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Updated: 5 Nov 2021

Best and worst travel comparison websites

Which travel comparison website should you use to research your next holiday? Our survey of Which? members reveals all.
Which?Editorial team
Travel comparison 476601

Travel comparison websites such as Skyscanner and Tripadvisor can save you a lot of legwork by trawling the market for the best airfares and cheapest price on hotel rooms. 

But with more comparison sites than ever before, which is the easiest to use and which usually has the cheapest fares? 

Here, we reveal satisfaction ratings for seven of the most popular travel comparison websites.

A comparison site is only the beginning of your holiday-booking journey. After finding the best price, you'll be directed through to an online travel agent to actually buy your flights and accommodation. 

Before you book, check the results of our best flight booking websites and best hotel booking websites, to make sure you choose a company you can trust. 

Remember, the company that takes your payment is the company that will be responsible for refunding you if things go wrong and your holiday is cancelled.

Travel comparison websites rated

In the table below, we've rated seven leading travel comparison websites, including Tripadvisor, Skyscanner, Kayak and Travelsupermarket, to help you research your next holiday with confidence.

For more unbiased reviews and independent advice, find out more about Which? Travel.

Comparison siteMarket coverageFunctionality of siteRelevance of search resultsPricesCustomer score
Skyscanner (308)
Google Flights (66)
TripAdvisor (290)
Trivago (178)
Kayak (135)
Travelsupermarket (80)
Cheapflights (59)

Travel comparison websites reviewed

As you can see from the table above, the best comparison site for flights is Skyscanner, while the best for comparing accommodation prices is Tripadvisor. However, neither company scored highly enough with recent users to be crowned a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP).

Skyscanner: best flight comparison site

It’s no surprise to see Skyscanner sitting at the top of our comparison sites table. It’s been there for the past four years, thanks to competitive prices, impressive market coverage and genuinely useful features. 

The speed that it introduced filters for flexible airfares and Covid safety ratings are one example, and its greener flights filter, which shows you flights with lower CO2 emissions, is brilliant. 

While it wasn’t quite the cheapest comparison site in our price analysis, Skyscanner did find the cheapest available flight four out of 10 times.

Which? verdict:  Make Skyscanner your first – but not only – port of call when searching for flights. 

Browse flight prices on Skyscanner.

Tripadvisor: best hotel comparison site

TripAdvisor calls itself the world’s largest travel platform, but it’s at risk of becoming a jack of all trades, master of none. It could only muster a middling three stars out of five in each of the categories in our survey, including website functionality and relevance of search results. 

It’s hit and miss when it comes to prices, too. While it found the best hotel price in two of the five scenarios we checked, it was £40 per night more expensive than the cheapest option in one quote, which is a significant difference.

Which? verdict:  A useful travel resource, provided you take the prices with a pinch of salt. Plus previous Which? research has found you can't always trust the reviews.

Browse accommodation prices on Tripadvisor.

Trivago: best prices

Despite only finishing mid-table in our rankings, there are two reasons why you might do well to check Trivago before booking your next hotel stay. First, it does have bargains. 

Trivago came up with the best price for four of the five hotels we looked at, which is a better strike rate than any other site we checked. Second, while not as polished as some, Trivago’s website offers some standout features. We particularly like that you can filter results by how close they are to a specific address – handy if you want to stay near friends or family, for example.

Which? verdict: One of the better comparison sites for hotel prices. 

Which flight comparison site is cheapest?

Cheapflights, a comparison site, found the cheapest flight prices on five of the 10 routes we looked at. The catch? As with other comparison sites, the cheapest prices are often with online travel agents (OTAs) you shouldn’t book with. 

For example, Cheapflights pointed us to the OTA Kiwi to book one flight. Opt for Kiwi’s cheapest ‘Saver ticket’ and, as well as not having any flexibility to amend your flights, you’ll only be entitled to basic customer service, meaning you aren’t entitled to any email support and any call you make to its call centre will be treated as low priority.  

Comparison sites: holiday refunds and cancellations

Comparison sites will mostly direct you to book through OTAs and, generally, these sites have offered poor customer service during the pandemic. 

Lots of Which? members contacted us about problems with refunds for cancelled flights – with many waiting months for their money and unable to contact firms who often refuse to provide a phone number. 

Booking with an OTA can also complicate and delay the refund process. Some OTAs, such as Opodo and TravelUp, had the nerve to try and charge a refund processing fee – even though you can always claim a free refund from the airline for a cancelled flight (in the EU/UK). 

How we research travel comparison sites

Between July and August 2021, we asked 3,478 Which? members to tell us about their experiences of researching holidays online in the past two years. We only reported on companies and star rating categories when we received at least 30 responses.

You can have your say on what we research and help us achieve change by joining Which? Connect.