Travel isn’t just enjoyable, it’s good for your physical and mental health. It can relieve stress, enhances creativity, fight depression and improve cardiovascular function. Travel also costs money, so you may avoid taking trips because they don’t fit into your budget. Fortunately, you may be able to afford more travel than you think, particularly if you use the discount travel sites available online. As long as you are flexible about your travel arrangements, you can snag incredible bargains on flights, hotels and vacation activities. Travel is not just for the well-off anymore.
How Discount Travel Sites Work
The discount travel sites help you get the lowest prices in several ways. Primarily, they feature search engines that let you check all the major airlines for the lowest flight prices. You simply put in your preferred dates of travel, flight times, number of passengers, etc., and the site returns the lowest priced flights available for those times. You can use a filter to refine your search further, such as to direct flights only. If you have flexible travel plans, you will get more low-priced flight choices. Experts say you should search dates three days before and after your preferred dates to get the best deals.
These sites can also get you cheap hotel prices through similar searches. The companies often buy large blocks of rooms from the hotel chains so they receive lower prices, which they can then pass on to you. Because hotels are still selling their rooms to others at their regular price, you often have to choose your hotel blindly. Only after you pay for the room will the site tell you what hotel you will be staying in.
Best Travel Sites
Perhaps the best-known travel site is Travelocity. You can read our Travelocity review here.The site is easy to use and offers sound customer service. Expedia, a well-known travel company on its own, purchased Travelocity several years ago and also owns Orbitz (read our Orbitz review), Hotels.com, Hotwire, Trivago, Cheap Tickets and eBookers. The other major player, Priceline (review), owns Booking.com, Kayak and Agoda. Expedia is also a booking partner for Trip Advisor. So when you use one of these sites, you are generally using the services of one of the two major players in this industry. Although each service has slight differences, they all work in a similar manner although they do sometimes return different results.