Taking care of your mental health and well-being means taking time for YOU. You deserve to travel stress free!!
You’ll be more productive on a regular basis and more satisfied with your daily routine if you don’t feel stuck and stressed out. But you might not be able to really relax and reset if the whole time you travel you’re too worried about all the money you spent, and that’s exactly why I put this list together.
My goal for you is that after sifting through some of these sites, you realize that you actually can take that dream vacation sooner than you thought. 🙂
My absolute favorite thing about this website is the ability to choose the “everywhere” destination. Sometimes you just want a change of scenery! There are so many destinations on my bucket list that I can’t even choose where I want to go next, so I let the price tag do that for me.
This website is so easy to use and you get your information fast. It lets you search the whole month’s calendar at once to find the cheapest destination and the cheapest days to fly. So much better than making a million different searches just to still be unsatisfied with the prices offered.
This one is too good for me to explain, so lets just take this example. I just went to the website, and found that next month in July (peak season for most European travel), I can fly from New York City to the United Kingdom or Norway for $109. ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS!
So granted, maybe you don’t live in New York or one of the big cities that this airline flies out of. But I would bet you 109 bucks that you can find a pretty affordable bus ticket or domestic flight to one of those major hubs.
If the name has you wondering- no, they don’t ONLY fly to Norway. But have you ever seen Norway?? Well here’s a picture just in case… Not a bad place to end up for 109 dollars…. but don’t worry. You got options.
Norwegian Air destinations include:
- United Kingdom
And even non-European spots including Iceland, Thailand, the US, and the French Caribbean.
So basically, go book a flight right now.
With Hipmunk you get the entire range of options. If you want the shortest flight, they will show you that first. If you want the cheapest flight, they have that highlighted for you so it’s easy to see. This site really has one of the best user experiences I’ve ever seen. This Forbes article even goes as far as naming it the world’s best travel site.
I love the extensive options this site gives me from my home city right when I click “Deals.” Nobody likes seeing “70 Dollar Airfare to San Diego!” getting so excited, then discovering the flight is from Los Angeles. Doesn’t do me much good over here on the east coast.
These guys beat the system. The idea behind Skiplagged is that sometimes a direct flight is more expensive than a trip with a layover in the place you want to end up. So when everyone else is connecting to their second flight, you have arrived at your destination and just ditch the second ticket.
Just remember not to check your bag!!
As you could imagine, the airlines don’t like this strategy because then they have empty seats and it messes up their tracking data, but the funny part is Skiplagged’s reaction when United Airlines actually sued them. Their current homepage looks like this:
That link will then take you to a GoFundMe page where devoted Skiplagged visitors can donate money to help pay for their legal team. I personally find this hilarious and ingenious and love them even more for it.
Very useful site for young people ages 16-25, and not all their deals are restricted to students. Last year I got a trip from DC to Brasilia for $300, and a DIRECT flight from Rio De Janeiro to New York for $500. If you’ve ever looked at flights to Brazil you’ll understand how amazing that is because flying to Brazil can be SO expensive and difficult. I remember looking around different travel sites for weeks, and no other airline prices even came close to this deal. Thank you very much, StudentUniverse.
Another great site if you’re itching to get away but have some flexibility with your dates. This site tracks deals out of most big US cities, but make sure you act quickly if you see something you like! The Flight Deal features a lot of flash deals that will not be available for long.
They give helpful step by step instructions on how to find airfare availability, and the twitter feed posts new deal often, so you are guaranteed to find something great on here.
My most recently used lifesaving website, and actually one that I was most skeptical of. Let me just say, I’m sorry for doubting you Cheap Caribbean! My $675 flight and hotel package in Aruba was PHENOMENAL and I will never question your awesomeness again!!
Their last minute deals page always has beautiful resorts for majorly discounted prices, and a lot of the time “last minute” can mean even four or five months away- so you have plenty of time to plan for it.
Rome2Rio is actually one of my favorite websites when planning a trip because I really haven’t come across many other websites like it.
If you’re traveling regionally it will give you a snapshot of all your options and how much they will cost. For example which airports you can fly to, train options, bus options, and even the price for tolls if you are considering driving. (Shown on the right)
And if you’re flying somewhere far away, you can see all of your options and make sure you’re getting the cheapest available connecting route. Always know what your options are- it can save you a lot.
So obviously this is not a secret anymore, but Airbnb can really save you so much money and provide a more authentic travel experience than most hotels can. In my opinion you are getting way more value for a fraction of the price.
*Pro Tip– If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to slum it in a closet for 2 weeks, message the host and present a counter offer! Another pro of dealing with an individual and not a big hotel company is that they could very likely be open to accepting a lower price. Of course, this is more likely if you’re booking last-minute and the host would rather take a lower offer than have the place be empty.
If you’re not sure how to go about this, Scott Grimmer has an extremely helpful post on saving money on Airbnb here that will help you out.
BONUS ROUND for the adventurous travelers! You literally camp in someone’s yard or garden area. This got started and is still mainly in the UK and European cities, and is one of the most original ways to travel cheap. You can check out the different available gardens before you go, and search based on specific criteria. Some of the categories you can filter by are:
- Dogs allowed
- Supermarket nearby
- Pub/cafe nearby
- Optional meals provided
- BBQ facilities provided
- Space for caravans
I was stunned at the prices on here. You can fund your stay in a major European (or other) city for as little as 5 Euros a night!
Plus it’s trendy and European so that automatically makes it a must-do, right? I haven’t used this site yet, but I honestly think this sounds like such a unique experience and I can’t wait to try it out.
BONUS- for all you 18-35 year old travelers!! This is for group tours, so it may not be for everyone. But it will ABSOLUTELY save you money and guarantee a fun trip. I know so many student travelers that used this site and said they had the time of their lives. If I’m being totally honest I have my eye on a few of these trips right now…
What are your favorite cheap travel websites? I’m always looking for ways to save on travel experiences and would love to hear any recommendations or thoughts on the ones I listed here. 🙂