t's not unusual for travel suppliers to quote prices without taxes. This often happens when you call a hotel and ask for the rate. But it is hardly good customer service, and it is especially annoying when you are shopping the online travel sites to compare prices.

Some sites delay disclosing the real price until you are into the second or third round of clicks. Airgorilla.com, for instance, lists fares in big black numbers, with the words "plus taxes" next to it in small type. It is only when you click on "go" that you find out that a $592 Seattle-Tokyo round trip really costs $753.

More online travel sites would do well to follow the lead of Expedia and Travelocity. Both list one price when quoting airfares, hotels and rental cars, the price that really matters - the one that includes all taxes and fees.

There are some legit last-minute travel deals out there, but finding them quickly is not as easy as it once was. The key word in too many promotions is "from," meaning that unless you're willing to stay in a budget motel and lose a day by taking a night flight, most anything is going to cost more than the initially quoted price.

Travel sites such as Site59.com, which specializes in last-minute three- and four-day air/hotel getaways, do a good job of efficiently bundling air and hotel packages, but the bargains are sometimes not what they appear.

Get the full story at The Philadelphia Inquirer