Travel Sites and Apps

The Best Travel Sites and Apps for Finding Deals

Planning a vacation can be an exciting process, but it’s also important to find ways to save money wherever possible. With a little research, travelers can uncover great deals on flights, hotels, activities and more. In this digital age, a number of travel sites and apps have popped up that are dedicated to surfacing the best travel bargains. By knowing where to look, you can feel confident you’re getting the most value for your hard-earned vacation dollars.

Flight Deals Galore

One of the biggest potential areas for savings is on airfare. The right site can help you find surprisingly low ticket prices, especially if you’re flexible on travel dates or destinations. Here are some top options:

Google Flights

As one of the most user-friendly flight search engines, Google Flights makes it simple to explore date and price options. Enter your home airport and leave the destination blank to see a calendar of the cheapest flights each month. You can also get price drop alerts on specific routes. The clean interface helps compare fares from multiple carriers at once.


This meta-search site draws results from various travel agencies and airline websites. Use Kayak to get a full overview of dates and prices. You can also filter by amenities like number of stops. Kayak works best for set itineraries rather than browsing deals, but it’s excellent for competitive price comparisons.


Skyscanner takes a similar approach to Kayak, casting a wide net for flight options. What sets it apart is its “Everywhere” search function—enter your departure airport and dates, with no destination, to see the cheapest places you can fly internationally from that location. It’s a fun way to spark new trip ideas.

Scott’s Cheap Flights

This subscription-based service curates exclusive flight deals and error fares not found elsewhere. For $49 per year, you’ll gain access to deals on both domestic and international routes. Since deals are limited-time, signing up for their email alerts is key to nabbing incredible steals like $200 roundtrips to Europe.

The Flight Deal

Similar to Scott’s Cheap Flights, The Flight Deal shares bargains on their website and social media. Follow them on Twitter for immediate access to flash sales. They also offer a premium subscription for $49 annually with extra perks like deal research tools. Either way, they uncover amazing finds from small airports.

Finding Budget-Friendly Lodging

Once you have your flights booked, focus on accommodations. These sites are great for hunting down hotel, apartment and hostel deals:

Like, has a huge selection of over 6 million listings. Use their price filter to see the cheapest options first. You may find better last-minute discounts than prepaid rates too.


Specifically geared for spontaneous trips, HotelTonight offers discounts of up to 60% off local hotels with same-day bookings. Browse by destination to see what’s available for tonight. It’s best for urban areas rather than remote locales.


For more unique accommodations, Airbnb has apartments, homes, treehouses and more. Use their filters to compare entire properties, private rooms or shared spaces. Look for Superhosts who offer great value. Weekend rates may be cheaper than midweek.


For truly budget lodging, Couchsurfing is free if you’re willing to stay with locals. Hosts provide a room or couch in exchange for cultural exchange. It requires verification but can offer a unique way to experience destinations.

Vacation Package Powerhouses

Vacation Package Powerhouses

Rather than piecing together all elements yourself, let these sites do the planning legwork:


In addition to flights and hotels, Expedia bundles it all into vacation packages. Look for deals on packages including car rentals and activities too. Set price alerts if you see something you like.


Orbitz takes the hassle out of planning by putting together flight and hotel combos. Use coupon codes found on their deals page too. Last-minute travel insurance is included which offers peace of mind.


As the name implies, Cheaptickets aims to deliver budget-friendly packages. Sign up for their emails to get notified of flash sales and promotions too. Customer service is available to help tweak existing bookings.


Priceline lets you “name your own price” for hotel rooms through a bidding process. You won’t know the hotel brand until after booking, so it takes some risk. But you can score serious savings this way, especially on express deals.


If sailing the seas is your plan, CruiseCompete gets multiple agencies bidding against each other for the lowest cruise prices. You’ll find better last-minute fares here than going direct through cruise lines.

Last-Minute Travel Steals

The following apps specialize in snagging deals with short lead times:


Only hotels available for same-day check-in will populate on this app. Last-minute bookings often come with 50-60% discounts in major cities worldwide. It’s best for spontaneous trips rather than planning far ahead.


Jetsetter curates luxury last-minute getaways at up to 60% off, from weekend city breaks to beach escapes. Sign up for their flash sales to access exclusive member rates. It offers a more upscale experience than HotelTonight.

Groupon Getaways

Browse Groupon for packages on activities, hotels and local experiences. Last-minute travel packages under $500 are occasionally available, though selections vary by location. Read reviews to ensure quality.

Rental Cars and Trains Done Cheaply

Don’t forget about auto and rail options:

This meta-search site draws rates from major brands like Hertz, Enterprise and Alamo. Use promo codes found on their deals page to shave off even more.


Once you book through another site, AutoSlash will monitor your rental and apply any cheaper rates it finds retroactively. It’s free to use and could save you hundreds on long-term car rentals.

Expedia Car Rental

In addition to flights and hotels, Expedia also rents vehicles. Look for coupons and combo deals including rental days as part of vacation packages.


For European train travel, Trainline sells tickets on over 30 rail operators. Multi-city passes offer better per-journey rates than individual tickets. Filter by price or journey time.

Rail Europe

Rail Europe is another top resource for booking European rail, with connections between 500 destinations. Sign up for their deals newsletter for promo codes too.

Travel Insurance Protection

No matter how well you plan, trips can encounter unexpected issues. These sites help you travel with peace of mind:


This site lets you easily compare travel insurance policies covering trip cancellation, medical needs abroad, baggage delays and more. Filter by your location and trip specifics.


Similar to InsureMyTrip, Squaremouth displays insurance quotes side by side. You can narrow results by the type of coverage required, like adventure activities or known medical conditions.

Allianz Travel Insurance

Allianz is a globally recognized brand with reliable travel protection. In addition to standard plans, they offer specialty options for RVs, study abroad programs and cruise vacations. Customize your policy to fit your specific needs.

Trawick International

Specializing in long-term international travel insurance, Trawick allows policies from one month up to three years. This provides stability for extended trips or permanent relocation abroad. Plans cover medical evacuation and repatriation.

Read More: How to Find the Best Deals When Booking Flights

Using Travel Tools Together

The best way to find incredible travel deals is by leveraging multiple online resources together. Start with a site like Kayak, Google Flights or Skyscanner to survey flight options between your desired destinations. Then plug those dates into lodging search engines like or VRBO to find accommodations that fit your budget.

Once you have flights and a place to stay locked in, explore activity and rental car options. Look to Expedia, Travelocity or Orbitz to see if you can bundle elements into a vacation package for added savings. And be sure to sign up for deal newsletters from sources like Scott’s Cheap Flights to stay on top of flash sales.

By casting a wide net across these top travel sites and apps, deal-hunters are bound to uncover incredible steals. Flexibility on dates and locations will open up even more savings potential. With a little research and strategic planning upfront, you’ll be well equipped to travel smartly and stick to budget. Happy exploring!

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