With so many travel websites on the market today, finding the best deals for your travels can be tedious. Thankfully, by using the best travel sites, you can save cash and effort when booking flights, hotels, and tours.
From airline tickets to car rentals to hotel deals to full vacation packages, the travel websites in this list will make trip planning and reservations a little easier. Whether you’re trying to score cheap flights or find the best tour on the other side of the world, these are the best travel sites for making it happen.
I realize all of this information can be a little overwhelming. Every online travel site out there seems to do something different, and sifting through hundreds of search results to find something you like is time consuming. The offers are endless, but the ideal booking site doesn’t overwhelm its users with options or questionable services.
I have personally used every single company on this list for booking travel, and most play a crucial role in allowing me to adventure around the world. These are the best travel booking sites for helping you plan the ultimate trip.
Best Hotel Search Engines & Booking Sites
Finding the right accommodation is one of the most important decisions to make while traveling. Location, amenities, and cost are all factors to consider when looking for the right hotel or hostel for your adventure.
And while there are dozens of hotel booking websites to choose from, finding the right place doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are the best sites I’ve used for fining hotel deals:
1. Booking.com: Best to Find Cheap Hotels
Booking.com has, by far, the largest number of hotel search results. With over 5.7 million listings in 227 countries, they’re the first place you should look to find hotels online. In addition to hotels, Booking.com also has hostels, guesthouses, apartments, vacation rentals, and all-inclusive resorts available.
With Booking.com, the advertised price is the final price you pay. Other travel websites may have hidden taxes and fees that aren’t explicitly stated, so you’ll end up paying more than you thought at the reservation desk. But with Booking.com, there are no unexpected fees or hidden resort charges. This makes budgeting and trip planning much easier.
All reservations come with a price match guarantee. That means Booking.com will refund the difference if you find a lower price for your hotel on another website after you book. This best price guarantee is an unbelievable perk that could save you a lot of money in the long run.
And once you make your second booking, you’ll automatically become a Booking.com Genius, which rewards you with member-only discounts and offers (even freebies). It’s like accessing a whole world of insider information without actually having to sign up for anything. Genius members receive 10% to 15% off rates, free breakfast, and free room upgrades.
Plus, Booking.com also lets you search for and book your flight, rental car, and attractions, so you can just put in your travel dates and create full vacation packages from one site!
2. Hotels.com: Best Hotel Rewards Program
Although they aren’t as big as Booking.com, Hotels.com is still a great option when looking for the best deals on hotels. They have over 300,000 hotels in over 19,000 locations around the world. Besides traditional hotel rooms, they also have apartments, cottages, hostels, motels and all-inclusive resorts.
Like other travel sites, Hotels.com lets you filter the search results by date, price, and amenities. You can also sort by distance to find hotels close to certain attractions or neighborhoods. Plus, look at hotel reviews by real, verified users.
Despite the name, Hotels.com lets you search and reserve more than just hotels. They also have a wide range of vacation rentals available including chalets, condos, and full houses.
One of the main reasons for booking with Hotels.com is to take advantage of their unique rewards program. Once you sign up and book 10 nights, you’ll get to stay one night for free. Your free night can be redeemed at one of their 200,000+ properties in popular destinations around the globe without restrictions or blackout dates. Hotels.com also shares a rewards program with Expedia and Vrbo, so you’ll be able to take advantage of savings with any of these sites.
Hotels.com reward members or app users can also unlock secret deals on accommodation. These are specially negotiated discounts that will save you even more money for certain hotel or accommodation listings.
App users can also find last-minute deals using the “Deal for Tonight” feature. You’ll find huge discounts (up to 40%) when looking for a room with same-day check-in.
3. Vrbo: Best Site for Vacation Rentals
If you want the comforts of home while you’re halfway around the globe, then Vrbo is an excellent alternative to traditional hotel booking websites. Vrbo is a search engine that lists thousands of homes, vacation rentals, apartments, and condos for anyone who wants to experience a country while living like a local, whether staying in the city center or out in the woods.
Ideal for couples, families, or those needing a bit more privacy, Vrbo lets you relax without the hassle of dealing with a host or other travelers. They also tend to list more luxury vacation rentals that have a much higher standard compared to other rental sites.
For this reason, the vacation rentals on Vrbo might cost more than your average hotel from other travel sites. However, you’ll get much nicer accommodations.
Vrbo also has great customer service. All guests are protected by their Book with Confidence Guarantee, which comes with a 24/7 hotline, payment protection, and even last-minute cancellation coverage. So if your host cancels your booking before you arrive, the Vrbo team will try and find another place for you to stay. You can also buy travel insurance so you get a full refund in case you have to cancel.
In addition, Vrbo has a rewards program called One Key that lets you earn rewards on every dollar you spend on travel. This loyalty program is shared across Vrbo, Expedia, and Hotels.com, so you’ll be able to get package deals no matter how you travel.
4. Hostelworld: Best Booking Site for Hostels
Hostelworld is the top travel site for researching and booking hostels all over the world. They operate in over 178 countries and have a database of seemingly every hostel in existence.
When looking for a hostel, you’ll find accurate ratings and hotel reviews from real users on this booking site. The review score considers information about security, facilities, services, atmosphere and overall value for your money. And they only accept reviews from people who have booked through Hostelworld, so you know the reviews are genuine.
If you want to save money, Hostelworld is an excellent option for those on a tight budget. That’s because most hostels allow you to book a bed in a dorm room, which is far cheaper than booking a private room. But if you want some extra privacy, some hostels have private rooms with (or without) en-suite bathrooms.
You’ll be able to filter hostels by certain amenities, like free breakfast or on-site laundry. You’ll also see a list of different events happening at the hostel during your stay, from pool parties to pub crawls.
However, Hostelworld really shines when it comes to its great customer service. They will refund the price difference if you find your hostel on another site for cheaper. And if you can no longer go on your trip, you have up 24 hours before check-in to cancel without losing your deposit.
5. Agoda: Best Booking Site for Hotels in Asia
Agoda started out as the top hotel booking site for hotels in Asia, but since has expanded its offerings worldwide. They also have non-traditional accommodation types like homes and hostels. From capsule hotels in Tokyo to private bungalows in Bali, Agoda has over 2 million properties to choose from.
Generally speaking, prices for Agoda hotels are comparable to other travel websites. However, you can save money by booking a hotel through their secret deals program.
With the secret deals program, the identity of the hotel will remain anonymous until you complete your booking. But you’ll be able to see the hotel’s star rating, neighborhood, and amenities before reserving. Some luxury hotels don’t like to advertise their cheap rooms openly, so this is a way to sell rooms at discount prices without making it too public. If you aren’t set on staying at a specific hotel or chain, this program is an excellent option for saving money on accommodation.
By booking on Agoda, you have the opportunity to maximize your earnings with the Agoda PointsMAX program. Once you sign up and link your Agoda account to one of your other mileage programs, you can earn up to 6,000 points per stay. Some of their current partners include American Airlines AAdvantage, United Mileage Plus and KLM/AirFrance Flying Blue.
6. Couchsurfing: Best for a Free Place to Crash
If all you need is a couch to sleep on, Couchsurfing will help you to find it. Instead of spending the night in a hotel, you’ll be using this booking site to find a couch to sleep on in the home of a friendly host. Trust me — it’s not as awkward as it might seem!
For those needing a bit more privacy, some people also list their private rooms through Couchsurfing. But generally speaking, you’ll usually be staying in the same living quarters as the host.
You’ll also be able to connect with like-minded people from all over the world who want to share their culture and show you the best parts of their city. They’ll tell you about the best local hangouts and restaurants so you can avoid the tourist traps. They might even be interested in joining you for sightseeing in the city or drinks at the local pub. In my experience, hosts are eager to interact with their guests.
When you’re browsing for places to stay, you can search for hosts by gender, age, language, and house preferences. Whether you’re allergic to cats or looking for wheelchair-friendly accommodation, you can easily find the ideal housemate. Remember, you should be looking at the host just as carefully as you look at the apartment itself. Make sure you read the reviews left by other guests. The more reviews, the more confident you’ll feel about staying with that host.
The goal, ultimately, is for you to return the favor whenever you’re at home, thus keeping the Couchsurfing spirit alive around the world. (Trust me, it can be just as fun to host as it is to surf.)
But best of all, unlike pretty much all other travel websites, Couchsurfing is completely free! It’s customary to bring a gift or cook for your host as a token of appreciation for letting you stay in their place, but besides that, you’ll be able to see the world without spending a single penny on accommodation.
Cheap Flight Booking Websites & Search Engines
In the world of online travel, booking a flight is one of the most important initial steps to having a great trip. And unless you’re planning on spending thousands to sip champagne in business class, the cost of your ticket will probably be a significant deciding factor in what you book.
Although you could book directly with the airlines, using online travel agencies (OTAs) allows you to compare pricing to find the best rates for your trip. To help you figure out where to book your next flight, consider one of the flight search engine travel sites in this section.
Keep in mind that these search sites are not booking sites. They simply compare rates for flights and redirect you to other sites to complete your purchase. You’ll get tons of results, but it’s up to you to sort through them. You should also take the time to use more than one website to compare pricing. Results may vary!
If they send you to a small website you’ve never heard of, do your research to make sure the company is dependable (although these OTAs don’t tend to deal with shady booking websites—a big reason these are the ones I recommend). It’s important to look at the fine print, as some companies might have their own cancellation fees or change fees in addition to the fees set by the airlines.
It seems that you can find anything you want from Google. There’s Google Maps, Google Scholar, Google News, Google Earth, and now Google Flights.
Google Flights is always the first search engine I turn to when I’m looking for the best flight deals. They scan through all available flight options for both major airlines and online travel agencies and then sort through the results to show you the best possible option for your trip. Like Google Maps, or anything else from Google, they’ve really mastered the art of searching, and this is one of the best sites to find deals.
The calendar view makes it easy to pick dates with the best price. And if you haven’t locked down your travel dates, you can check for flights with their flexible date tool. For example, you can search for the cheapest flights in January or even a one-week trip in the next six months.
You can also use the Date Grid in Google Flights to see the cheapest flight combinations for different departure and return dates. Or, check the Price Graph to compare how the prices are likely to change over the next few months. This is a great tool for identifying significant price drops for your desired route.
Many times you’ll want to search for a specific airport, but if you’re also flexible with your destination, you can search for flights by continent or country. This flexible search is an excellent option if you’re looking for a last-minute weekend getaway without a set destination in mind.
And unlike other travel websites, Google Flights will make sure you’re getting the best rates by offering money-saving recommendations. They’ll let you know that by flying in two days later — or to a different airport nearby — you could save even more money.
Whether you’re booking an RTW adventure, a weekend getaway to New York or simply browsing for inspiration for your next trip, start with Google Flights. And if you’ve got the time to really learn how to use Google Flights, I highly suggest it. Knowing how to squeeze the most out of this incredible tool is a skill well worth having.
Skyscanner is a great travel site for cheap airline tickets, and it’s always my second stop after Google Flights. They search through over 1,200 different airline companies and smaller OTA sites to compare the best offers for your travels.
You can also use their “Everywhere” search engine to look up the cheapest flight going anywhere in the world. The results show the average price for a country, so you’ll need to narrow down the search by destination city to see the exact price for a specific airport. However, you’ll get a better idea of which countries tend to have cheaper flights.
It’s also easy to filter for nonstop flights, included luggage, nearby airports, departure/arrival time, and more so you can find deals on the exact flights you’re looking for.
I recommend downloading the Skyscanner app. Not only can you search and book flights through the app, but you can also use the “Explore” feature to find destinations for solo travel, quick getaways or last minute trips (which is especially handy if you’re traveling open-ended).
One last bonus: Skyscanner also lets you search for deals on hotels, vacation rentals, rental cars, and even complete vacation packages. This travel site has it all.
Momondo is another flight search engine that should be on your radar. This company scans through thousands of airline companies and OTAs to display rates for both domestic and international flights. And unlike other sites, Momondo shows prices for many of the smaller OTAs overlooked by Google Flights and Skyscanner.
I also use Momondo to find out when the best time to fly is. I particularly love their matrix that highlights an entire month, meaning you can compare prices to find the lowest price possible.
On the search results page, Momondo offers bar charts that show prices for different departure and return dates. You can use this feature to spot any significant price drops for flights if your dates are flexible. Play around with these features — it takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you can score some fantastic travel deals.
You can also look at the “Flight Insights” page to see price trends and analytics for your exact route. This page uses historical search data to show you the cheapest month, day, and even time of day to book. It will tell you the cheapest airlines that serve your route, along with how far in advance you should be booking to save the most money.
In addition, you can consult the “Price Forecast” feature to see if prices are expected to increase or decrease in the near future. If so, you can set a price alert to notify you if the cost of your flight drops.
Finding inexpensive flights can be time-consuming, but Dollar Flight Club simplifies the process by sending exclusive deals straight to your inbox. Most of their offers are 60-90% off the list price, with savings averaging around $500.
Dollar Flight Club uses technology and historical data to find cost-saving deals. Although you can’t search for specific dates or destinations, you will still find great domestic and international deals if you’re flexible with your plans.
When you sign up for the free version of Dollar Flight Club, you’ll get one email a day for your selected departure region. Or, you can upgrade to premium to get four times as many deals for multiple departure airports. Premium members also receive instant SMS alerts as well as deals for cheap domestic flights over the weekend. Signing up for Premium Plus will give you access to their rewards program with more deals and offers for tickets for business and first-class flights.
11. Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights)
Going was formerly known as Scott’s Cheap Flights, and it is another one of my favorite travel sites for finding affordable flights. Like Dollar Flight Club, they send emails for flight deals on domestic and international airline tickets. Most deals are 40-90% off the original price!
But instead of using an algorithm to find great deals, members of the Going team search all of the fares by hand to find deals. This goes a step above others to make this one of the best travel sites out there.
When you sign up for the free version, you’ll receive 15-20 selected deals per month. Even though you’ll select a specific airport as your preferred point of departure, it includes deals from an array of different cities. If you only want to see deals from your specific city, then you’ll want to upgrade to the premium version. Not only does the premium membership include an extra 30-35 deals per month, but it also includes error fare flights and offers for summer and holiday travel.
While Scott’s Cheap Flights has rebranded and changed the name, it’s still an awesome place to find flights for your vacation package.
Recommended Tour Companies
Sometimes, we all need a little bit of adventure to keep us on our toes while we’re on the road.
Maybe you’re a solo traveler interested in joining a group backpacking experience through Asia. Perhaps you want an action-packed itinerary full of hiking, diving, and bungee-jumping (just make sure you have travel insurance that covers those adventure activities). Or maybe you simply want an agency to take the stress out of planning by giving you a list of all the top places you must visit. Whatever your reason, here are the best travel sites for tours and fully guided vacation packages.
GetYourGuide is a search engine with a massive database of tours and attractions in over 7,000 destinations around the globe. I’m talking more than 40,000 activities like street food tours, skiing and snowboarding trips, skip-the-line museum passes, and boat excursions. You name it, GetYourGuide has it, and their one of the best sites for finding and reserving travel activities.
If you’re visiting a new city for the first time, GetYourGuide also takes the hassle out of planning the perfect itinerary. You can reserve your spot on a tour or purchase your tickets for an event directly through their website or mobile app.
Best of all, all tours come with detailed reviews full of handy insider information, so you can hear first-hand from past clients if the activity is worth it. Not to mention, most of the offers are more affordable than if you were to book directly at the attraction itself.
It’s not the best place for all-inclusive vacation packages, but when it comes to travel sites for tours, GetYourGuide tours are a great way to soak in the culture of a city. From wine tasting to helicopter rides to snorkeling, you’ll be able to get the lowest price (guaranteed) by booking on GetYourGuide.
13. G Adventures
If group tours are more up your alley, then G Adventures is one of the best sites for you. Whether you’re traveling Europe by train, cruising through the Galapagos, or cycling through the countryside in China, there’s a tour for almost every traveler.
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill group tours. G Adventures are small groups (averaging 10 travelers) that all share a common desire to explore the world. When you look online, you’ll see tours organized by travel style. You’ll be able to book vacation packages specifically catered to 18 to 30-year-olds, tours focusing on health and wellness, and even active tours for adventure lovers.
Solo travelers are also welcome to join a tour with G Adventures. Whether you’re looking for full vacation packages or short day trips, you can expect to meet some awesome people along the way.
They’ve also partnered with National Geographic to create immersive tour experiences. Whether you’re learning how to tango in Argentina or cooking authentic meals with a local Thai family, these tours will give you a deeper appreciation for your destination’s history and culture.
14. Intrepid Travel
Intrepid Travel is like G Adventures in many ways — they offer small-group tours for adventurous travelers in more than 100 countries. Tours are divided into themes, like adventure cruising, cycling, and culinary. And if you’re interested in meeting other like-minded travelers, they have also organized trips specifically for people between the ages of 18-30.
But Intrepid sometimes goes to places where G Adventures does not, and vice versa. Intrepid also has tons of amazing deals available year-round. Many trips are discounted up to 50% and some tours can be reserved with just a $1 deposit. And if you’re eager to leave ASAP, then you can browse a variety of last-minute deals.
They’ve also partnered with Lonely Planet to create unique, niche experiences. With hundreds of single or multi-day vacation packages, you’ll be able to get off the beaten path to see the world through the eyes of a local.
But the biggest perk of traveling with Intrepid Travel comes down to the group leaders and small group sizes. You won’t feel like you’re just getting carted around because every tour is led by a local guide, meaning you get a more authentic experience.
One important note, for many trips, Intrepid requires you to have travel insurance. That’s a good idea anyway though.
Not sure which travel site to pick? Check out this article on G Adventures vs. Intrepid Travel and decide for yourself!
Best Rental Car Sites
For many trips, you’ll need to rent a car to get around once your flight arrives. Finding rental cars can be frustrating and expensive.
Fortunately, by using one of these top rental car sites, you can find the best prices and reserve your vehicle ahead of time, so there’s no stress at pickup. These travel websites let you search through many car rental providers, compare pricing, and make a reservation. Here are the best travel sites for finding rental cars:
Rentalcars.com has a great streamlined process for searching, filtering, and paying for your rental car. With just a few clicks you can find the best deal and have your car reserved. Plus, listings on Rentalcars.com typically have free cancellation when you book through their site. That’s a big win in my book because I hate stressing about what will happen if my flight is delayed or if I have to cancel my trip.
Rentalcars.com typically has great discounts available. In my experience, I’ve often been able to find the best prices compared to other rental car websites.
They also offer insurance directly though their site, though you may not need it if your travel insurance already covers rental cars.
Ultimately, one of the main things I look for in rental cars is the lowest price possible. Would I like to drive a BMW around on vacation? Sure. But typically I’m saving pennies for a trip and don’t want to spend them all on car rentals.
Priceline is one of the best travel websites to find low-price car rentals. They will often offer “Express Deals” which give you a much lower price than you’d get going directly through a car rental agency.
How do they do it? Priceline was the first travel site to offer “opaque rentals.” While that sounds complicated, it just means that you don’t know what car you’ll get until you pick it up. As long as you aren’t picky, this is a fantastic way to save cash on car rentals.
As a bonus, you can get package deals if you use Priceline to reserve flights, hotels, or even trips with a cruise line. They also have a loyalty program that can help you save on travel over time. For many travelers, this could be a one-stop shop for the ideal vacation package.
Unlike the other travel websites on this list, Kayak doesn’t let you reserve rental cars directly through their website. Instead, Kayak is just a big search site that filters through dozens (or maybe hundreds?) of other rental companies, travel websites, online travel agencies, and other related resources. You put in your travel dates, and Kayak gives you a list of options offering competitive prices. They then give you a link to book your car through the site or company that’s offering the deal.
The benefit of Kayak is that, because it is searching so many different travel websites, you can find great deals that other websites may not show.
If you want help with your entire trip planning process, Kayak also lets you search for flight deals, hotel deals, and even complete vacation packages.
So there you have it, all the information and tools you need to book your next travels! What travel websites do you use the most? Is there a company you love the most? Let us know in the comments!
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