I've recently come across two new search engines that can change the way you travel.
The first is Scott's Cheap Flights. $39/year will get you personalized travel alerts from your home airport of choice. After their search engines find the best deals, you receive an email alert with instructions on how to book the flight directly with the airline. It takes the hours of searching and cross-comparison off your plate. If you'd rather not pay, there's also a free version with fewer options, but you'll get an idea of what's offered.
The second is for the traveler who wants to be pleasantly surprised and relaxed for a 3-day weekend getaway. Pack up & Go takes the thinking out of a short trip, so you can simply enjoy the ride. Select your budget, answer a survey on your likes and dislikes, and then show up for your hand-selected adventure! No plane trip is too far, so you spend more time in the location, and less time at the airport.
**A cautionary note about your typical discount booking sites:
All-in-one sites, such as Expedia.com are great for finding deals, but when it comes to making changes, things can get a little tricky. If you feel certain that nothing will change, you can find amazing flights using a combination of airlines put together for you; however, if you anticipate changing anything, dealing with third-party customer service can be overly complicated or pre-paid perks may be completely unrefundable. I tend to use these sites to get an idea of which airline has deals, and then book directly.
Bottom line: use with care.**