If you do a Google search you will come up with tons of lists for budget travel sites including Kayak, Priceline and the likes. Even before I really understood budget travel I made some successful bids on Priceline.
I was surprised that my favorite sites were most often not on any of the lists so I thought I would share my favorite budget travel sites with you. Now in no particular order…
#1 Flyer talk is an interactive community that provides up-to-date information on travel-related loyalty reward programs. It’s the hub that brings everyone together — from leisure travelers to mileage junkies — to converse about programs, get the latest program buzz or discuss how to maximize points or miles. You’ll even get some good general travel information!This is the site where I found out about my first mistake fare and was able to purchase a ticket from JFK to Milan for less than $250 round trip! I highly recommend reading the mileage run forum every now and then to find great airline deals.
#2 TripAdvisor is the most popular hotel-review site, offering millions of professional and amateur reviews both in the U.S. and overseas. I use this site to find out where to eat, where to stay, and what to do. I love the travel forums for finding out when the best day or time is to visit an attraction. I have been using TripAdvisor for years now. You can read my reviews here. I don’t book a room until I read the reviews on TripAdvisor. You can book travel on TripAdvisor and see prices from other sites like Expedia and Hotels.com. They also have alternative lodging like hostels and for rent by owner.
#3 The Points Guy focuses mainly on earning points, which you need to be doing! But he also shares information on budget travel deals, reviews, and travel industry news and alerts. It is from The Points Guy that I learned about a mistake fare to South Africa and was able to purchase 2 round trip tickets to Johannesburg from JFK for under $550! I recommend signing up for his email newsletter and following him on Facebook.
#4 Airfarewatchdog is a great site that allows you to set up a notification when the airfare you are looking for drops in price. Their Facebook pages says they “are an airfare monitoring and alert site that provides free fare alerts to subscribers and visitors. We include fares on all airlines, including Southwest, Allegiant, and some you may never have heard of”. If you have plans to go somewhere or if you are dreaming of your next vacation go ahead and set up an alert for a price drop so that you can be sure and get the best deal!
#5 Groupon – I am sure you have heard of Groupon. Maybe you have even used them for a great deal for a restaurant while at home. But have you searched for restaurant deals when you travel? I have used them for some great deals in Vegas. But in addition to food discounts did you know they have getaways? Right now I see deals in Orlando, NYC, Vegas, and Boston to name a few. Be sure and purchase your Groupons through a travel shopping portal to earn travel points on top of your savings.
#6 Travelzoo is a publisher of travel, entertainment deals and local deals. Their Deal Experts research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value. You can sign up for their newsletter or like them on Facebook for all the latest deals.
These are just a few of my favorite sites for planning a cheap vacation or getaway. Have you used any of these sites? Are there others you would recommend?
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The Penny Pinching Globetrotter