Due to my ability to find some of the best deals on travel without using a travel agent, I’ve become somewhat of a “travel expert” among my family and friends. In the past, I’ve put together this list of travel deal sites I use to find deals on flights. Now, I am taking it a step further by creating a comprehensive list of the best travel sites and apps I use to find the best travel deals when planning my vacations.
Travel Sites to Find the Best Travel Deals
First things first, before starting your search, make sure your browser is in incognito mode for searching or clear your browser’s cache after searching to avoid price increases. You can also do like me and use a VPN. This helps when you are looking for flights to a specific state or country. The prices tend to be lower when you’re searching from that locale.
I love Skyscanner! It was one of the first sites/apps I began to use when searching for flight deals. It scans over 1,200 sites at once and finds the cheapest plane tickets. You’re able to compare flight information such as times, and you can even book directly with the airline without any added fees. Another good thing about Skyscanner is that it allows you to track a specific flight to see when or if the fare drops.
Google Flights is now my go-to next to Skyscanner when I am looking to book a trip. It allows you to search for, compare, and purchase flights directly from the airline. You can also watch flights to a specific destination during a specific timeframe. Google Flights allows you to do a regular flight search or if you’re looking to travel to a specific destination or just don’t know where you’d want to go but know when Google Flights can help you with their “Discover Destinations” feature.
Momondo aggregates fares from multiple websites to bring you the best travel deals including hotel rates. Momondo, unlike other travel booking sites, includes smaller, budget airlines and even allows you to combine flights from different airlines. Momondo uses a graph to let you know if the dates for which you’re searching is during a peak time when prices are more expensive.
The Hopper app crunches data to suggest when the best flight prices are available. Letting you know when is the best time to buy a flight or book a hotel.
I wouldn’t suggest using Skiplagged techniques until you’re a pro-traveler. Why? Skiplagged isn’t your average flight search engine. This site uses “hidden city ticketing” or what some people call “ghost flights” AKA flight hacking to find you the best deals on plane tickets. It involves you, the traveler, missing at least one leg of your flight. Most people will book a ticket with multiple stops with one of the stops being their actual destination, which is the layover city.
Yes, Groupon is great for travel. You can not only find travel deals to local and even exotic destinations via Groupon Getaways but also find activities to do once you arrive. Don’t sleep on Groupon. Just a word of caution though. Check reviews before booking.
Did you know that you can put your plane ticket on layaway? Yes, with Airfordable you can! If you are unable to pay-in-full for your flight to your dream destination in one lump sum, you can pay for it in installments.
Whatever you do, do NOT call the airline if you see an error fare. I repeat, DO NOT CALL THE AIRLINE!!!
Hotel deals are hard to come by. However, sites like The Flight Deal shares error hotel deals. I have used sites like Expedia and Travelocity, but there really isn’t a difference when using one versus the other because Expedia basically owns them all. Seriously, Expedia owns Travelocity, Orbitz, CarRentals.com, Hotwire, CheapTickets, Trivago, Venere.com, and Hotels.com. I have learned that sometimes going through the hotel directly can help you save a bit of change too. If hotels are too expensive I turn to Airbnb.
Getting an Airbnb takes a lot of research though. But I will get to that in another post.
Have a Credit Card Specifically for Travel
Listen, I do not like to use credit cards, but whenever I am booking travel or whenever I travel, I like to use my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I love the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card because I can earn 2 points for every $1 that I spend with the card on travel or dining purchases. Plus, if you purchase travel through Chase, your points are worth even more.
Research, Research, Research!
I cannot say this enough. Whether it is an airline, hotel, city or country, do your research! Researching can make or break your trip. There is nothing like planning what you think is your perfect getaway, to only realize when you get there that the hotel or Airbnb you booked is rundown or in a sketchy location. Or the airline is known for having flight delays and poor customer service.
Whenever I go anywhere I use a combination of TripAdvisor, asking family or friends for recommendations, and asking around in the travel groups I’m a part of. Word of mouth and personal experiences are usually the best ways to find a good place to visit or stay.
What are your favorite travel sites and apps to find the best travel deals?
All opinions are my own and are honest. This post contains affiliate links.