Best known for user-generated reviews of hotels and tourist attractions, TripAdvisor will now vie in the "meta-search" engine category, which includes Microsoft Corp.'s Farecast and Yahoo Inc.'s FareChase.

One way TripAdvisor hopes to distinguish itself is a fee estimator enabling customers to figure the cost of checking bags and buying food and headphones into their cost comparisons.

"Nobody else has been able to give consumers clarity about what's the true cost of travel," said Bryan Saltzburg, general manager of new initiatives for TripAdvisor. The company employs nearly 500 workers worldwide, including about 240 in the Boston area.

Get the full story at The Boston Globe