Last Updated: 4/11/23 | April 11th, 2023
Finding the best travel deals is a matter of timing.
A lot of people think travel is just expensive, but in reality, there are incredible deals happening all the time. The often don’t last too long, and you have to act quickly. That can sometimes be a problem when a deal requires jumping on a plane tomorrow (how many people can do that?).
Fortunately, most deals are for months in the future, giving you ample time to plan your schedule.
Often I will book a flight and then figure out my plans.
Since you can usually cancel a flight within 24 hours without incurring a fee, I lock in the deal and then figure out if I can make it work. Sometimes I can (like the $1,200 USD business-class flight from LA to Stockholm round-trip); sometimes I can’t (like the $400 USD New Zealand flights I had to cancel).
I am always looking out for deals.
Today, I want to tell you where I go for travel deals, tips, and expert advice. After all, these resources focus solely on this one aspect of travel, so why not use them? I can’t know everything, so I rely on specialists. If travel were a hospital, I would be your general practitioner.
Here’s a quick look at the top companies I use and suggest:
Quick Overview: Best Travel Deals
For a full breakdown of each company and what they are best for, click on the links below to jump to that section:
Table of Contents
Where to Find the Best Flight Deals
When it comes to finding flight deals, I use these four websites for last-minute deals. There are always finding new (and tempting) last minute flights — often for a fraction of what you would pay otherwise. If you’re looking for something last minute and are flexible on where and when you go, use these websites:
- The Flight Deal – This is a great resource for finding cheap flights from the USA. If you’re based in the States, start your research here!
- Secret Flying – This cheap flight website finds “error fares” (when airlines make pricing mistakes) to and from destinations all around the globe.
- Holiday Pirates – No matter where you’re based this is a great cheap flight website so be sure to always check here for more deals.
- Going – Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights, this is another awesome resource for finding flight deals from the US. They offer free flight alerts, and with a premium membership you get access to even more deals as soon as they find them.
If you’re simply looking to book a flight, check out the search engines below. It’s important to remember that there is no one best online booking website. All the search engine websites have blind spots so it’s important to search a few different places before you book your flight. Generally, the BEST booking sites are the following:
- Skyscanner – Skyscanner is a very intuitive platform that lets you search for an open-ended trip. If you’re not 100% sure where you want to go (or when) then start your search with Skyscanner.
- Google Flights – A good all-around flight search website to include in your cheap flight arsenal.
I always start my searches with Skyscanner. They search booking websites and airlines all around the world to ensure that no deal is missed. They cast the widest net and constantly are vetting the sites they search. Start with them!
Where to Find the Best Travel Hacking News
When it comes to finding the latest in airline and frequent flier news, I turn to these sites, which give me the latest on the changes in the industry and loyalty programs, and any travel hacking news that might be important:
- View from the Wing – This is where I go for airline and frequent flier news.
- The Points Guy – A great resource for credit card and travel hacking news and information.
- One Mile at a Time – This is a great website for credit card, in-flight experiences, and frequent flier news.
- Skift – The best place for all airline and travel industry news.
For Australia and New Zealand travel hacking, visit Points Hack.
For Canada, use Prince of Travel.
For the UK, Head for Points.
As a very, very, very avid travel hacker (and while I have my own special tricks and tips), when you’re overseas a lot, it’s hard to stay up to date on your own so I use these three sites to keep me in the loop.
- Travel Hacking 101: A Beginner’s Guide
- How I Earn 1 Million Frequent Flier Miles Every Year
- The Best Travel Credit Cards
Where to Find the Best Cruise Deals
In my mind, there is only one cruise deal website worth following: CruiseSheet. This site consistently has some of the lowest rates out there, and its interface is beautiful.
If I don’t find anything on CruiseSheet or want to double-check a price, I go to the second-best website, vacationstogo.com.
Where to Find the Best Transportation Deals
If you’re looking for budget transportation, these are the websites you’ll want to check. Cheap buses, trains, and rideshare apps can help keep your transportation costs low, giving you more time on the road. Here are my favorites:
- FlixBus – A budget-friendly bus company routes all across Europe and parts of the USA.
- Eurail – Offers a variety of discounted train passes for both individual countries as well as entire regions of Europe, including passes for the entire continent.
- Rome2Rio – A helpful resource for finding and comparing budget transportation options.
- BlaBlaCar – A rideshare app that pairs travelers with local drivers who are looking to pick up passengers for a small fee.
- RVShare – A sharing economy platform for renting RVs and camper vans directly from locals.
- Turo – A car rental app that enables you to rent cars for short periods of time from locals.
- Japan Rail Pass – A budget-friendly train pass exclusively for Japan. Comes in 7, 14, and 21-day passes.
- Discover Cars – A comprehensive rental car aggregator for destinations all around the globe.
- A Complete Guide to the Japan Rail Pass
- A Complete Guide to the Eurail Global Pass
- How to Find a Cheap Rental Car
Where to Find the Best Accommodation Deals
From hotels to hostels to camping, there are tons of great websites out there to help you find deals and save money. Here are my suggestions to help you get started:
- Booking.com – This is the best website for finding hotels no matter where you are in the world. I usually start my search for hotel rooms here.
- Agoda.com – While you can use Agoda for finding hotels worldwide, I specifically use Agoda when looking for hotels in Asia. This seems to be where they go above and beyond the competition.
- Campspace – This app connects you with locals renting out plots of land, RVs, cabins, and camper vans ranging from rustic to glamping.
- Trusted Housesitters – Helps travelers connect with locals looking for house and pet sitters. Great for slow travelers/long-term travelers.
- Hostelworld – They are hands-down the best resource for finding budget-friendly hostels around the world. I use them every time I travel and you should too!
Note: I’ve stopped recommending Airbnb for a few reasons. You can find out why I am no longer a fan of Airbnb in this post.
- How to Find a Cheap Hotel Room: Sites to Use and Sites to Avoid
- How to Start House Sitting
- How to Pick a Good Hostel
- How to Find the Perfect Apartment for Vacation Rentals
Where to Find the Best Tour Deals
For tours and excursions, I keep an eye on the following companies by subscribing to their emails too:
- The Nomadic Network (TNN) – TNN is a global community for travel lovers that I created in 2019. We’re now offering group tours for people who want to travel — not simply vacation. We work with local guides and in places where we have deep experience, you’ll get a sense of what it’s really like to live in each destination!
- Intrepid Travel – After TNN, this is my favorite small-group tour company. They hire local guides and are great for both solo travelers and couples/groups.
- Walks – Walks operates small group tours with local guides in some of the best cities around the world.
- Devour Food Tours – My go-to food tour company, with tours all around Euopre and the US.
- EatWith – Allows you to eat home cooked meals with local cooks. Everyone sets their own price (so prices can vary wildly depending on the cook) but this is a great way to do something different, pick a local’s brain, and make a new friend.
- Get Your Guide – A huge activity aggregator where you can find and book all kinds of activities, from cooking classes to walking tours to multi-day local excursions.
READ MORE: How to Pick the Best Tour Company
Where I Find the Best Travel Insurance Deals
I never travel anywhere without travel insurance. After dealing with injuries and emergencies abroad (and knowing plenty of other travelers who have been injured or robbed on the road) I always make sure I have comprehensive medical and travel insurance before I leave home. Here are my recommended companies for finding the best travel insurance:
- SafetyWing – This is my go-to travel insurance company. They offer affordable monthly plans with a deductible. Great for digital nomads and frugal travelers!
- Insure My Trip – If you’re over 70 and looking for insurance, this is the best place to find it!
- Medjet – Medjet is a good option for people who are going to be far from home and want added evacuation coverage. It’s great for solo travelers and super affordable.
- The Best Travel Insurance Companies
- Do You Need Medical Evacuation Coverage?
- A Complete Guide to Buying Travel Insurance
While I think my site is amazing for your on-the-ground tips, tricks, and advice needs, for when you need travel deals to get you to where you want to go, use the companies above. They’re what I use, and they’ve never steered me wrong! They’ll save you the most money!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- SafetyWing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Want to Travel for Free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.
Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.