We all dream of taking the perfect vacation, whether it’s traveling to a warm beach paradise or visiting ruins in a beautiful city. But most of us can’t afford to travel too often. And that’s such a bummer, because traveling affords many wonderful benefits while allowing us to collect as many new experiences as possible.
Many of us seek out budget options for travel so we don’t break the bank every time we explore. But getting a great deal can be tough. That’s why we put together this list of all the websites you should hit up before your next trip. Trust us, your wallet will thank you.
If you’re looking for cheap flights AND the best time to travel, Skyscanner.com is for you. Skyscanner helps you find the cheapest flights, and one of its best features allows you to search the whole month to find which days are cheapest to travel. Or if you know when you want to travel, but maybe not where, you can search “Everywhere” to find all your affordable options.
If you haven’t heard of WOW Air, you’ll be excited. Because their name says it all — their fare prices are WOW. This airline originated in Iceland, and they provide international economy air travel to Europe, the United Staes, and parts of Asia. But one downside — they’re an a la cart airline, so baggage fees are extra. But if you’re prepared to travel light, you can save some major $$.
NomadicMatt.com is a travel blog turned amazing travel guide. Matt’s an expert budget traveler, and he has simple, handy travel guides for budget trips around the world.
4Follow @TheFlightDeal on Twitter
To keep your finger on the pulse of a great deal, follow @TheFlightDeal on Twitter. This site tells you what amazing trips you can take from major U.S. airports. And trust us when we say the deals they find are unbelievable.
It was one of the early discount booking sites, and it’s still great. Priceline.com compares fares from tons of airlines to find the best deals. Priceline also features deals on hotels, cars, and full vacation packages.
Looking for a place to stay? Hotwire.com has you covered. Hotwire finds amazing deals on hotels everywhere in the world. The site offers discount hotels, and they also offer super discounted rates where you book before you know exactly the hotel you’ll be staying at. So if you are cool with a little hotel roulette, Hotwire has some incredible deals.
Not everyone is up for a hostel when they travel, but if you are, Hostelbookers.com lists tons of hostels in practically any city. And remember, most hostels don’t just have group rooms. Some have 2-3 person rooms as well. And hostels are great for solo travelers, because they encourage you to socialize with your fellow wanderlusters.
If you thought your only option while traveling was the standard hotel or hostel, you’d be wrong. If you’re really trying to protect the budget, you can stay on someone’s couch. Couchsurfing.com connects you to people who will let you stay with them. It’s VERY budget friendly and you could meet some new friends along the way.
9Spotted by Locals
While we love to see museums and tourist spots, sometimes we want to see what it’s like to live in a city. SpottedByLocals.com offers that. They sell city guides compiled by input from locals, so you can find all the hidden gems that the local people love. And the guides are totally reasonable at only $3.99 per city.
You’ll recognize the name Lonely Planet from their awesome book guides for different countries. But you might not know that LonelyPlanet.com is also an awesome resource for travel tips. They have tons of free content for pretty much every location on your itinerary. And if you need more detail, they sell digital versions of their guides on the site.
If you’re like us, you probably refer to TimeOut.com when looking for things to do in your home city. Well, Time Out has guides for tons of cities, so check it out when you begin trip-planning. You could find fun local events and sights that you might’ve missed sticking to just the traditional tourist options.
We love using Groupon.com for a discount at local restaurants. But they also plan some pretty amazing getaways. You can get trips with flights, accommodations, and guides to some pretty luxe places.