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Best Travel Deal Websites – Which Ones Work For You?

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My husband and I travel every summer.  He is a public school librarian, so we fit all of our longer vacations into the months that he has off.  If our trip requires getting plane tickets, I start searching for the best prices up to 6 months in advance.  I always hit a bunch of sites, but my favorites have been Airfare Watchdog, Travelocity, Expedia, and Southwest Vacations.

Airfare Watchdog

Airfare Watchdog is an awesome way to monitor the prices of flights in your area.  I have bought a ticket through their site once, but I have also simply used the information it throws my way to pick the best times to patrol all of the other sites to get the best deal.  I love the fact that it is easy to use.

If you’d like to keep an eye out for the best prices on plane tickets to or from a certain place, simply sign up for email notifications.  Airfare Watchdog will then email you when specials occur for the trip you set it up to monitor.  For example, I was looking for a cheap ticket to Chicago to go to the Financial Blogger Conference at the end of September.   I signed up for email notifications in March for any good deals from Houston to Chicago and jumped on a $215 ticket that they notified me about a few weeks later.

Travelocity

I have used Travelocity to book our latest vacation package to Las Vegas.  Their system is really easy to use.  Simply type in where you want to go, where you are leaving from, the dates you plan to travel, and what you are looking for.  I usually try to find airfare and hotel bundles to save money.  Most recently, I used Travelocity to get us 2 roundtrip tickets to Las Vegas along with 4 nights at the Golden Nugget for $800.  Based on all of the other plane tickets I could find this year, that was a great deal.

Expedia

I also check Expedia for bundle deals since their prices compete with Travelocity.  They are just as easy to use but their prices can differ up to a couple of hundred dollars for two people on any given day.  Based on what I have seen, Expedia is usually more expensive than some other travel sites, but sometimes they seem to get amazing specials that are worth taking a look at.  For our vacation 4 years ago, I was able to get 2 roundtrip tickets to Las Vegas along with 4 nights at the Four Queens for $600.

Southwest Vacations

When we lived on the other side of town, Southwest Vacations was my go-to site whenever a plane was going to be involved.  Now they still have great deals, but Travelocity beats them out once in a while.  The big selling point about Southwest Vacations is that if you want to use Southwest, it is the only way to get a packaged deal.  Southwest does not sell their tickets through other online sites like other airlines do.  Using Southwest Vacations 6 years ago, I was able to get 2 roundtrip tickets to Las Vegas for our honeymoon along with 3 nights at the Stratosphere for $525.

On a side note, I have found that Tuesday is the absolute best day to get the cheapest deals out of any of these online travel sites.  It seems that they refresh their rates on Tuesday mornings.  When I looked up the package to Las Vegas this year on Sunday, I couldn’t find 2 tickets and 4 nights at the Golden Nugget for less than $1100, but I was able to book it for $800 two days later on that Tuesday.

Do you use the same travel sites?  What site would you highly recommend?

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16 Responses to “Best Travel Deal Websites – Which Ones Work For You?”

  1. I’ve always also had good luck with Priceline, especially when needing to rent a car … we just bought 2 tickets to Sacramento last night, including car rental, for a good price.

    Didn’t know about Airfare Watchdog … thanks! I’ll subscribe to that!

  2. No Debt MBA says:

    We use Kayak to search for the lowest priced flights. Going to deal sites just makes me want to make unneeded travel plans to beach-y locations.

    • Crystal says:

      I haven’t heard of kayak…thanks!

      • tom says:

        Kayak is great. It’s so simple and easy to use. The best feature is the ability to customize your trip by selecting airlines, number of stops, and time frame for landing and take off.

        I check it for personal and business travel just to see what my options are.

  3. Thanks for this post! I actually have never heard of Airfare Watchdog – I’ll be checking that site out

  4. Lisa Kling says:

    Good tips on booking online: I’m curious, have you ever booked a deal through LivingSocial or via a “daily deals” program? I live in Colorado and see quite a few posted through those sites (e.g. half-off a B&B stay in Breckenridge… a treat even if I do live in the same state.)
    Lisa

  5. Dan says:

    I would suggest that you avoid Travelocity if you ever plan on contacting their customer service to rebook a flight or anything. First, their call center is in India and it is difficult, very difficult to understand the English spoken by the agents. Second, my experience has been that the agents are less than honest when it comes to looking out for you as the consumer. My wife had to rebook a flight once for a business trip and the agent told her that the cost of the new flight was $400, but never disclosed that the actual cost of the flight was the $390 we already spent plus an additional $400 for a total flight rebooking cost of $$790. My wife agreed to the rebooked flight cost of $400 because Travelocity led her to believe this was the total cost. She would have never agreed to pay $790 when she could have flown on several other airlines for around $450 RT. I received a $400 transaction alert on my credit card and immediately called Travelocity. They stonewalled every request to get a refund since because they “conveniently” were unable to locate the audio recording of the call and they had noted in their database that that my wife agreed to pay $400. I never received a refund. To make a long story short, Travelocity has questionable business practices and their “customer service” agents are trained to shut you down. I was treated like crap and I will never do business with Travelocity again.

    • partee875 says:

      You can always contact the Better Business Bureau. I had an issue like this once with a similar company and was also stonewalled for weeks. One quick complaint to the BBB and they immediately called me back and gave me what I was entitled too.

      Also, If they can’t locate the audio recording then how do they know that your wife agreed? The customer service rep could theoretically put anything he/she wants. It’s always worth a shot.

  6. I LOVE airfare watchdog! That is one of my favorite websites. My girlfriend and I both use it and it has definitely helped to get us better deals on flights. Great suggestions.

  7. Daraius says:

    Priceline’s name your own price is a great way to get rack-rate deals on car rentals and hotels. Check out what others have paid on betterbidding.com and then bid at priceline!

    Autoslash.com is another good site for cheap car rental.

  8. mikestreb says:

    You need to add autoslash.com to the list!! I have used it twice. Most recent one, the rate started out at $190 for 4 days and I ended up paying $91.

  9. skylog says:

    i have always used kayak, but thank you for the suggestions!


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