Where do I find great travel deals?
Where do I find great travel deals? Well that’s actually a good question because a lot of people still rely on the well-known and classic type online travel agencies (OTA) or just the regular travel agencies where you walk in to book your annual vacation. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but there are better ways to get the most and best value of the money you’re gonna be spending. Besides that I find it more satisfactory that after a bit of research for your vacation, you get to book it yourself.
Oh and I can already hear the critics go: “Oh but then you are not insured!”, “If anything happens you are all by yourself!”, “It’s not cheaper to book online because you spend so much time looking for a deal!”, “Not everything is included when you book a deal online!”…
Seriously people, what kind of bullsh*t is that? Have you ever tried it? Have you ever informed yourself about it? Or are you just too lazy and have deep pockets with way too much cash to spend? Well good on you, but not everyone has a money tree up their ass and most of us are on the lookout for some great travel deals.
I will prove the critics wrong and show you how to find some great deals on the internet, be it deals for nice hotel stays or incredibly cheap flights to destinations you never would have dreamed of going to. And believe me, you don’t need to spend numerous hours in order to find a deals…
These days there are so many sources to find great travel deals online and it’s way easier then you think. What follows is a summary of some of my personal favorites:
- Holidaypirates (DE, NL & UK)
- Secret Escapes
- The Flight Deal
All of these sites will offer you a big diversity in deals, either flights only, hotel stays or complete package deals which include both flights and hotels. Some of these sites even have an app for your smartphone or tablet so you don’t even need a computer to stay up to date.
Holidaypirates probably has one of the biggest platforms in Europe as they host multiple local websites as you noted above, of which the biggest ones are for Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
Each of their sites will show you the deals in the local currency and some deals might only be available from a certain country. Most of the times this depends on the departure airport from where the deal originates, so if you would be residing on the European mainland, give it some consideration if it would be worth leaving from a neighboring country for example. Or maybe depart from a different airport in your home country, you would be surprised about the difference in price it can give. This is not garanteed, but it is worth looking at all the possible options.
You can see that air travel is becoming cheaper these days as airlines are competing with each other in order to get more customers. Sometimes prices are so low that it makes you wonder if they are even able to make a profit when they sell you a ticket. Not only do they offer flights, but they have a big choice in package deals as well as you can see on the example below.
The nice thing about their sites is that every country has its own app for smartphone or tablet which will give you the exact same deals, but in a pocket format and as most of us always have our portable device with us on a daily basis, it is easy to check for deals whenever you have some time to spare.
You can even create alerts in the app so it will send out notifications for any kind of deals you select, which is a great feature but make sure to narrow your search parameters because otherwise the overload of notifications will drive you mad and your battery will drain quickly!
Secretflying posts a large number of deals on a daily basis, like every hour my RSS feed will alert me of a new deal that got posted. Their home page has recently changed into a nice world map where it’s very easy to select the country your flight(s) will be departing from and it will show you all available deals.
A lot of times there a great deals to be found, but they also mark a lot of their deals as so called error fares while they actually aren’t. Tim from the Points To Be Made blog wrote an article on how to spot a real error (mistake) fare.
Fly4free is another provider of flight deals and is very well known as you can see in the banner on their site, they have over 25.000 likes on Facebook! Like Secretflying they will also bomb you with deals on a daily basis, but they are really up to date on the information they share and the site is a good source for finding cheap flights.
As soon as a good deal is available it will be posted on their website with a description of the details and all you need to do is click through on the link they provide and you are ready to book your next vacation.
Travelbird is mostly known in Belgium and the Netherlands as they have their headquarters in Amsterdam, hence the reason why both their websites are in the Dutch language. After signing up for their newsletter you will receive 6 daily interesting deals and on the website you can even see the time that a deal lasts before it expires.
Their sites are easy to navigate as you can browse by category, for example gift vouchers, city trips, holiday destinations, vacation in Belgium or the Netherlands, themes and picks by followers of the Travelbird site.
So if you are looking for nice deals for a city trip abroad or a weekend at the coast in your home country, they will always have some kind of offer available that can be booked through their site.
Secret Escapes has become more known with the big public as they started a big advertising campaign on TV last year, frequently adverstising discounts up to 70% on luxury hotels and vacations, but please take this with a grain of salt as it all depends on the period you plan to go and the number of hotel rooms that are available. Nevertheless they still offer some great deals, only downside for me is that you’re obliged to register on their website before you can see any of their deals.
The name of this site speaks for itself, they offer last minute deals and while their focus is on the UK and Ireland, you can also search the site for deals in Europe and the rest of the world. Not only for hotels, but for flights, combo packages, Eurostar tickets, theatre entrance tickets, complete holiday deals, spa offers, gifts and even restaurants.
Any item you search for will show you the so called “top secret” sales with the biggest discount, like you can see below.
The Flight Deal
If you are based in the US and you have not heard of The Flight Deal lately, well then you have probably been living in the dark ages! Their crew keeps putting out flight deals on the web nonstop, if you are into mileage runs you need to keep an eye on their site or follow them on any of your favorite social media, seriously it’s ridiculous how many cheap flights you can find on here.
They are known for good deals on US domestic flights, but as you can see on the picture below they also publish deals from the US to Europe and many other destinations in the world.
The last site I would like to recommend is Flynous, which is also updated on a daily basis and offers deals from Europe. All you need to do find cheap travel to your liking is to select the origin in the main toolbar and it will show you all available offers.
In case you haven’t noticed this past week, Qatar Airways is currently offering a global sale, now most of us will have known about this sale through a newsletter from the airline, but a site like Flynous will show you all details about the promotion, like best dates, best prices and so on.
The easiest way to get updates would be to subscribe to their newsletters but this could also get messy if you start receiving an e-mail for every single deal that gets posted because I can ensure you there will be a lot, been there done that!
If you don’t want to drown in tons of e-mails, use their apps on your smartphone or tablet as these are user friendly and easy to use. The apps will show the same overview per category as on the websites. Or when you are technically savvy and know how to setup RSS feeds, this is even more practical especially in a tool like Feedly.
How to book
On all of these sites it’s pretty straight forward to book any kind of deals because you will either be provided with a link that will take you to a booking screen or you will be provided with a series of screen shots and explanations where and how to book the deal.
In the details of these travel deals you will even be able to see alternative dates for the deal that got posted.
All you need to do is read through the details and you will know everything there is to know about your next possible trip!
If you would only be looking for a hotel there are far better sites, the so called aggregator sites, that allow you to search multiple OTA at once for hotels and you will be able to compare prices easily. Maybe I’ll do a future blog post specifically on that if there is a demand for it.
The number of sites and apps offering information continues to grow and great travel deals keep popping up everywhere. Of course you can make travel as cheap or expensive as you want, but if you look around the web and put a little bit of time and effort into this, you would be amazed what is available. Since I started this whole travel (blog) thing I have really become addicted because travel causes you to have a different view on the world, it makes you more open minded.
So don’t hold off and browse through some of these website, for all you know by the end of this weekend you might have booked your next vacation!