Is it Better to Book Travel Directly or Use an Online Travel Agency?

Each has its merits, but what's the better way to pay?

using internet in the airport terminal
(Image credit: anyaberkut)

It’s hard to beat the convenience of online travel agencies, such as Expedia and Priceline, when shopping for the cheapest airfare or choosing a hotel. OTAs not only aggregate flights, accommodations, rental cars and vacation packages but also let you compare options by price, user rating and other criteria. Sometimes they offer discounts and attractive package deals, too. But it doesn’t always make sense to book with an OTA.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Miriam Cross
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Miriam lived in Toronto, Canada, before joining Kiplinger's Personal Finance in November 2012. Prior to that, she freelanced as a fact-checker for several Canadian publications, including Reader's Digest Canada, Style at Home and Air Canada's enRoute. She received a BA from the University of Toronto with a major in English literature and completed a certificate in Magazine and Web Publishing at Ryerson University.