to Los Angeles in early September for your sister's wedding. Do you buy your ticket now, or do you wait a week or two to see if prices drop? But what if they rise?
Enter Farecast, which will tell you whether to buy or wait based on predictive models. This falls right in line with my thoughts on the power of research noted in my previous blog post - Farecast was pioneered by a professor at the University of Washington, and is clearly the product of significant research efforts. Oh, and before I forget, they have a blog too.
Kayak is another travel site worth a look. They provide a quite simple yet robust interface for searching for flights, and pull their data from a large number of other travel sites. Great one-stop shop for finding great deals.
Perhaps the coolest feature of Kayak is Kayak Buzz, which lets you search by region, month, and price (and a whole lot more), rather than the traditional search by destination city. For example, here are flights in December 2006 to Asia for under $1500. I'm definitely going to use this when planning my next vacation!
People talk about how the web revolutionized certain industries - Orbitz, for example, is notable for revolutionizing the travel industry by elinating most needs for brick and mortal travel agents. It's interesting to see how these next-gen sites are busting out and revolutionizing their predecessors like Orbitz.