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What's the best travel search engine?

USAToday.com is carrying a story that got the attention of this budget-minded traveler. Associated Press writer Anick Jesdanun decided to compare airfares found on the big online travel agencies and some of the travel-only search engines. The results are quite interesting.

For instance, the search engine Kayak returned the best price six times while Yahoo's FareChase took the top honors in five searches. Mobissimo was not far behind with four.

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But the study wasn't all about price. User experience was also measured, with some interesting findings. For instance, Jesdanun notes that "Orbitz had the most flexibility" among agencies while Kayak was tops among search sites in this regard. Kayak was also rated easiest to use.

While all of this is useful when we're thinking about where to start searching for a good deal, perhaps the most important part of the article comes at the end, with the caveat that "no one site is going to consistently get you the best deal."

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