Our Favorite Travel Sites
If the summer travel bug hasn’t gotten you yet, it surely will soon! Whether you are planning a trip for tomorrow or months from now, making sure you are using the best tools to allow you to save time and money! We’re sharing our favorites with you – and we’re not even sponsored!
Google Flights – google.com/flights
This (almost) all-encompassing look at flights quickly shows you the price of the flight you want, as well as the cost of the flights for days and months surrounding your trip. Ads are minimal and pop-ups are non-existent, something that I’ve disliked very much on competing websites I have used. In addition, search results clearly indicate if the price is a ‘basic economy’ which doesn’t include bags or assigned seats. This allows you to quickly factor in all costs of the flights instead of finding these details much later.
Priceline – priceline.com
This is my hotel go-to site if I’m not redeeming points as a part of a rewards program. This site single handedly enabled me to travel during my financially lean college years and I continue to use it to this day. What’s so great about it? Four star hotel rooms for significantly less than most list prices for starters. Secondly, the ability to use the express deal option can help save more than 60% off the list hotel price. In this scenario, you agree to pay a predetermined amount, inclusive of taxes and fees. You pick the hotel star rating, the bed type and the neighborhood and Priceline picks the exact hotel for you. While it may seem nerve-wracking to agree to pay for a hotel before you know the specific name, this has always worked well for me. In fact, it’s allowed me to stay at much nicer hotels than I could have traditionally afforded. For instance, on a quick trip to New York during college, I stayed on the 44th floor with a room facing Times Square for less than $100.00.
Expedia – Expedia.com
While this is not my first choice, if I’m not finding the price for flights or hotels I want, I always check with Expedia to confirm I’m finding the lowest price available. While there are plenty of reasons to book hotels, flights and car rentals through the company you are using, a good sanity check on costs can be found at Expedia. For example, a night at a 4 star hotel in Chicago on Expedia could be $150.00, but listed on the hotel’s website for much more. You will have to decide if it’s worth gaining potential hotel points and other rewards in exchange for the increased price.
While these sites are my favorite, the best rule of thumb is to check more than one website before booking. It takes only seconds to do so and can often save you money for your next adventure!