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  Consolidators
Consolidators are companies that buy quantities of seats on specific flights from regular airlines, cabin space on specific cruises from cruise lines, and hotel rooms, car rentals and vacation packages at wholesale prices from the suppliers and then resell them to travel agencies or directly to the public. Airlines, cruise lines, hotels, car rentals and vacation package companies know they won't sell all their products for a given flight, cruise or vacation package, or have customers for every car and hotel room on a given day. So they are willing to sell some of those items at a wholesale price to other companies to resell. They still make money and so do the consolidators even though the consumer is also saving money. Many websites offering discount travel bargains are consolidators.  Travelocity and Expedia are two of the biggest consolidators on the web. Anytime you see the words cheap, budget or discount, it is probably because the website is a consolidator.

However, if someone is offering a week in Hawaii for $100, remember, if it is too good to be true, it probably is not!

Always pay by credit card when dealing with consolidators as an extra measure of protection in case things don't work out because there are laws governing not being charged if you pay by credit card and don't receive what you paid for.

Air Consolidators. You will usually only find consolidator air fares for international flights from your country to other countries.  All classes of tickets are usually available from a consolidator and not just economy class. If they are a big air consolidator company, you should expect them be a member of the United States Air Consolidators Association.  This gives you more assurance that they are a reputable company due to the rules for becoming a member.
 
You can scroll down to each of our consolidator sections on this page on just go directly to Air Consolidators, Cruise Consolidators, Hotel Consolidators, Car Rental Consolidators, and Vacation Consolidators.

Air Consolidators
 About Air Consolidators
They are also referred to as airline consolidators. Any travel site that allows you to select from multiple airlines and book a flight is probably an airline consolidator.  Also see our Air Fares and Discount Travel Topics.  
Wikitravel - Airline Consolidators.  Excellent overview and advice for selecting an airline consolidator.
 
United States Air Consolidators Association This is the trade association of air consolidators. Reputable large  consolidator companies will be members of this association.  They are required to do at least $20 million a year in sales, have been incorporated in the U.S. for at least 2 years and and have never filed for bankruptcy or gone out of business before.  Their are members with offices in all the major countries of the world.
  
Travel-library.com - Consolidators.  This site has an excellent article that explains consolidators and bucket shops which are not the same thing.  Many discount travel agencies are consolidators or work with consolidator companies.
  
The Practical Nomad.  Even though the copyright notice at the top of the article says 1991-2001, the one at the bottom says 1991-2007.  Although some of the information is outdated, Edward Hasbrouck has done a good job of describing in depth the air consolidator situation and will give you some insights you woun't get from the other reference sites.
 
Lists of Air Consolidator Websites
ETN - Discount Airfare Worldwide Online  This site has, by far, the best list and access to the most consolidator and discount air fares of anyone on the web with excellent international coverage.  They also cover discounts for cruises, car rentals, and hotels.  They have flexible search options. 
 
Google - Air Consolidator DirectoryExtensive list of air consolidators. Note: The list is initially sorted by Google Page Rank but you can click on View in Alphabetical Order to change that.
 
Best of the Web - Air Consolidator DirectoryExtensive list of air consolidators. We didn't find much overlap with Google, so you will see additional consolidators in their list.
 
Yahoo! - Airline Consolidators.  Extensive list of air consolidators.
 
Cruise Consolidators
 About Cruise Consolidators 
They are sometimes called cruise brokers.  Any travel site that allows you to select from multiple cruise lines and book a cruise is probably a cruise consolidator.  Also see our Cruise Travel and Discount Travel Topics.
Frommer's - Booking Cruises Online.  Good article about cruise consolidators with a review and information on some of the major players.
 
Lists of Cruise Consolidator Websites
Google - Cruise Consolidator DirectoryExtensive list of cruise consolidators. Note: The list is initially sorted by Google Page Rank but you can click on View in Alphabetical Order to change that.
 
Best of the Web - Cruise Consolidator DirectoryShort list of cruise consolidators. We didn't find any overlap with Google the last time we checked, so you will see additional consolidators in their list.
 
Yahoo! - Cruise Consolidators.  Extensive list of cruise consolidators.
 
Cruise Brokers International.  They have a nice list of categories of cruises from which to choose.
  

Hotel Consolidators

 About Hotel Consolidators
Any travel site that allows you to select from multiple airlines and book a flight is probably an airline consolidator.  Also see our Hotels and Discount Travel Topics.
RudyMaxa.com -All About Air and Hotel Consolidators.  Good explanation of hotel consolidators.
 
Superpages - What is a Hotel Consolidator?  A short description is provided. They also have some good tips when looking for a hotel.
  
Lists of Hotel Consolidator Websites
Google - Lodging Consolidator DirectoryExtensive list of lodging consolidators. Note: The list is initially sorted by Google Page Rank but you can click on View in Alphabetical Order to change that.
 
Best of the Web - Lodging Consolidator DirectoryExtensive list of lodging consolidators. We didn't find much overlap with Google, so you will see additional consolidators in their list.
 
Yahoo! - Hotel Consolidators.  Excellent and extensive list of hotel consolidators.
 

If you are handicapped, Barrierfreetravels has some interesting advice on using hotel consolidators.

Car Rental Consolidators

 About Car Rental Consolidators
Any travel site that allows you to select from multiple car rental agencies and reserve a car is probably a car rental consolidator.  Also see our Car Rental and Discount Travel Topics.
Rick Steves - Europe - Driving In Europe.  The section on Renting a Car describes how car rental consolidators work i Europe and lists a couple of the well known ones. 
 
Lists of Car Rental Consolidator Websites
Google - Car Rental Consolidator DirectoryExtensive list of car rental consolidators. Note: The list is initially sorted by Google Page Rank but you can click on View in Alphabetical Order to change that.
 
Best of the Web - Car Rental Consolidator DirectoryShort list of car rental consolidators. We didn't find much overlap with Google, so you will see additional consolidators in their list.
 
Yahoo! - Car Rental Consolidators.  Excellent and extensive list of car rental consolidators.
 

Vacation Consolidators

Lists of Vacation Consolidator Websites
Any travel site that allows you to select from multiple vacation packages and book one is probably a vacation consolidator.  Also see our Vacation Deals and Discount Travel Topics.
Google - Vacation Consolidator DirectoryShort list of vacation consolidators.  Note: The list is initially sorted by Google Page Rank but you can click on View in Alphabetical Order to change that.
 
Best of the Web - Vacation Consolidator DirectoryShort list of vacation consolidators. We didn't find much overlap with Google the last time we checked, so you will see additional consolidators in their list.
 
Yahoo! - Vacation Consolidators.  Extensive list of vacation consolidators.
 
 
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