Have you wondered what the top travel websites used by Canadians are? It doesn’t matter if you’re booking flights, hotels, or doing research for your trip, many of us end up using the same websites every time. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is interesting to see what Canadians prefer.
Digital marketing specialists, SEMrush did some research and found what the top 10 sites are based on search volume. It’s not like what site will save you more money than the others, it’s strictly a popularity thing. Don’t read too much into these rankings as most of it is due to familiarity, but it is interesting to see what Canadians are looking for when it comes to travel.
Without a doubt, tripadvisor.ca is the one travel site that I use every time I plan a trip. There’s no better resource when I’m trying to get reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions. There’s also the Tripadvisor forum where I can ask specific questions where a local expert will usually be able to give me an answer. I should note that not every restaurant has reviews on the site, so sometimes I’ve gambled and taken a chance at places that interest me. Making travel plans with Tripadvisor is arguably easier than using travel books such as Lonely Planet as you’re getting advice from millions of travellers.
Expedia.ca was one of the first travel websites I ever used and I still continue to use them today. What I like most about the site is the ability to book flights, hotels, and car rentals at the same time. Last year I booked a flight and car rental package to Orlando and saved a fair amount compared to if I booked the two separately. Expedia also does all-inclusive packages, but I haven’t booked one with them yet.
If you’re looking for flights, quite often your search will begin at aircanada.com. Air Canada is the country’s largest airline and services 182 destinations. In other words, if you’re trying to get anywhere in the world, there’s a good chance Air Canada or one of their partners flies there. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that some Air Canada flight times are only available directly on aircanada.com, which is why I always check the site when I’m booking airfare. Air Canada also recently took complete control over Aeroplan, so there’s a lot more flexibility when redeeming your points.
Travellers who fly WestJet on a regular basis consistently rave about their service. The airline has been branching out as of late with flights to Europe and their discount airline Swoop. Just recently, Westjet improved their Westjet Rewards loyalty program by making it easier to reach the higher tiers. If you plan on flying with them, it’s worth signing up for the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard since it gives you a $250 WestJet dollars as a welcome bonus, the first bag is checked free for the primary cardholder, and you get an annual companion voucher starting at $99. It’s worth mentioning that Westjet.com also allows you to book vacation packages, car rentals, hotel bookings.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, booking.com established itself in Europe before making a push into North America. I originally prefer Expedia over booking.com, but my preferences have changed lately. The site features more 1,400,000+ properties in 226 countries. I find it really easy to search between multiple property types since they have so much inventory. For example, when I went to Rome a few years ago, I decide to choose an apartment over a hotel.
I’m a bit surprised that kayak.com didn’t rank higher on this list. As a travel metasearch engine and fare aggregator, KAYAK allows you to search hundreds of websites at the same time. Since many of the websites featured on this list are partners, you could just check KAYAK for your travel needs instead of looking at multiple sites. One feature I love about KAYAK is its price alerts since it keeps me updated on any price changes. If you know how to use KAYAK properly, there are a lot of ways to find cheap flights. I personally prefer KAYAK a bit more than skyscanner since their site is just more user friendly.
7. Google Flights
Google Maps is one of the most popular websites, but did you know there’s also Google flights? The site does a great job as a flight search engine. It literally searches all available flights, as opposed to flights just offered by a specific carrier and it’s partners. Google flights is perfect for planning your next trips as you can get inspiration at a quick glance. You search by airport, best price or destination. Google Flights will then show you all available options for your next adventure.
If you’re looking for a cheap all-inclusive getaway, there’s a good chance you’ve checked out sunwing.ca. They’ve got exclusive deals on many resorts so you can find some pretty good deals, especially if you’re flying last minute. Sunwing also offers seasonal flights to destinations in Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Note that the lowest prices offered are only possible because Sunwing is a budget airline. Getting the cheapest flights is often a goal for many people, but sometimes it’s worth paying more for a more reliable service.
A lot of people prefer group tours when travelling so it’s no surprise that Tourradar makes an appearance on this list since it’s one of the best travel resources. If you’re not familiar with the company, they offer more than 40,000 tours including ones offered by Intrepid Travel. This may sound crazy, but essentially, they consolidate all the different tour operators onto their site so you can quickly compare your different options. This includes small groups and large group tours. This definitely beats searching through different websites and it makes finding the perfect tour easier. In addition, if you sign up with my referral link, you’ll get 5% off your first tour.
Redtag.ca is the only online travel agency on this list that is fully owned and operated by a Canadian Corporation. I’ve never used them personally, but they offer flights, hotels, car rentals, all-inclusive packages, and cruises. One thing that may interest consumers is the price drop assurance Red Tag offers, but there appear to be quite a few conditions if you ever want to make a claim.