Hotwire spawns a baby sister

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Planning a budget-friendly vacation is hard, and Hotwire, the blind-booking website, has today unleashed a spin-off, Travel-Ticker.com. The new site attempts to do the bargain-hunting for you. A team of experts compiles a list of the best insider travel deals, updated several times a day. Listings range from simple airfare deals to elaborate air-and-hotel packages at all-inclusive resorts. Each deal is broken down so you know exactly what's included.

For example, Travel-Ticker recently listed a room at the Millennium Broadway in New York City's Times Square for $199 a night. It helpfully specified the dates for which that rate was available. The site also explained how you could get a free upgrade—and how much more you'd have to pay to stay on other dates.

Hotwire first established the website as a newsletter in 2006; it has most recently been expanded into a geographically targeted website, meaning that there are a total of 32 different versions of the site for various parts of the country. Deals are ranked by popularity and the team makes recommendations based on your place of residence. You can see the TripAdvisor rating, and click-through for similar details.

One catch to be aware of: The deals at Travel Ticker are the result of paid relationships with hotels, airlines, and other companies—unlike the deals you'll find on, say, BudgetTravel.com's Real Deals page. However, the site's spokesperson told the LA Times that "If we don’t have great deals, we’re not going to keep our customers," so they'll have to post competitive offers.

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