We’ve covered a few different travel sites in the past like Kayak and Farecast, but since Summer is just about here and some of you will be taking vacations, we decided to cover yet another travel site. It’s called SideStep and it’s not that it offers something entirely different from what you may find with other sites, it’s just a solution that you may find that you like better.
We could easily go on and on and explain the different areas of the site like how to search for flights, hotels, cars, vacation packages, and cruises, but we decided to dig around and find some useful bits of information and some interesting features that the site offers which often times people overlook.
What is SideStep?
You can’t really tell from the name of the site that they’re actually all about travel. SideStep calls themselves “The Traveler’s search engine” and their goal is to help you travel better. They partnered with Kayak to “combine strengths” and create a great search product for everybody. Because of this, you’ll notice many similarities in the looks and functions of the two sites.
A more detailed explanation of SideStep comes from Wikipedia:
SideStep is a metasearch engine for travel: it searches and consolidates results from more than 200 travel websites. The site searches more than 150,000 hotels and 600 airlines in the United States and worldwide.
It originally started back in 2000 as a toolbar and then their website officially launched in 2005.
One section of their site is just for Travel Tips. If you’re not an experienced traveler or you just want some advice, check it out. They divide their tips into 6 different sections including low fare tips, kids traveling alone, passport & visa, reservation help, tips for parents, and cruise tips.
Under the low far section, you’ll find some information on being flexible to get a lower fare as well as planning ahead to find the cheapest airfare.
If they don’t have the answers you need, they try to point you to where you could find them. One such section is for passports and visas. They link you to the US State Department which should help you answer most of your passport questions.
If you know you want to take a vacation but you’re just not sure where you’d like to go, it might be a good idea to browse through their huge list of travel guides. You can browse for the destination by clicking on a World map, or you can also click on a city listed in their “Top Destinations” list.
Once you click on a city, you’ll be able to view information on everything about the area like hotels, restaurants, attractions, nightlife, shopping, and more.
If you’re running Microsoft Windows and you’re using Internet Explorer, you can download a toolbar which will help you compare prices and search multiple sites at one time if you need a flight, hotel, or car rental.
Part of the set-up process involves entering your home airport so that your toolbar will be personalized. Once you open up Internet Explorer after installing the toolbar, you’ll see the SideStep icon at the top which you can click on to view hotels, read reviews, and more.
Unfortunately this toolbar is available only for Internet Explorer users.
Like Kayak.com, SideStep.com too has a Buzz section. Buzz is great because it displays the best fares found by recent searches. All you do is enter in the airport you’ll be leaving from and it will pull up some great priced fares.
Wrapping it up…
If you’ve got a vacation you need to plan, there are so many sites out there to help you do it. SideStep will help you sort through all of the deals out there on flights, hotels, cars, cruises, and more, and will help you save money in the process.