Before I take off to travel, I like to plan and stalk deals before I commit to buying airfare and accommodations. But I don’t just buy any deal and neither should you. Do a bit of research to make sure you understand what you’re purchasing, but don’t wait too long because promotions won’t last.
- Do you really want to go to (insert name of destination) or is it a deal you just can’t pass up?
- Do the deal dates fall during a tolerable season?
- Is the price an actual steal by comparing off-peak vs. peak?
- Did you itemize vacation packages and will you use everything included? (airfare, hotel, meals, rental car, activities, etc.)
- Does this fit your budget criteria?
- What about your day-to-day expenses? How much will that cost?
- Airbnb is the best way to rent unique, local accommodations on any travel budget. I’ve used it at least 9x so far with an 89% success rate. Get $30 off your first adventure!
- Couchsurfing connects you with hosts eager to help fellow travelers, be the host and show off your town or simply meet up with travelers near you. It’s a great community that I would like to spend more time on in the future!
- Hostel World introduced me to the best hostels I’ve stayed in, which keeps me coming back! No, you don’t have to be a backpacking college aged kiddo to stay at a hostel, there are plenty of families and 30-40 somethings who rent private rooms in the hippest cities.
- Hotel Tonight has amazing last-minute deals at top-rated hotels, from tonight to seven days out! Use my referral code: CNARONG for $25 off your first hotel tonight room.
- Travelzoo’s Weekly Top 20 lists the best bargains around for hotel, airfare, attractions, accommodations and complete travel packages around. But you can’t just keep an eye out, you better move fast because they are on fire!
- airfarewatchdog has got your back by delivering the best flight and hotel deals from your local airport! So sign-up and you can get emailed daily or weekly with an ever-changing list of deals.
- Award Wallet helps you track frequent flyer miles and hotel points as well as book reward tickets. Free upgrade coupon for the first time users (Hurry, first 10 only!): free-yswfge
- Cape launches on March 2017 and promises to save you up to 75% on flights when you fly on standby. This deal may not be for every kind of traveler but I’m curious to see how they can offer these deals to vacationers who have limited days off.
- The Flight Deal shares the best airfare promotions from around the world. It’s one of the only reasons I like to log on to Facebook in the morning.
- Google Flights is where I go when I’m feeling lucky or when I need to know the cheapest option ASAP. You’ll make this site a daily habit and when you’re feeling advanced ITA Matrix will make you an addict.
- Nomad List ranks the best places to live and work from anywhere around the world in real time. This is my research starting point to figure out which cities to go to next.
- Use Workfrom to find and share the best coffee shops with WiFi and power, cafes, bars, coworking and other work-friendly spaces—wherever you roam.
- Duolingo is a fun way to learn a new language or strengthen your knowledge of an existing one by gamifying each lesson. It’s not a passive game like Candy Crush but you can invite or challenge your friends and family to maintain your momentum of learning.
- EatWith is the future of dining by introducing you to a host who will create an appetizing menu for you and your new friends who have chosen to embark on a new culinary adventure at a local home. You can be anywhere around the globe and eat your way through it with your hearts and tummies, full!
- Meetup with like minded people wherever you’re at. When I’m traveling solo I like to join in on random excursions from bar hopping, language exchange, dancing and walking tours! The world is very friendly and open to travelers just as you are.
- WikiTravel is a crowdsourced travel guide similar to Wikipedia, gives straightforward overviews of nearly every place a tourist may have gone to.
- Citymapper is darn useful when navigating through a city’s public transport system for the first time and it’ll help you look like a local or at least more confident when they direct you to the precise exit door closest to your destination. This will also save you a lot of time and arguments if you usually get lost.
- Lyft, a ride whenever you need one is similar to hailing a taxi without physically doing so. You grab a ride via the Lyft app who matches you up with a driver and the best part, you don’t exchange any money! Take as many rides as $50 will get you!
- Rome2Rio helps you discover how to get anywhere by plane, train, bus, ferry and automobile! When my maps app is unreliable in certain areas, this has helped get me places!
*This is an ever changing list. If there’s something I should know about, Tweet at me!