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Find Cheap Flight Tickets for International Travel

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I am planning to a take a vacation, hopeful out of China, sometime in this September. I’ve been hunger for a trip for a long time since we have a lovely baby. Finding cheap international air-ticket is always the most time consuming step in travel planning and it is the major part of the cost structure for a vacation. You can stay at a hostel or motel or even go camping to save money, but you can’t skip the flight by taking alternative transportation, e.g . train or car when you need to cross Pacific Ocean.

So, one option of our vacation destinations is  San Franciscoo. United Airlines and NorthWest both have direct nonstop flight from Shanghai (PVG) to SFO. Domestic arilines include Air China and EastChina are also the choices. In the past, I am mostly using an online agent platform in which I submit my RFQ online and dozens of agents will email me with quotations. The agents serve mainly for trips between China and US. I got pretty good deal from them “offered“ a round trip ticket at the price less than 800 USD while at the same time, you get over 1000 USD quotation from United Airline official site.

A friend at a Los Angeles based company recommended me their services after knowing I am searching for cheap flights. It is a travel search aggregator. Basically, it helps you search the big travel sites (like expedia, kayak)  for tickets, hotels,  car rentals and even vacation package deals. So I give it a try.

After I input the depart and return dates, it asks me to pick 3 ticket engines I want to search. I decided to pick the one that I hardly know thinking the less unknown guy might have something special to offer. Indeed! They return with a one-stop ticket for USD 700.  Isn’t it a nice surprise? It is definitely the best option for students who often look for discount airfair or who don’t mind the extra few hours in transit.  I am happy that I give it a try and would love to check it for future booking.

Travel Search company Uptake raised $10 million

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Travel search company CEO Yen Lee announced on Uptake Blog that the company has raised $10 million from Trinity Ventures  in its Series B. Uptake (formerly known as Kango) now offered more accommodation and activity options for users to plan their vacations. Yen said:

“How do we plan to grow? First, we will expand our search offering beyond UpTake Hotels into new categories including: UpTake Lodging, UpTake Things to Do, UpTake Restaurants and UpTake Beaches. Second, we will improve our ability to deliver travel recommendations based on our analysis and filtering of collective intelligence and on consumers specific travel preferences. Lastly, when it makes sense, we will accelerate our growth through acquisitions.”

Since launched about one year’s ago, Uptake. com has seen traffic growth from Mar. 2008. Besides of providing collective intelligence to help users decide “where to stay” and “what to do”, Uptake has partnered with TravelMuse to offer a ”trip folder“ for users to save their selected hotels and things to do. Thus the travel planning process extends from ”search and discover” to ” save” which seems pretty cool.

Uptake also provide the search by travel preference, i.e. family friendly, pet friendly or romantic. The most recent theme is “feeling broke” which is all about “budget/cheap” hotels and things to do.  If you have never consider a search start from “cheap”, try it out. “An open mind and a little creativity will stretch those dollars and extend those vacation days.”