We’ve made it to the final installment of my mini-series on how I save for a vacation! I’ve written about how I save money by creating a travel fund. I’ve also talked about some travel hacking tips that I use to get free airfare and flights. Sometimes though, I may not have enough miles and points to get these free trips. Today, I want to share with you a short and sweet post on the travel apps and websites I use to find the best prices for hotels and flights.
Travel Websites Roundup
When I have a specific destination in mind, the two websites I use most are Ita Matrix and Google Flights. They both work like most travel search engines in that you enter your desired dates and destination and the results are a list of carriers and prices for those dates.
Nothing too impressive right? Well, what I really like about both websites is the ability to search the ‘calendar of lowest fares’. I’m pretty flexible and I don’t tend to have specific dates in mind. If you too are flexible, you can find some amazing deals! How this works is, instead of searching for specific dates, you can see a calendar view and see what the average price is for the days of that month. They each highlight the lowest fare of that month:
Keeping your dates open, you can find some great deals and save a lot of money!
For a place to stay, I have used Airbnb and have had great experiences. However, I do love what hotels can offer! I rely on hotels 70+% of the time because I know it’s reliable, safe, and I know what to expect.
When I’m searching for a hotel, I know I can use the standard Expedia, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, etc. I’ve used those and they are great, but today I want to tell you about Trivago. Instead of having to go to each hotel website individually, Trivago aggregates all of the prices from each website so you can easily view which one has the best price.
If I use the above image as an example, I can see, for that Hotel, given my search dates, the website I would find the best price on is TripAdvisor. Great tool to have!
Travel Apps Roundup
I have two travel apps that I want to recommend. If I don’t have a destination in mind, I like going on AirfareWatchDog to see what travel deals are going on from a departing city that I choose.
I choose Boston as my departure and the results shown are the great fares you can find leaving from Boston. You can see the results by price (low to high) or by destination (alphabetical). Once you find a fare that you like click on it and it will give you additional information about how to get the fare.
If I liked this deal and wanted to get it, I would see that I would have to travel on a Tuesday, travel by May 23 and that I would find the price on American Airlines or CheapAir.com.
If you’re flexible with your travel plans, you can find some amazing deals!
The last travel app I want to mention is Wallaby. This is going back to accumulating rewards and points, but I did want to let you know how great it is. Wallaby is an app that tells you how to maximize your rewards with the credit cards you have.
If you have a lot of credit cards, it may be difficult to remember which one to use and where to get the most rewards. Enter wallaby!
It’s very simple to use. I enter which credit cards I have and then it shows me based on my cards, which one to use and where. There are three tabs as seen above. It can show you which one to use based on what’s nearby your location. The online tab shows you based on which website you are shopping on which card to use. The final tab is a general categories tab that is like a rule of thumb, based on X category, use this card.
We finally made it to the end of my mini-series! This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways you can save, but these are some of my tips that I personally use to help get you started.
Let me know in the comments where you are planning to travel to next!