With so many new tools promising to help us find the best (or cheapest) flights, it’s easier than ever to turn flight searching into an all-day obsession. Enter Trip Watcher, a new site by Hotwire.com, which does all the constant searching for you. Enter your desired destinations and dates (or range of dates), and the site will monitor the fares on your behalf, sending you alerts every time it finds a new low price. You choose the preferred method of contact—email, Facebook, or Twitter—so that you can jump on the deal before it disappears.
I’ve been putting Trip Watcher to the test with five sample itineraries—three domestic and two international, some with set dates and others more flexible. In just one day, the engine found lower fares for three of those routes, dropping the price by 20% to Chicago, 15% to Lima, and a whopping 38% to Charleston. The latter—a deeply discounted fare of $102—disappeared quickly, but it was entirely within my reach thanks to the instant update.
Within a week, all my fares had dropped (a route to Rome came down by as much as $350) but I never knew when to suck it up and stop waiting for an even better deal. If only Trip Watcher showed me the average price of my desired flights, I kept thinking. Then I’d really know when it was time to press the magic button. For that, there’s Momondo. Between their robust data analytics and Trip Watcher’s tough-to-beat prices, I’d be hard-pressed to think of a better way to search for flights right now.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.