Best Travel Sites
Deals and Tips

I've built this section of best travel sites including tips to save you money on many aspects of travel including cheap airfares, cheap cruises, cheap hotel deals, cheap gas prices and the best car rental deals. Since travel is so expensive it's important to save in every way that we can.




BEST TRAVEL SITES

Airlines/Airfares

Best Travel Sites

Tips:

  • Many experts seem to agree that you can get the best Airfare on Tuesdays, so try to book your flights on Tuesday if possible. Many also suggest that you should purchase around 3pm Eastern on a Tuesday or shortly thereafter.
  • Depart and/or return on Wednesday or Tuesday if possible for domestic travel. If those days are inconvenient for you, it appears that Saturday is your next best day to depart and Monday is your next best day to return. Friday and Sunday appear to be the most expensive days to travel domestic.
  • Cheapest time to fly is early in the morning (the crack of dawn); around dinner time; and the overnight flights.
  • Book 21 days to 6 weeks in advance if possible. A minimum 14-day advance purchase is preferred.
  • If you need a hotel and/or car rental in addition to airfare, you can usually save a great deal of money by booking them together as a package deal. Price them separately and together just to be certain.
  • According to new D.O.T. passengers will be able to hold a reservation without penalty, for 24 hours after the reservation is made, if they make the reservation one week or more prior to a flight's departure date. This means that even after you have booked your flight, you should continue to check flight prices up until the next day and if you find a much better price, you have the option to rebook.
  • Be certain to check Southwest Airlines rates separately as they don't sell seats on any OTA's-Online Travel Agencies like Priceline, Expedia, etc.

Airline Baggage Fees

When comparing the price of Airfares, don’t forget to add-in the cost of baggage fees. Frankly, I think that these fees are a rip-off, and we all know that the Airlines have used these fees to boost their profits. The only way to avoid these fees is to use carriers that still do not charge for baggage, or at least provide the first bag for free. Add the fare and baggage fees and use whoever is the least expensive, if the best price is your goal.


Best Baggage Deals:

  • Southwest Airlines: 2 free checked bags per person
  • JetBlue: 1 free checked bag per person
Best Travel Sites

Snacks/Meals:

Since most Airlines no longer provide a free meal and many even charge for a snack, I suggest you bring your own snacks. Do not bring your own beverages, however, because of the Airlines liquid carry-on limitations.


Best Travel Sites:

priceline.com


Southwest.com
There are 2 reasons that I suggest you price your tickets on Southwest. (1) As I state above, your first 2 bags per person are free. This will save you anywhere from $40 to $50 dollars. (2) They have a fantastic tool available on their site that will tell you the cheapest days to fly with them. It's called the Low Fare Calendar. You can get to this calendar a few ways, but here's the easiest: Go to southwest.com, hover your pointer over "Air" and you'll see Low Fare Calendar option. Simply plug in your travel information and pricing will come up.


Cruises

Cruise Ship

Tips:

  • You can get the best prices for cruises in September and October.
  • You may want to visit CruiseCritic.com, especially if you're new to cruising, they have over 80,000 reviews and inform you of deals.

Best Travel Sites:

Cayole.com
I love this site! It's so easy to use. It helps you to find cruise deals. You simply select where you'd like to go, select where you're departing from, select a specific cruise line or you can select "any," select the highest price you can pay, select the specific cabin style you'd prefer or select "any," you can select departure dates or you can leave it blank for the best available prices and an option of dates, select how many nights you'd like to be on the cruise, then click "View All Cruises". A list of available options with prices will come up. It also gives you future price predictions that tell you whether they expect the prices to increase, decrease or remain about the same for your selections/options.

CruiseCompete.com
Cruise agents compete for best cruise prices on discounted cruise deals, so they're actually competing for your business.  They also have live chat agents available to help guide you through the process and answer your questions if you've never been on a cruise.

CruiseCritic.com
On this site you can see pricing information as well as reviews from travelers.

Lodging

Hotel Room

HOTELS

Tip(s):

  • In order to prepare to bid on Priceline, I highly recommend that you visit theBiddingTraveler.com, which helps to give you an idea of what to bid on Priceline by telling you what recent bids have been placed, rejected and won on Priceline. You may also wish to visit the following two message boards, BiddingForTravel.com and BetterBidding.com. BetterBidding.com also offers information for Hotwire as well.

Best Travel Sites:

Priceline.com
You can use the Name Your Own Price bidding feature where you'll likely get the best price, or if you don't wish to bid (where you're offer may be rejected, accepted or counter-offered), you can also use their Express Deals option. Typically you can save up to 60% off the rates that the hotels publish.  With the name-your-own-price option, you will not find out which hotel you're staying at until after you've paid, but you can select the star rating in advance.

Hotels.com
One of the great things about this site is that you can search hundreds of thousands of hotels and rooms/room rates at once. They also have a Welcome Rewards Program that's great for frequent travelers - you earn a free night's stay for every ten nights you spend at their member properties.


TripAdvisor
An extremely popular hotel review site. Use it to check on hotels prior to booking. Reviews from real people.

Expedia's 10 Top Deals

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Best Travel Sites:

Airbnb.com
This site is great if you're travelling and can't afford to stay in a Hotel; if you wish to rent out just a room, a boat house, apartment, or house of someone who is out of town; or if you're travelling and simply enjoy the company of others. It connects people that wish to rent out their digs to persons looking to rent for a day, a week or even a month. Then after their stay, each person leaves reviews for the other person(s), so you can read about the space and the people before staying there and/or accommodating them. The renter or homeowner makes some money, and the person that stays there, saves some money. Win-win.

HomeExchange.com
This is a home exchange or home swapping program that connects homeowners that wish to swap/trade homes when travelling. You pay HomeExchange.com an annual fee for the service.


Rental Cars

Visit the Cheap Rental Cars Page


Gasoline

Visit the Cheapest Gas Near Me & Gas Cost Calculator Page



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