Basic Budget Travel Tools

Travel doesn’t have to be expensive if you have the right tools. Scoring a cheap flight and place to stay are key to keeping your vacation costs low. Make these sites your first stop when planning a vacation on a budget.

  • Google Flights – Your plane ticket is often the most expensive part of any vacation. I always search on Google Flights to make sure I’m getting the best price. The site’s calendar view allows you to see fares for an entire month. A little bit of flexibility in your dates can save you some serious money. There’s also a handy Explore tool, which allows you to put in your departure city, trip length, and the country or region you’d like to visit. You’ll see a map of flight prices to cities in your desired destination.
  • Cheap Flight Websites – Want to know how I scored a $400 flight to South Africa? I avidly check sites that specialize in cheap flights. The Flight Deal posts discounted fares from cities around the U.S. to domestic and international locales. Secret Flying posts similar deals for flights originating both inside and outside the U.S. They’re often the first site to spot glitch fares (a.k.a. abnormally low fares), like the one I got to South Africa.
Beautiful green garden and pool in Cape Town Airbnb
The backyard of my Airbnb in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Airbnb – Accommodations can easily eat up your budget, especially on long trips. That’s why I recommended ditching hotels in my latest Travel Tip Tuesday post on Instagram. Airbnb is my go to choice when looking for a place to rest my head while on vacation. You can rent a beautiful apartment in a vibrant neighborhood with local residents, all for the fraction of the cost of a hotel room. As an added bonus, hosts can give you the inside scoop on cool bars and restaurants.
  • Hostelworld – Despite their bad reputation, hostels are a great choice for budget travelers looking to save money and meet new people. While dorm style rooms (think bunk beds) offer the cheapest prices, many hostels offer private rooms for a few more dollars. Hostelworld features properties around the world with a variety of atmospheres, from relaxing to non-stop party. Travelers can rate properties on everything from location to cleanliness.
Affordable white stone villa in Santorini, Greece
Villa Ecoxenia in Santorini, Greece.

Other Sites and Tools

  • Hopper – Already have your date and destination picked? Use this app to see when flight and hotel prices are at their lowest.
  • Airfare Watchdog & Airfare Spot – Two more blogs to consult for daily posts on flight deals
  • Skyscanner – Similar to Google Flights, Skyscanner allows you to search for flights across a number of airlines. Its map feature is also perfect for exploring prices when you don’t have a specific destination in mind.

Now that you have the tools, check out how cheap your next vacation could be.

What are your favorite sites for booking your vacation?

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