Cheap travel? It’s a real thing.
A lot of people are under the impression that travel is expensive. Though that may have been the case 5 years ago, the travel world has changed significantly. Travel is more affordable than ever now. Flying to Europe roundtrip for $300 is normal now (I refuse to pay any more than $500 round-trip, given the sheer amount of flight deals I see on the internet). A two-week trip to Asia for under $1000? Easy! You just need to know where and when to look for these deals.
I am always on the lookout for travel deals. Often times, finding a steeply discounted flight or hotel deal will prompt my next trip, even if I hadn’t planned on taking a trip. This could be you too! To help you out, here’s a complete list of my most useful budget travel planning resources. Hopefully, this streamlines your travel planning process immensely and saves you heaps of cash along the way.
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Where to Find the Best Flight Deals
Momondo | Whenever I begin looking for flights, Momondo is always Step #1 or 2. It’s the most user-friendly among all the airfare search sites. So much information is provided when you search, such as the best options for the cheapest, fastest or best overall flight options. It’ll also allow you to compare their flight prices to the prices of other aggregate airfare search sites so you know you’re getting the best deal.
Scott’s Cheap Flights | The best travel email subscription ever. Get notifications whenever there are mistake fares or extreme sales on flights, right to your inbox. Scott, I don’t know you, but what would I do without you…
The Flight Deal | My go-to flight sale site when I want to browse for places to go.
Secret Flying | I’ll check out this flight deal site every once in a while. Very similar to The Flight Deal. It’s awesome because it allows you to filter by departing city, destination, or both, as well as your travel timeframe.
I’m subscribed to all of their newsletters. Why? Their email notifications are not identical– they all post different flight deals, so by enrolling in all of them, I make sure I have access to all the deals that arise.
Where to Find the Best Hotel Deals
Booking.com | Honestly, this is my go-to accommodation booking site. They have free cancellation which is huge, and amazing abilities to filter accommodation options by rating and price. It shaved off so many hours of endless research for me and has made booking hostels and hotels a breeze. They even have apartments for rent on there now.
Airbnb | Airbnb is all about the local experience for me. I love how the houses are often in quieter neighborhoods away from the hoards of tourists. I also use it for those solo travel moments when I’d like a little more privacy than a hostel, but I’m not willing to pay for an actual hotel (which is most of the time). It’s also great for booking homes for larger group vacations. Who doesn’t want a full kitchen, living room, and backyard to lounge in?
Trusted Housesitters | Don’t spend a dime on lodging and accommodation while traveling. This is such a great way to exchange your service for a place to stay while traveling! If you don’t know what housesitting is, it is an exchange in which a person (you) stays at someone’s home and cares for their pets and property while they are away. Usually, no money is exchanged between parties.
Couchsurfing | The idea behind Couchsurfing is simple: “couchsurfers” leverage the hospitality of friendly people around the world who open their homes to travelers. There’s an extensive worldwide network of people on there that often just get together for social events (without the couch surfing part). It’s a great way to meet other like-minded travelers. I’ve only used Couchsurfing a handful of times, but I’ve had very good, totally non-creepy experiences. I’ve also met a lot of other female travelers who’ve had nothing but good things to say about their experiences as well.
Workaway | A great way to save money on lodging if you’re going to be traveling for over a few weeks. Workaway is an international hospitality service that allows members to contact one another to organize homestays and cultural exchange. “Workawayers” will work a few hours of their day in exchange for lodging and food, which is provided by their host. I didn’t get the chance to use Workaway, but I have a membership with them and the work opportunities/exchanges look legit.
Hippo Help | Another work exchange site, smaller and newer than Workaway.
Where To Find The Best Attractions
Viator | Whenever I’m looking for a formal day trip or tour, I use Viator. They have different tour company options and price points for the same trip, so you can choose what’s best for you. Enjoy savings of up to 50% off on worldwide tours, activities, and things to do
Culture Trip | Culture Trip provides me with tons of out-of-the-box ideas for things to do when I’m in a new destination. I’ll often use this to look up restaurants, things to do, and other local suggestions.
City Price Guides (The Savvy Backpacker) | This is an awesome website that gives you an estimate of how much you’re going to be spending in each European city. It’s great for the planning process, as it allows you to plan for how much money you’ll need to save up.
Where To Find Affordable Luggage Storage
LuggageHero | Simply put, this service relieves the burden of carrying heavy bags around by allowing you to leave them in verified safe places for as long as you need. The company works in a similar way to Airbnb, allowing travelers to leave their luggage with participating ‘hosts’ for just 1€ per hour and max 8€/day. They’re a trustworthy service with locations throughout US, Europe, and Canada.
Where To Find the Best Travel Insurance Deals
World Nomads | Travel insurance. I know there are a lot of insurance options out there, but in my opinion, World Nomads is the best travel insurance provider on the market.
The Beginner’s Trifecta: Booking Sites To Start With
If you’re just looking to book a flight, hotel, or a tour but don’t know which search engine to use, check out my favorites below. There is no “best”, but these are the ones I actually use on a regular basis. These sites are extremely user-friendly, will save you cash, and will definitely make your travel planning a whole lot easier.
Momondo | Why I love it: Momondo searches budget airlines that many other search engines don’t show you, so you’re likely to find cheaper flights here. It’s the most user-friendly among all the airfare search sites. Tip: I’d recommend making it a habit to use Momondo and cross-checking prices and options with either Skyscanner or Google Flights.
Booking.com | Why I love it: They have free cancellation which is huge for me (because plans change all the time). They have a powerful filtering system for results: search accommodation options by rating, price, distance from attractions, location score, etc. They even have apartments for rent on there now. This is hands down the best website for finding hotels no matter where you are in the world.
Airbnb | Why I love it: Airbnb is perfect for those of you looking for more local immersion and more personal touches when it comes to lodging. The accommodation options found here are often a lot cheaper than those you’d find at traditional hotels. If you want to rent a whole house, they’ve got it. If you’re looking for an apartment? They’ve got it. Private room? Check.
Viator | Why I love it: Whenever I’m looking for a formal day trip or tour, I use Viator. They have different tour company options and price points for the same trip, so you can choose what’s best for you.
With the use of these resources, you should be able to find the best travel deals in no time!
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