If you're starting to plan the family vacation, you might be interested in two fairly new travel search engines, Kayak and Mobissimo, which...

If you’re starting to plan the family vacation, you might be interested in two fairly new travel search engines, Kayak and Mobissimo, which can increase your odds of finding the absolute lowest prices on airfares, hotels and rental cars.

Like SideStep, a travel search engine introduced in 2000, these sites are trying to do for travel what Google did for Internet searches: They scour scores of Web sites for pricing information. In that respect, they’re unlike traditional travel Web sites such as Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity (the so-called Big Three) that only search their own databases and travel-agency reservation systems.

Consumer Reports found that neither covers the entire universe of online travel prices, although each is good at bringing you directly to the sites of travel providers, such as airlines and hotels, which don’t charge booking fees.

Copyright 2005, Consumers Union