Updated: 11/6/2018 | November 6th, 2018
Finding the best travel deals is a matter of timing.
A lot of people think travel is just plain expensive, but in reality, there are incredible deals happening all the time. They usually 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?), but in fact, 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 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 business-class flight from LA to Stockholm round-trip); sometimes I can’t (like the $400 New Zealand flights I had to cancel).
I am always looking out for deals.
Today, I want to give you a peek into where I go for travels 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 be everywhere and I can’t know everything, so I rely on the specialists. If travel were a hospital, I would be your general practitioner and these people below are the specialists I would consult with!
Here is where you will find the best travel deals online:
Where to Find the Best Flight Deals
When it comes to finding flight deals, I use these three websites for last minutes deals. There are always finding last minute flight deals. 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 America, start your research here!
- Secret Flying: If you’re based in Europe, this is the cheap flight website you’re going to want to start with as they can find amazing budget flights from Europe to 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.
- Scott’s Cheap Flights: Another awesome resource for finding flight deals from the US.
I’m subscribed to all of their newsletters so I don’t miss any flight deals. Getting all three in my inbox each day ensures I won’t miss anything in case one website doesn’t pick up the deal.
If you’re simply looking to book a flight, check otu best flight search engine and online booking websites listed below. It’s important to remember that there is no one best online booking website. All the search engine websites have blind spots. They all have strengths and weaknesses so it’s important to search a few different places before you book your flight.
Generally, the BEST booking sites are the following:
- Momondo – Momondo searches budget airlines that many other search engines don’t look at, so you’ll sometimes find cheaper flights here. Make it a habit of using Momondo in tandem with Skyscanner.
- 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.
- Kiwi – Kiwi recently updated their search platform, making it much more intuitive and user friendly. You can also search multiple cities and countries at once, making this a must-use platform when looking for budget flights.
- AirTreks – If you’re looking to plan a multi-city trip, AirTreks offers great dels for round-the-world adventures with multiple stops.
I always start my searches with Momondo. Momondo is a very legitimate website that returns the cheapest flight 92% of the time. They search booking websites and airlines all around the world to ensure that no deal goes unlooked. They cast the widest net and constantly are vetting the sites they search. Start with them! They are super legit.
Read more about getting cheap flight deals:
- The #1 Thing Travel Experts Do to Get Free Flights
- 5 Steps to Booking a Cheap Flight Online
- The Ultimate Guide to Finding Cheap Flights
Where to Find the Best Airline 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 – My go-to resource for the most up-to-date credit card and travel hacking news and info.
- One Mile at a Time – This is a great website for finding information about in-flight experences as well as frequent flier news.
- Mommy Points – An informative resource for families who collect points and miles. (It was recently purchased by The Points Guy but is still a solid resource for family travel information).
- Skift – A great resource for airline news and industry updates.
For Australia and New Zealand travel hacking, I consult Points Hack.
For Canada, I use Canadian Kilometers and 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.
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 their 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.
- Megabus – Another great budget bus company with routes throughout Europe, Canada, and the US.
- RailEurope – 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.
Where to Find the Best Hotel and Hostel Deals
Hotels deals are pretty hard to find and often so limited that they don’t apply to a lot of people. Plus, as a hostel and Airbnb lover (if you’re new to Airbnb, get $35 off your first stay), I frequently just use points for hotel rooms (they’re damn expensive!).
If you are looking for a hotel room, here are the two best booking websites for hotels. Don’t use anyone else. These two return the cheapest accommodation over everyone else.
- 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.
- Hostelworld – The best resource for finding budget-friendly hostels around the world.
- Hotels.com – Another great hotel resource for destinations around the world. They also have a reward program.
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:
- Intrepid Travel – This is my favorite small group tour company. They hire local guides and are great for both solo travelers and couples/groups.
- Busabout – Offers hop on, hop off bus trips all around Europe as well as sailing adventures and festival trips.
- Context Travel – Context offers incredible intellectual walking tours all around the world. If you love learning about history and culture, this is the tour for you!
- Walks – Walks operates small group tours with local guides in some of the best cities around the world.
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:
- World Nomads – This is my go-to travel insurance company. I’ve been using them since my first trip in 2003 and have used them for every trip since. Their coverage is comprehensive and their customer service is amazing.
- Insure My Trip – If you’re over 70 and looking for insurance, this is the best place to find it!
My Overall Top 5 Websites for Travel Deals
If I had to boil all of these amazing and helpful travel resources down to just my top 5, these are the websites I would choose. They provide the best value and are the travel resources I use the most:
- Momondo – Best flight search engine
- Booking.com – Best hotel booking site
- Hostelworld – Best hostel booking site
- Airbnb – Best apartment booking site
- World Nomads – Best travel insurance
Learn More of My Travel Hacking Secrets!
Download our free guide to travel hacking and learn how to get free flights and accommodation. You will learn:
- Is Travel Hacking Really a Scam?
- How To Pick a Credit Card
- How To Earn Miles for Free Flights & Hotels
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
To find the best budget accommodation, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time. You can book your hostel – if you want that instead – with Hostelworld as they have the most comprehensive inventory.
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. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and I think will help you too!