Most people I know love to travel. After a few years of needing to stick around home, they can’t wait to get out and see the world. But what if you think your budget doesn’t allow for an extravagant trip? That’s where the best discount travel sites come in.
Nowadays, some amazing travel sites work kind of like your own personal travel agent to help you find great deals on travel.
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Best Discount Travel Sites
If the cost of travel has kept you from living out your wanderlust dreams, don’t wait any longer! These best discount travel sites will help you maximize your vacation fund as you plan your next getaway.
KAYAK is a great place to start when looking for great deals on travel. Its travel search engines scan for prices gathered from hundreds of travel sites, all in one spot.
It’s most commonly used to book flights, but you can also use it to search for deals on hotel stays, rental cars, things to do, travel packages, and even trains and buses.
Can’t decide where to go on vacation? There’s an Anywhere search feature that helps you find low-priced deals on travel for specific dates.
And if you do have a specific destination in mind, their quick color coding (green/yellow/red) shows you at-a-glance pricing in case you have some flexibility on your dates.
If you’re not ready to book yet, you can set up a Price Alert to monitor prices and receive email updates when they change.
Once you find a flight you’re interested in, use the links on KAYAK to book directly on the airline’s website.
I like that KAYAK has a whole section on Airline Fees that gives you up-to-date information on any additional fees that you might find when you book online or once you show up at the airport.
For extra savings and rewards, sign up for the free KAYAK Explorer Loyalty Program to earn points when you book select hotels via the KAYAK app. You’ll get an automatic 2,000 bonus points when you enroll in the app.
TripAdvisor is a great travel site for not only booking your stay but also finding fun things to do and places to go while you’re there.
It combines information with a robust rating system and comments from previous travelers to help you discover more information about your chosen destination.
TripAdvisor also helps you book hotels (via Expedia) and vacation rentals as well as top experiences. You can even hire a Trip Designer to pull the whole thing together!
You probably won’t book your flight via TripAdvisor, but once you’ve decided on where you’re going, dig into the website to fully plan your trip. The reviews are very helpful and informative.
Know an attraction you want to visit? TripAdvisor will also help you find a place to stay, a place to eat, or other things to do nearby – all with a rating system so you don’t wind up accidentally visiting a dud.
Priceline.com was one of the first discount travel sites, coming on the scene in 1998. Their initial rise to fame was the “Name Your Price” feature that allowed customers to make an offer on their flight.
While this feature is no longer available, you can still use Priceline.com to save on hotels, rental cars, flights, and even cruises.
And since you can book all of these through Priceline.com, they offer a Bundle + Save option that lets you add a rental car and/or flight and/or hotel stay to possibly save even more when you book together.
When booking a hotel stay, you can save even more by looking at their Pricebreakers. You’ll see three popular hotels at a heavily discounted price, click choose, and then see which hotel was chosen for you after you book.
This is very similar to their Express Deals option in which they give you some details of the hotel you’re booking (like star rating and general location), but you won’t see which hotel you’ve booked until you pay.
One pro of booking through Priceline.com is that they offer free cancellation on most hotels and rental cars, in case your plans change as they so often do.
Be sure to download their mobile app for exclusive app-only savings opportunities.
PS – Priceline.com and KAYAK are both part of Booking Holdings, Inc.
The Expedia Group includes multiple travel brands that help travelers find the right trip at the right price. We’ve included these together on the list since they have pretty similar layouts (although slightly different focuses).
With a name like Hotels.com, the expectation is pretty clear: you’ll be able to find a place to stay, and most likely even save on your reservation.
It’s simple to get started: just enter your location, dates, and traveler details to find hotels that fit your criteria.
But if you want to save money when you book (of course you do, right?), you’ll want to search via the Hotel Deals Finder to search over 10,000 deals across the globe, especially in popular destinations.
Many times you can opt to pay a little extra for a refundable rate on your room as well as pay when you stay versus in advance.
Join their Rewards program to unlock secret prices and get an extra 10% off your stay. You’ll also earn 1 reward night for every 10 nights you stay through Hotels.com.
You’ll also want to use the Hotels.com app to get instant access to better pricing and also earn rewards.
PS – Get cash for coins at Coinstar locations and you can turn it into a Hotels.com gift card for free!
Travelocity is similar to Hotels.com, but it focuses on not just your stay, but also flights, cars, packages, things to do, and cruises.
Its biggest strength is in travel packages in which you can book your stay, flight, rental car, and even some attractions all in one shot.
Yes, you could do the price comparison to see if you could save money by booking separately, but Travelocity’s bundle discount will likely get you higher savings than if you try it on your own.
Travelocity acts as your online travel agent, with listings for all-inclusive resorts, last-minute getaways, and family travel tips. They offer 24/7 support on social media and onsite virtual agents.
Most hotel stays booked through Travelocity offer free cancellation, just in case your plans change.
There’s also a Travelocity app that will alert you about your flight status and gate number and give you access to all your travel details. You can even message your hotel via the app!
Expedia looks a lot like Travelocity, with the ability to find deals on stays, flights, cars, packages, things to do, and cruises.
One big perk of using Expedia, however, is their rewards program. When you sign up or sign in to Expedia Rewards, you have the opportunity to save 10% or more on select hotels marked with a Member Price tag.
Plus, you’ll earn points on eligible bookings. Oh, and it’s free to join. You can use your points to redeem for a discounted hotel stay, rental car, attraction, or even a free flight!
And right now, you can use Expedia’s app to save 25% on select hotels with their weekly Off & Away coupon. Note that each destination’s coupons are available for just a week, so be sure to enable notifications!
I have used Hotwire many times to save on travel. You can search for hotels, cars, flights, and vacations through Hotwire.
But the most common way I’ve used Hotwire is to book last-minute hotel stays with their Hot Rate Deals. You’ll be able to see the rate, general location, and rating, but you won’t know which hotel you get until you pay.
These deals are always changing and you’ll never know what you’ll get, but you can save big if you’re willing to be a little flexible!
Hotwire offers similar Hot Rate Deals on rental cars and flights if you’re interested in rolling the dice a bit. Keep in mind that all Hot Rate Deals are final and cannot be canceled for a refund.
Save even more by using the Hotwire app. Their website states that Hot Rate Hotels always cost less in the app, so start there when you book.
You can also unlock an extra $10 off when you sign up for their email newsletter.
If you’re looking for a vacation rental instead of staying in a hotel, Vrbo is worth a look. It can be nice to have a home-like place to spread out, cook meals, swim in the pool, or just relax instead of being in a hotel.
Homeowners partner with Vrbo to list their availability, and every space is different. Some are on the beach, others allow for pets, some have swimming pools, and others offer free cancellation.
There are houses, condos/apartments, cabins, cottages, and even bungalows listed on Vrbo, all across the globe!
Visitors who have stayed at a location have the opportunity to rate and review, so you can get more information on whether or not you’ll be comfortable in a space before you book.
9. Google Flights
Google Flights uses the power of Google’s wealth of information to help you find just about any flight you can think of to a particular destination. It’s a great place to start if you want to know all of your options.
Enter your destination and dates and Google Flights will pull up the best flights (ranked based on price and convenience).
You can track prices if you want to (via email alert) for specific dates or any dates if you’re flexible, like if you want to visit Grandma or head back to your hometown.
Google Flights will also give you a heads up if there’s an airport nearby you can fly to for less.
This is oftentimes a great money-saving option as the larger airport may provide a shuttle to the smaller airport you originally wanted to fly to (for a fee, of course).
The date grid quickly shows you the lowest price if you’re flexible on dates, and the price history lets you know if the current prices you’re seeing are typical or if they’re high or low.
Not sure where to go? Google Flights will show you low-priced flights from your departure location and also give you some ideas if you want to book a trip in the next six months or so.
One thing I liked is that you can see the pros and cons of a particular airline before you book, like average legroom, whether or not there are power and/or USB outlets, Wi-Fi availability, typical delays, etc.
Oh, and one quirk – Google Flights will let you know that a Southwest flight exists, but it won’t show you the prices. You’ll need to visit Southwest’s website for that.
You can probably guess that Booking.com helps you find a good deal on your hotel stay. While it does that, it also helps you find flights, flight + hotel packages, car rentals, attractions, and even airport taxis.
Browse their Getaway Deals to save 15% or more on your stay, and subscribe to their newsletter for more Secret Deals. They even offer a free airport taxi with select bookings!
And we’re not just talking hotels here…you can browse by property type to stay in a private home, resort, B&B, villa, hostel, and more.
Booking.com is available in 43 languages with more than 28 million accommodation listings across the globe.
Note that Booking.com is part of Booking Holdings Inc., which also includes KAYAK and Priceline.com.
The team at Airfarewatchdog keeps you posted on the best airfare deals from your chosen location, whether you know exactly where you want to go or you just want to get away somewhere.
The setup is very simple: just enter your destination and Airfarewatchdog will let you know the best round trip current price (including dates) for that route.
For example, I searched from my local airport to my in-laws’ local airport in South Carolina and it told me the lowest price round-trip was a four-day trip in about three months.
I can book that trip now, or just set up a price alert and Airfarewatchdog will let me know when other good deals for that route pop up.
If you’re just looking for a getaway, Airfarewatchdog lets you quickly browse the best flight deals from your home airport. The website gives you the price, dates, and airline without having to click on anything!
Also, be sure to check out the Weekender section for the best weekend flights to popular destinations.
Staying home is all well and good, but sometimes you just need to get out and see the world.
Once you’ve saved up some money in your vacation fund, browse these discount travel sites to help you maximize your funds.
Taking some time away from work and the normal humdrum of life will be good for you, not to mention returning to a bank account that’s not completely drained.
Use one or more of these best travel sites and get started with your planning!