The Top Travel Websites Used by Canadians

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

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.

1. Tripadvisor.ca

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.

2. Expedia.ca

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.

3. Aircanada.com

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.

4. Westjet.com

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.

5. Booking.com

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.

6. Kayak.com

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. 

8. Sunwing.ca

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.

9. Tourradar.com

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.

10. Redtag.ca

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.

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

36 Comments

  1. James on September 16, 2017 at 12:47 AM

    I’m surprised to NOT see Google flights – another flight engine aggregator – on this list.

    • Barry Choi on September 16, 2017 at 10:03 AM

      James,

      I’m a bit surprised myself, but I guess many Canadians don’t realize Google even has a flight search.

      • Alan on April 21, 2018 at 3:32 PM

        Funny I guess you work for Google!

        • Tim Brydges on November 21, 2019 at 10:56 PM

          Its because google only does flights, not vacations

      • Lila on November 5, 2020 at 9:25 AM

        Wow I am Canadian and I always search flights!! People just need to know how to use search properly so they get what they are looking for. Its not that hard, google can find alot for you, if you put in the right words. lol

    • CanadianTraveler on January 29, 2022 at 6:19 PM

      Because these are AFFILIATE links. Google probably isn’t an affiliate of Barry Chois. 🙂

      • Barry Choi on January 30, 2022 at 6:42 AM

        CanadianTraveler,

        This list was compiled by SEM Rush a few years, not me. The only site on the list where I’m an affiliate partner is Booking.com

  2. Josh on September 16, 2017 at 7:43 PM

    Interesting – I always target Google Flights first before I try anything else, followed by the apps Hopper and Skyscanner!

    • Barry Choi on September 16, 2017 at 9:39 PM

      Josh,

      I usually use Skyscanner and Google flights first. I think most Canadians just aren’t aware of those sites.

  3. Doug on September 16, 2017 at 11:17 PM

    I would have expected to see Trivago.ca on the list.

    • Barry Choi on September 18, 2017 at 9:43 AM

      Doug,

      I’m guessing it’s a “newish” website that not everyone is familiar with yet.

      • Gregg on April 19, 2018 at 7:24 PM

        hmm…they only advertise 100 times a day o TV.

      • shasta on February 25, 2020 at 2:02 PM

        LOL….I was shocked not to see Trivago either. It is one of the most highly advertised sites on TV. I don’t think it is possible to even think of a day I watched TV and DIDN’T see one of their ads. I saw it at least 3 times yesterday.

  4. Carl on September 17, 2017 at 8:46 PM

    While in Spain used Trivago to find the best hotel rooms, booked it through Expedia and saved a lot on $$. Works well for me.

    • Gregg on April 19, 2018 at 7:28 PM

      The aggregator sites can be interesting for research but I have yet to see one beat thr actual hotel website. In North America at least. Plus the aggregator engines do not offer loyalty member discounts and specials. Only time I have seen an apparent lower price is pay 100% up front with no cancellation. Hotels often have this offer too.

  5. Luochuan on January 9, 2018 at 3:56 AM

    Ctrip and qunar are the best in China

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  12. Jane Taylor on April 19, 2018 at 8:51 PM

    Here’s one I use a lot, partly because they’re not selling anything: http://matrix.itasoftware.com

  13. Paul Desouza souza on April 19, 2018 at 9:51 PM

    That’s just Google Flights by another name.

  14. Robert G on April 19, 2018 at 10:53 PM

    Matrix for me all the time , this is the engine that Google flight run . Matrix is own by Google.
    Hopper is very good also.

  15. Kevin Kilbride on April 22, 2018 at 10:26 AM

    Kayak is better than the other flight aggregators as you can search and book different cabin classes on the same trip. You can’t even do that on Air Canada’s web site. Its a new feature and very handy.

  16. TRAVELGURU on July 18, 2018 at 12:12 AM

    Wow, a few of these sight are from the same conglomorate, another site you listed as the only “wholly owned/operated” Canadian sight, that’t not correct either. If you are not a travel insider, you should probably speak to one………….

  17. salvish on January 7, 2019 at 2:00 AM

    Just wondering – Farenexus is not on the list. Currently its the top search result for travel meta search in Canada in Google search.

    • Barry Choi on January 7, 2019 at 8:05 AM

      Salvish,

      It may be the top search result in Goodle, but that doesn’t mean it’s one of the top used sites.

      • Salvish on May 13, 2019 at 1:06 AM

        Yes, you’re right. We’re talking about the most used sites anyways – my bad 🙂

  18. Tom Smith on January 31, 2019 at 8:30 PM

    https://myresolver.ca is a great tool for reclaiming for EU flight delay compensation for flights to an EU country (on an EU operated airline) or from countries in the EU. It’s totally free – and nice and easy too

  19. John Griffiths on March 1, 2019 at 10:03 PM

    When you want to book a room TripAdvisor sends you to Expedia’s site.

  20. Salvish on May 13, 2019 at 1:04 AM

    If youu’re not afraid to try on new technologies – you might want to try http://www.farenexus.com as well, a travel metasearch from Montreal. It can get you the access to some low cost travel agencies and good deal of flight fares.

  21. Jack Benjamin on February 6, 2020 at 1:35 AM

    Suprise with this list

    Skyscanner
    Orbiz and other

    • Bob on July 31, 2020 at 2:39 PM

      I book with Wego.com

  22. Babu Kaji Sitaula on May 6, 2022 at 3:44 AM

    Excellent List! love it

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