Life has never been better for travelers since the Internet began to offer some amazing deals at the click of a mouse. Several million clicks later, we’ve got hundreds of websites that cater to ticketing, hotel stays, car rentals, and itinerary planners. Which is precisely why we’ve filtered out the very best ones for you, well in time to snag some neat deals for your next vacation.
Before we go any further, you need to keep in mind that getting an actual cost-cutting deal on the Internet is no easier than getting a chance to see a blue moon. It needs a lot of research, and a lot more patience. Travel portals could be giving the impression of handing you a not-to-be-missed offer, but remember that even they’re running a business after all. So, it’s better to check, double check, and check some more, especially if you’re actually looking to save money.
Those looking for deals and steals should not miss this site, as it ranks among the best travel sites to book airline tickets. It would also help if you have coupons from other travel sites that you can redeem on airfarewatchdog.
The great thing that Yapta does is that it sends you a tweet or a mail if the cost of your favored seat drops. When the price drops after you’ve made the purchase, the airline usually refunds you the difference in the form of vouchers.
Momondo may not be ‘up there’ with the mighty websites, but it does promise to show you fares that are rock bottom in the truest sense. The guys here say that their in-depth study of all (yes, all) sources of flight tickets lets them compare prices, and offer you the cheapest one.
A great plus with Tripadvisor is the hundreds and hundreds of reviews you get to read for any hotel you wish to stay at. Add to that, you sometimes get pictures as well, so you know you’re not going to be staying at some dodgy place.
Another site from the TripAdvisor stable, Seatguru may not exactly save you money, but it does help make your journey comfortable. What it does is novel, as it lets you check out the plane’s layout to help you understand the pros and cons of every seat. So, if you want a seat with more leg room, or perhaps one that’s close to the exit, this is the site to check out.
Hotels has it all in its name, really, but do use this site to check out some family-operated hotels, especially when you’re traveling to Europe. These are affordable, cozy, safe, and are mostly located in central areas.
Backpackers and shoestring travelers will find a choice of hostels (not hotels, mind you) to choose from on this site. It has over 50,000 listings from close to 10,000 cities worldwide.
We generally assume that a last-minute booking will cost us a fortune, but it’s not always so. Cruise companies usually offer unbooked cabins at a fraction of the cost as departure dates near. Lastminute is one such site which lets you plan your trip at throwaway prices.
For those who think it’s a sin to pay for all those over-priced hotels, house sitting (mostly combined with pet sitting) is a fabulous option. This site has a long list of people who open their homes to (responsible) travelers who usually don’t mind house sitting and caring for their pets. So, homeowners get their peace of mind while they’re away, while the house sitters enjoy a free stay in a fabulous city. Win-win!
Professional guides are fine, but does it compare to walking in a European city along with a local, who is volunteering to show you around? Yes, this site lets you take planned city tours around Europe, guided by a freelancing local, who does not charge you, but only takes tips.
There’s this bunch of travel enthusiasts (6 million, actually), who have set up this website to enable like-minded travelers to meet up, act as guides, or offer homestays in order to make a trip more personalized and cost-effective. It’s definitely worth a look.
We usually tend to save up cent by cent to gift ourselves a holiday that pampers and enlivens us. It may, therefore, be a little absurd to be cagey with the buck when we go on vacations. But they do say that ‘money saved is money earned’, so it ain’t too bad if you can travel cheap. Just keep in mind that to save a lot more, you may need to do a lot more research than snag freebies from websites.