Traveling is the best way to wind down and take a breather after a hard week of work or perhaps a particularly challenging semester in college. However, most of us can’t afford to get up and book a last-minute vacation because we can’t afford it. That, or we don’t know where to look. This article will take you through the top five resources in the three most expensive travel categories. It will help you unlock the best travel deals for you and your family.
Skyscanner allows you to scour over 1200+ travel websites at the same time to determine the cheapest flights. You can use Skyscanner months in advance or reserve it for those last-minute travel needs. While it is best known for flight deals, Skyscanner also offers rates for car rentals and hotel bookings.
Google Flights might not be your best option for landing last-minute travel deals. However, it is a reliable place to start researching prices for specific dates in the future. Google’s proprietary website allows you to view potential travel dates and destinations far in advance using their price graph or price matrix system. That means you can play around with dates and destinations until you find the perfect one for you.
You can even set Google alerts for specific dates and vacation spots so that you’ll get updates if the flight prices decrease in that booking window. Google also offers the most comprehensive search parameters, meaning you can find good deals that are up to your standard every time.
A crowd favorite, Momondo, searches for the best possible discounts during your days of travel to ensure that you get great deals on your trip. However, there’s one thing you’ll need to be cautious of while using Momondo. Be sure to check for luggage prices, or your fare could end up being significantly higher than what you see on the website!
Kayak is an oldie but a goodie that pioneered meta-searching for travel purposes back in 2004. It offers great deals not only on flights, hotel stays, and car rentals, but also on all-inclusive vacation packages and cruises.
Airfare Watchdog is perfect for last-minute travel bookings as well as preplanned vacations. Its sophisticated updating algorithm tracks and sends you the most frequent flight rate fluctuations as they happen.
You’ve likely seen their classic “Hotel? Trivago” advertisements. Well, catchy ads aren’t the only thing Trivago is good at doing. They offer a comprehensive comparison service for multiple online hotel booking sites. You can find anything from five and four-star hotels to vacation rentals when you put in your desired dates on Trivago. They serve in about 190 countries, so Trivago has got you covered no matter how far your travels take you.
It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Booking.com has the most extensive offerings for accommodations on the internet. From regular hotels to bed-and-breakfasts to hostels to villas, they have it all. With approximately 29 million listings, there’s something for everyone at booking.com, regardless of their desired destination or budgetary constraints.
We can’t forget Hotels.com when it comes to booking hotels now, can we? This website contains information about most of the world’s famous hotel chains. Plus, they almost always have some variation of a 30% to 40% discount coupon that allows you to save as much as you can on each booking you make with them.
Expedia is a vacation planning powerhouse that offers the best price comparisons for multiple facets of traveling, such as flights, vacation rentals, etc. However, they are best known for their hotel pricing comparisons—and rightfully so. They offer some of the best seasonal deals around the summer and winter vacations. So, if you’re looking to travel during a specific season, Expedia might have some excellent cost-saving, last-minute hotel bookings for you.
Airbnb took the world by storm with its peer-to-peer home-sharing service. The fact that they don’t need to compile lists of well-established hotels saves them a lot of money. That means they have more to invest in ensuring an optimum buying and selling experience for all their customers. Airbnb allows regular people to put up their homes and properties for nightly rents. Their iron-clad safety policy ensures that all rentals are in A+ condition. They even have open rating systems and awards for alerting you to a seller’s reputation.
Suggested Reading: Travel Medical Insurance: What We Wish Everyone Knew
Activities and Attractions
Travelocity offers a wide range of options under their “things to do” and “travel deals” menus for those seeking touristy attractions in your vacation destinations. They even offer a 100% price matching service after your purchase. This means that that if you buy tickets from Travelocity and then see them being offered for cheaper somewhere else, they will refund you the difference!
Travelzoo goes above and beyond when it comes to finding attractions. They offer bundled packages that cover multiple areas, such as cruises, guided tours, restaurant vouchers, and sometimes even flights. Travelzoo is the perfect website to hit up when you are still trying to choose exactly where you want to go and what you want to do once you get there.
With over 200,000 options to choose from, Viator offers one of the most extensive collections of things to do in places all over the world. You could have priority tickets for the Eiffel Tower or tour of the Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter studios just outside London, UK. The possibilities are endless with Viator. Plus, their 24/7 global support service is always there to help you out, whether you’re having any technical issues or need help deciding what to do.
TripAdvisor is probably one of the most popular vacation planning websites, thanks to its recognizable owl logo and its huge influencer collaborations. This industry giant offers it all: cruises, activities, and restaurants. They even have a helpful travel inspiration blog that can get your creative juices going. All of these and more are available at competitive prices due to TripAdvisor’s well-established industry relationships.
As you can tell from the name, CheapCaribbean offers affordable trips to the Caribbean with detailed itineraries of things to do when you’re there. You can adjust your packages according to your budgets and needs to ensure the best possible experience for you.
- Consider browsing through a budget airline’s actual website to catch any cheap flight deals that regular comparative search engines may have missed.
- Search for flight and hotel bookings using a VPN service or incognito mode to get the cheapest options every time.
- Get a credit card that gives you miles.
- Enroll in membership loyalty programs, such as Marriott Bonvoy, to get exclusive discounts and offers from the top international resort chains in the world.
- Make your bookings in advance, because most flights and hotels get more expensive as your departure date approaches.
- Travel in the off-season so you can get cheap flights.
- Be flexible with your dates.
- Use a cashback website, like Rakuten, to book vacation needs to get up to 15% back on various brands.
Summing it Up
All the websites mentioned above also have mobile apps, so you can easily access them while planning your trips. With so many options for the best travel deals right at your fingertips on your smartphone, take as much advantage of them as you can. So, where are you off to next?