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5 Tips for Finding Great Deals on Travel

A question I often get is, “How do you find great travel deals?” I answered this question with some of my tips over on ShopAtHome today. Read it here.

What are your best suggestions for saving money when it comes to traveling? Tell us in the comments.

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  • Nicki says:

    I’ve found that looking around a lot really saves money. Travel agents have saved me money when I’ve gone abroad because they have access to pricing that the general public can’t get their hands on with tour operators, but I like orbitz for local travel. And if you aren’t taking a car, of course use the “name your own price” feature on for hotels. I just did my first “name your own price” for a car rental to Chicago. It was half of the price on any of the major sites. We’ll see how that all works out in two weeks when I go on the trip.

    Also, if you have a larger family or a couple of friends traveling together, consider using for apartment and home rentals. You can save on eating out and feel a little more relaxed at the end of the day than if everyone was stuffed into a little room with nothing but a microwave and a mini fridge for a “kitchen”.

  • Jerilyn says:

    umm…. we just never go anywhere! lol!

  • Keeping a cooler of drinks and snacks in the car. No mater where we are going I try and have stuff with us so we won’t be tempted to waste money.

  • Mindy says:

    We recently went to an incredible indoor waterpark and saved over 200 per night by looking for a code on Facebook. This particular waterpark resort has offers that change monthly.

  • Teresa says:

    We homeschool, so we do our travel in the off season for most travelers. Most times we go in April as we have found it is much cheaper and the lines are not as long since most kids are still in school. We went to the Bad lands, D.C., and several places in IL and MN. It has worked very well for us. Of course check to make sure what you want to see is open that time of year, but hotels are much cheaper off season. Also we have travel by Amtrac, which was great, but we normally drive since it is the 7 of us and to fly and then rent something big enough for us is way to much.
    Pack snacks, hand held games, trivia books, books on tape, and plenty of loose change. We give each child $10.00 in change to spend as they like. Most goes to gum or snacks, but it is a way of keeping them happy at those gas stops.
    My biggest tip is to start early and be flexable in the dates. Check out attractions along the way and before you leave visit there web sites. Many have on-line coupons or discount days. Also for hotels check on-line prices, then call and check prices, then email and ask for prices. It is amazing how much diffrent you will find prices.
    Most of all make memories.

  • First of, I have to say THANK YOU for all the hard work you have been doing with your blog. Your blog is the first blog that inspires me to start my coupon clipping and eventually work on my own blog.

    I don’t blog about saving because I can read it from yours. 🙂 But I do blog about family travel!

    Here are some tips from my experience:

    1) Consider using priceline for hotel bidding. Check out my blog about tips on how to successfully bidding on priceline.

    2) Sign up for Farecompare website to track airline ticket if you know in advance of your trip or to the destination that you love to go but wait for the right price.

    Happy Travel!

  • Jill Mathews says:

    Check out for good reviews on hotels and restaurants.

  • Karen says:

    When we travel we always pack a cooler with drinks. Then we will bring a meal or two with us and then we eat somewhere cheap for 1 meal, we always want one hot meal a day.
    We usually always drive so we like to get up early and we leave by 4 or 5 in the morning so that the kids can sleep.

    Traveling in the off season or when school is in sesson is great, there is always less people and prices are cheaper.

  • Meagan says:

    I learned all about how to travel on the cheap. My husband applied to medical schools last summer and had interviews all over the country last fall. You have to pay your own way to get to those interviews. I didn’t pay more than $30 for a 3-star hotel using priceline and I also used the cashback websites for a little extra (I ended up getting a rebate of over $30 from this alone). Renting cars can be cheaper than taxis, but we used buses for him when available. Overall, I think I save about 50% what he would have spent if I just went with the first and easiest prices I saw.

  • Kari says:

    I have found that (not just for students) and often have the best prices for airfares to Europe (most recent trip was under $700 roundtrip including taxes). For tickets to Asia (especially India or China) the best deals are through an Asian travel agent (ask an Asian friend or coworker for a recommendation). I love Let’s Go and Lonely Planet. Let’s Go has save me lot’s of $$$$ over the years by recommending great hotels (that are very cheap but nice), and ways to save money sight seeing.

  • Amy F says:

    I scope out the grocery stores in the area online and then plan to bring some coupons with me when I think through some easy meals from our hotel room. I have made sack lunches in our room easily and saved bunches by taking that extra 20 minutes to pack the right coupons before I leave the house.

    I also research public transportation to the various activities the kids and I are interested in. It is a treat for them to ride a city bus, because we live in a rural area and I save money.

    Maybe it doesn’t sound like a “vacation”, but its still TRAVEL and I love the break from my same old small town.

  • Amanda says:

    We have had the best luck staying in vacation rentals or apartments. They can often be cheaper than a hotel and have a kitchen, so you can cook your meals. We got a GREAT deal in Paris because they had a small gap between full dates just when we wanted to travel. In Toronto, the couple was renting out an apartment in their basement. They showed us where everything was and even got our son a cake and presents for his birthday! We really like vrbo but are trying out a new site for our trip to Amsterdam in a few weeks. We love it.

  • Crissy S. says:

    We have particular areas that we like to visit often. By signing up for deals in those areas (local hotels, hotel chains, attractions) and being at least a little flexible on dates, we will jump on deals when we see them. Also, we aren’t as tempted to buy souvenirs because we know we will be back soon.

  • Michelle says:

    I know poeple that rent by owner( for different places throughout the US. We just did, but haven’t gone yet. I also found info. from and got great rates for flying. Good luck!

  • Heather says:

    For those who are interested in traveling overseas, I think that one overlooked option is staying in hostels. I’ve stayed in many and there are really great ones that aren’t the scary ones like in the movies. 🙂

    Also, if you plan to fly from one country to the other while you’re overseas, you’re better off NOT to book that trip until you get overseas because the fares are much cheaper – or check websites like or

    Also, see if you can find an email address of someone who lives in the country you’re visiting. I was pricing tickets to go to Italy and a friend recommended an Italian website that had tickets for $300 cheaper than any on our American sites!

  • Wendy says:

    Be flexible – if possible…
    I just purchased tickets to AZ (for 3) by flying on a weekday instead of a weekend & shopping the airlines I was able to find flighst from $488 – $1011. $488 for 3 pepole, round trip is awesome! Be patient, flexible & shop-shop-shop around. It is also good to check flights daily when shopping around. I found the $488 deal by taking one last look around before purchasing.

  • Courtney says:

    Also check out deals for kids-eat-free promotions in the areas you are going to. We recently traveled to Denver and planned our eating-out nights with extended family around kids-eat-free nights at local restaurants. That saved us a lot of money as we have four school-aged kids! 🙂

  • Lana says:

    Often you will know of friends and acquaintances that own vacation property. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they rent those properties. We own a house in partnership on a nearby lake. We often cannot use all the time allotted to us and would love to rent it but hate to go around asking people if they would like to rent our house. We rent a 3 bed/2 bath house for only $60 a night because you have to do your own cleaning and garbage hauling. But PLEASE if you do this be sure to take good care of the property and leave it clean! One family we rented to did not clean or remove their garbage and they ask to rent again from time to time but we can’t rent to them again because of that. I can’t drive 2 hours each way to be sure they cleaned it.

  • Laura says:

    my hubby is in the military because of that were always traveling to/from NY (our hometown) i signed up to all the travel websites but found that usually gives us the best price try all the websites you can find to get the best price also always has the cheapest price on car rentals

  • MELISSA says:

    Get recommendations from family, friends and church family. Go on vacation with a family close to your own and share the cost of rentals and such.

  • Annie says:

    Oddly enough, I just blogged about ways that I find to save money while traveling.

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