If Eddie Money really did have two tickets to paradise, there's a fair chance that he scored them off of Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN). The travel site posted excellent fourth-quarter results yesterday, blowing past Wall Street's profit targets for the third quarter in a row.

A 38% spurt in gross travel bookings helped fuel a 27.5% spike in revenues. Pro forma profits more than doubled to $0.58 a share, well above the $0.41 per share that analysts were expecting on that basis.

Once again, Europe was kind to Priceline. Overseas success help compensate for the seemingly sleepy 12% gain in domestic gross travel bookings. Airline ticket sales growth was stagnant, but lodging and car rentals helped drive results higher.

These are interesting times for travel sites. Orbitz has been taken private. Sabre's (NYSE:TSG) Travelocity is about to follow suit. That leaves Priceline's publicly traded competition limited to Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) or more exotic overseas plays in this space like China's Ctrip (NASDAQ:CTRP) and eLong (NASDAQ:LONG). It's a pity, because as consumers flock online to take control of their travel planning, the sites should thrive.

That's a trend that has not been lost in our newsletter picks. Priceline is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation, while Ctrip.com has been singled out in the Motley Fool Hidden Gems service.

Priceline's future remains bright. The company is looking to achieve $4 billion in gross travel bookings this year. Priceline is also raising its guidance, in looking for adjusted profitability to come in between $2.60 to $2.90 per share. That represents a healthy advance from last year's $2.03 a share showing and the $2.53 per share that Wall Street is projecting.

Naturally, there's a lot that can rattle our faith in the travel industry. However, even in its brief corporate life, Priceline has made it through terrorism-related downfalls and economic shortcomings. The growth trajectory can always be delayed in the future. Investors have to accept that. Thankfully they can take comfort in knowing that Priceline knows exactly where it's going.

Want to learn why Priceline is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation? Find out for free with a 30-day trial subscription.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still relies on the portals to get basic travel information, but then he runs off to see if better deals can be had directly with the provider. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.