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Take advantage of user-generated reviews

For years, booking sites such as Orbitz and Travelocity relied on standard hotel-star ratings to help travelers distinguish between properties. Then came TripAdvisor and TravelPost, which offer user-generated ratings and rank properties by their highest combined scores. Newer sites are taking comparison shopping to a more nuanced level. On UpTake, you can search for U.S. hotels by theme: “romantic,” “cheap,” or “pet-friendly,” to name a few. The site then scours more than 1,000 websites, blogs, and online magazines to find which hotels are most often tagged in surveys with that keyword. For airline travel, InsideTrip organizes flights by price and creates a score based on 12 “pain points,” including the likelihood of a delay and the minimum amount of legroom to expect.

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