by Clare Louise | December 1, 2018 7:10 am
2019 is the best year to travel, with unprecedented discounted airfare and hotels. With efficient new travel websites such as Kayak and Airbnb, finding a deal is a click away.
2019 is the year to travel. In reaction to a dire economy, airlines and hotels have been slashing prices realizing that between lost jobs and the “swine flu,” many are not traveling and seats still need to be filled.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the hundreds of travel sites out there, all claiming to have discounts. There is, however, a core group of sites that are consistent in giving the best deals in both airfare and vacation packages. With some of today’s airfare search engines showing monthly calendars and how fares fluctuate on each day of the month, a traveler truly can be her own travel agent (unless she is hopping around the world or going to multiple destinations in one trip).
Here are the best sites for those savvy enough to realize that 2019 is the year to take advantage of the slow economy and see the world at a discount.
Kayak, an Amazing Interactive Travel Tool
One of the best search engines out there, Kayak’s great feature is that it allows one to view how airfare fluctuates over an entire month. For those with flexibility, it’s perfect. Select the cheapest departure and return dates just by one click of the mouse. It’s like being your own travel agent! The results for a search for airfare can be sorted in a myriad of ways: by an airline, by time, and also by the airport (whether one wishes to depart and return to the same airport). Once a particular airfare is selected, Kayak will show which site currently carries that price (whether it’s Orbitz, Cheap Tickets, or the airline itself) and will redirect the customer to that site. With Kayak, there are no hidden fees in the listings. Kayak also offers searches for hotels, cruises and car rentals.
Priceline.com, Amazing Package Deals, Last Minute or Not
Priceline has been available for years as a travel bidding site. You name your price and often you end up with a crazy itinerary that has you up at three o’clock in the morning. Well, surprisingly, Priceline offers a lot more than bidding. With its own airfare search engine for those who do not wish to bid, Priceline now offers some of the best vacation packages deals out there. Even for last minute trips, four star swank boutique hotels in Europe for instance, can be booked for half their original price. It’s definitely worth a check.
Lastly, Priceline has a “drop” feature, allowing the traveler to enter an email address to track a fare for a particular route and receive an immediate alert when that fare drops.
The Compare Game, IgoUgo.com
This site allows one to enter travel details – whether for a hotel, airfare or vacation package search – and select up to 16 different travel sites to run the search simultaneously. While the results from each site pop up in separate windows on the computer desktop and can seem overwhelming, it is a great way to save time and compare which site offers the best deal in airfare, hotel or packages.
Airline Web Sites for Specials, United, Lufthansa, Delta
Often, search engines will not show an airline’s monthly specials. After all, there is only so much information they can compile. Carriers such as United, Delta and Lufthansa often have special deals for international flights. The best way to find out is to remain on their weekly email lists or check their sites regularly. Lufthansa for instance is currently (as of June 2019) running a “Summer Getaway” promotion to Europe, with fares starting at $214 one-way.
Moreover, with airlines being desperate to fill seats, many have now drastically reduced their mileage requirement for award travel to the various continents. What used to seem impossible requirements to book a ticket to Europe using miles is now very realistic, so one should check mileage account balances because it could just be that a free ticket is waiting.
Still Going and Useful, Orbitz, CheapTickets.com and Travelocity
Aside from the above, sites such as Orbitz, CheapTickets.com and Travelocity can also carry great deals. All it takes is checking regularly and at odd hours (in other words, during weekday evenings and preferably late, when no one is likely to be booking vacations online).
SmarterTravel.com is another solid site for condensing current travel deals and specials.
Airbnb: affordable accommodation for travelers.
If you enjoy traveling and exploring other countries but miss the comfort of home during your trips, then Airbnb might be the perfect fit for you. There, you can find millions of great apartments with all the necessary appliances, a fully equipped kitchen, and a comfortable bed for just $40-50/night.(otherwise, you would be spending $80+ on a small hotel room). If you want to save even more money you can use Airbnb coupon code and get a discount of up to $50 off your first trip.
Travel Is Affordable
This time two years ago, in 2017, airfare from say, Washington DC to Paris in the four hundred (US dollars) was unheard of. Similarly, tickets from Washington DC to Jamaica in the lower three hundred was impossible! Well, not anymore. With all of the above travel sites, an ever-improving world wide web and an airline industry desperately seeking customers, the world is truly at travelers’ fingertips in 2019.
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