There are so many travel sites to use that are helpful, but these are my top picks.
Travel Pirates finds the cheapest rates on flights, cruises, hotels, tours, and vacation packages. But you’ll have to book quick before prices rise or the deals expire. Once they expire, they’re hidden from the homepage, but you can still browse to see past deals, if you’re curious to see what you missed out on. Travel Pirates lists the best deals to all over the U.S. and to other countries. It might seem overwhelming to have to sift through, but there is a filter option at the top of the page so you can set your departure city or cities. Or if you have an idea of the destination you want to visit, you can set that too. You can also filter by category and by the month you plan to travel. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite sites to plan my next trips.
Scott’s Cheap Flights
Scott’s Cheap Flights is a membership service that combs the internet for the best prices. Sometimes airlines post mistake fares and rare deals. Scott’s Cheap Flights will post these deals and also send you an email and alert you, so you don’t miss out on a great deal. I actually pay for the membership to get the premium deals. It’s $49 USD per year and I think it’s totally worth it. Buying even just one flight pays for itself, and then some. There’s also a free version of the membership, which will send you some good deals, but the best are in the premium membership.
I like using Google Flights for when I have a specific destination in mind because of the calendar feature. When you click on a departure date and on a return date, you can see how much it will cost right on that day and the surrounding days. You can easily adjust the dates to find the right price that fits your budget.
Justfly scans the internet and lists the best flight deals from all airlines. It even gives the option to “watch” the flight and can email you to let you know if flight prices are rising or dropping.
Secret Escapes handpicks luxury hotels and has flash sales that last around 10 days each. A great feature I absolutely love is when you click on a hotel deal, there’s a Flight Finder section that will show how much a flight would be from the list of major US cities to the airport closest to where the hotel is. Membership is free and members get a weekly email of current sales.
Subscribe to all major airline newsletters. There are always great sales and promotions that last a day or two, and who better to get these deals from than directly from the source. You can even save on booking fees from booking directly with the airline. Also, some airlines like Southwest don’t show up in travel search engines, so you want to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Junk email box
Make a separate email just for “junk” email because these email alerts and email newsletters that you will get from travel sites can be overwhelming. But they are totally worth the chaotic inbox. You’ll be happier that you saved a couple extra hundred dollars to spend while on vacation.
One more thing…
When booking flights, I always compare prices on different search engine sites with airline sites. If I find a great deal on a search engine, I will always check the airline’s website to see if prices are the same or even cheaper (avoiding booking fees, if any). I tend to book directly with airlines because of their cancellation policies. Most airlines allow you to cancel within 24 hours of booking. If I need to change flights or cancel for any reason, I do find it easier to deal with the airline directly instead of a third party.
And, it’s best to always buy travel insurance, especially for international flights. I learned that the hard way!
Also, I suggest looking at booking sites in private browsers. Website cookies will remember that you have visited a page and will increase the prices the next time you revisit the site.
Okay, so maybe that was three things!