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24 best travel websites to save you money

Americans are ready to hit the road after a year of blockade at home due to COVID-19.

Keep in mind that you can plan a trip without breaking the bank – you just need to know where to go online first. And if you’re sick of wondering which sites are best for each one part from planning your trip, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best travel sites we’ve found to help you get great deals on airline tickets, accommodation, car rentals, and all of your other travel needs. Best of all, almost all travel websites are free. Have a good trip!

Tracking airline ticket prices just got easier thanks to sites like Google Flights and Kayak. All you need to do is enter your origin and destination airport, choose the flights that suit you best, then set an alert to track the price. For example, Google Flights will send you an email indicating whether the price of your tracked flight has gone up or down. Both sites also let you see which days are the cheapest to fly that month. Airfarewatchdog also allows you to search for flight deals.

If you haven’t decided where exactly you want to go yet, register with Scott’s Cheap Flights. The newsletter arrives directly in your inbox with offers on national and international sites. Or you can follow Twitter handles such as @TheFlightDeal for flights too.

Once you’ve booked your flight, you’ll want to keep tabs on gate changes, stopover information, and more. FlightStats.com can help you plan a smooth trip by advising you on the best time of day to fly from a specific airport and which terminals to avoid on connecting flights. You can also view live updates on flight delays and sign up to receive free email and phone alerts. Flightaware.com also tracks and predicts flight delays.

If you are delayed by weather or an unforeseen event, it is better to act quickly. The TripIt Pro smartphone app ($ 49 / year) will send you alerts about cancellations, delays or gate changes, sometimes even before an airline announces. Use it to locate other flights, find out when better seats are available, receive fare refund notifications, track your rewards program points, and more.

Hotels.com lets you search hundreds of thousands of properties on one site. Plus, its rewards program is simple: for every ten nights you spend at any combination of the program’s 500,000 member properties, you’ll earn one free night. In the same way, HotelTonight is an app that allows users to book hotels at low last minute rates. Priceline Express Deals helps you find the best deals, but there’s a catch. Priceline won’t tell you which hotel you are booking until you have paid.

And while TripAdvisor.com doesn’t sell rooms per se, it does return a detailed list of hotels near your destination. The site links you to partner sites, such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Hotels.com for fulfillment. Click on the ‘check rates’ button and select the site (s) you want to try – a new window with the results will open for each partner.

For a more intimate hotel experience, check out BedandBreakfast.com.

Vacation rentals are especially great for groups because they typically offer more space and amenities at similar or lower prices than hotel rates, especially if you look at them by bed. Check out VRBO and Airbnb to find the perfect experience. For Marriott loyalists, the Marriott Bonvoy allows you to browse its portfolio of 30 brands, which includes more than 2,000 private homes.

If you don’t mind college-level amenities, check out Hostelworld.com. The site lists 36,000 properties in 178 countries around the world and includes reviews.

At CruiseCompete.com, over 500 travel agencies compete to give you the lowest prices for the dates, ports and ships you specify, whether you book well in advance or at the last minute. You create a CruiseCompete account and they send you their best deals without ever seeing your personal information.

Kayak.com and Tripadvisor.com will design vacation packages for you at the best price. Simply enter your destination and travel dates.

Hotwire often offers the best published car deals by collecting rates from its eight partner car rental companies, including Alamo, Enterprise, and Hertz. The site also offers “great rates” from rental companies that will not be identified until you have paid.

And while Hotwire has some good prepaid car rental deals in some international cities, you might want to check out AutoEurope for the best deals for driving abroad. It offers rentals in over 20,000 locations around the world and customer service is available 24/7.

AutoSlash is also a good site for finding rental deals, as it will apply the best coupons and discount codes to your rental and re-book your reservation if the system finds a better deal.

The train is often the fastest and cheapest way to travel within and between European countries. Our favorite for checking timetables and booking tickets on European train lines is RailEurope. But you may be able to find better deals directly on the websites of European railways, if you don’t get lost in the translation.

You never know when an emergency is going to ruin your travel plans. That’s what travel insurance is for. But don’t settle for the default options of travel agencies and providers. At Squaremouth, you can compare plans and prices from multiple insurance providers in one search and narrow your search results by specifying the type of coverage you need. Another option is InsureMyTrip.com.

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