Around this time of year, I feel the need to get out of the house. Since I can’t yet travel to space on Virgin Galactic, I often look for ways to find travel deals at some popular sites. By browsing some of the well known travel sites and online resources available, you’re bound to find great savings for any trip you plan carefully. Here’s a list of the sites I use when planning for an affordable vacation:
How To Get The Best Travel Deals For Budget Vacations
1. Expedia: Putting Yourself Up in Style
Expedia can help you with vacation packages, hotels, cruises, flights, cars, and more. If you’re willing to be flexible, you can go to the Deals & Offers section to see what’s on tap. For instance, say you want a spur of the moment trip to a popular destination like Las Vegas or San Francisco and need a hotel room. Expedia can show you a list of hotel rooms that range in price from the ultra-cheap to less than $150 a day. For other destinations, check out the drop down box to find last-minute deals in other cities such as Atlanta, Charleston, Vancouver, or even cities in Europe or the Caribbean.
If you want to plan ahead, you can book early for package deals. That way, you could explore popular destinations like Hawaii and Florida and budget in extra money for sunblock and souvenirs. Going this route, you could book a flight to Honolulu and four nights at a hotel there for as low as $501 — saving 30% off the regular prices. Generally, any day on the North Shore is a good day, but a day that costs me less is even better.
Booking trips on Expedia can also lead to rewards. If your trips are eligible, you could save up the reward points to redeem for travel rewards, gift cards, home products, and other benefits.
For more of our insights on this, you can check out our Expedia deals and travel discounts page.
2. Travelocity Will Get Us There
Travelocity has lots for the budget-minded traveler, too. For example, if you’re interested in a particular activity, you can specify what you’d like to do and the site will respond with different selections. You can choose categories like attractions, shows and events, tours and activities, outdoors, and dining for the city you want to visit.
When I asked for activities in Boston, Travelocity let me know about the Boston CityPass, which gives discounts to venues like a variety of museums, the aquarium, and an observatory.
How about a cruise instead? If you want to go to sea, Travelocity can find you plenty of cruise deals. An inside cabin might not have a great view, but it will generally cost less than a suite. A limited-time offer might yield a great price, too. If you’ve never been on a cruise before, Travelocity has a helpful FAQ for first-time cruisers.
Sometimes, a low-cost flight can become a good motivator to get out of town. I like the Low Fare Alert, which is an RSS feed you can add to your reader so you don’t have to keep tabs on the fares yourself. You might even save 20% or more on your fare. The FareFinder Search feature allows you to add in the number of people who are traveling with you, and determines if they’re kids, seniors, or adults.
3. Priceline.com: Get a Trip!
Booking travel packages is a great savings strategy when using Priceline. You can bundle a flight, hotel, and car for discounts. If you prefer, you can go the Name Your Own Price route. This strategy might save you up to $100 for hotel rooms.
When I looked at flights from Tulsa to Portland along with hotel accommodations, I found packages that ranged from just above $500 to more than $600. I was able to sort the deals by most popular, lowest price, star rating, and by hotel names and their locations. Adding a car rental might cost as low as $27 a day. It should be easy enough to book through Priceline’s website or through their call in number to get started on your getaway.
One great benefit to booking with Priceline is its Pricedrop Protection. If you’re eligible, you can get up to $300 back if your flight drops in price, and up to $600 back if your vacation package drops in price.
And one more feature to keep in mind for family reunions or other gatherings: Priceline can help with group hotel reservations.
So what are you waiting for? Time to pack your bags!