Best Discount Travel Sites: Tips for Getting the Best Prices When Traveling

Traveling with families can be a fun bonding experience and a great way to make lifelong lasting memories, however, it can also be very expensive. The cost of travel also rises with each additional child and family member that participates. This oftentimes makes it cost prohibitive for families to travel together, so we’ve put together a list of the best discount travel sites to make family travel a reality again.

We will help you navigate travel websites and apps that will get you great travel deals on cheap flights, discount hotel bookings, vacation home rentals, car rentals and help you to save money overall!


Best discount travel sites for vacation home rentals.

couple entering their airbnb

Renting a vacation home has become an increasingly popular way to reduce costs when traveling. These vacation rentals can help cut costs in many ways by offering more rooms and space for prices that are often cheaper to book than a hotel stay. Another perk is that many of them have kitchens or cooking areas which allow families to save on meal costs by making home cooked meals as opposed to ordering room service or dining at restaurants. If the property is lacking any baby gear amenities such as a crib, high chair or even a baby bathtub, that would bring you the comforts of home with your little ones, consider renting items from BabyQuip. Try using the following sites when booking your next vacation rental!

1. Airbnb

Airbnb is a great way to travel and save money! Whether you are looking to rent a house, a condo, an apartment or even just a room. Pick your destination, travel dates and number of guests, as well as any other request such as a swimming pool or pet-friendly property and Airbnb will offer you a selection of great properties to choose from!

There is also Airbnb Plus which features a selection of the highest qualities of homes verified through an in-person inspection offering all of the comforts of home and more! Airbnb Plus properties are verified for great comfort, design, cleanliness as well as essential amenities such as fully equipped kitchens. Airbnb Plus properties are offered by hosts with high ratings of 4.8 and above making it one of the best discount travel sites.

Check out Airbnb Experiences which provides experiential adventures around the world for small groups of people, ranging from 2 to 10 days and includes lodging, expertly curated itineraries and all logistics for as little as $99 per day. Now that’s a great deal!

2. VRBO and HomeAway

VRBO and HomeAway are owned by the same company so their features are quite similar. These vacation home rental sites features unique properties in over 190 countries around the world! VRBO and HomeAway offer a variety of different properties from condos, to cabins, to beach houses and plenty more. The booking process is simple and secure and many of the properties are equipped with the comforts of home for your convenience, such as laundry rooms and fully equipped kitchens, as well as other options and amenities such as swimming pools, yards for kids to play, pet friendly properties and more!


Best discount travel sites for hotels.

family checking into a hotel

Depending on whether you are traveling with a family, a group of people or traveling alone, online travel booking sites generally offer fairly competitive rates for hotel stays. Consider using these discount travel sites when booking your next hotel stay!

1. Booking.com

Booking.com is touted as the world’s #1 choice for booking accomodations. It is one of the world’s leading travel companies and offers over 28 million accommodation listings and 24/7 customer support. Find hotels by entering your destination, travel dates and number of guests using filters that allow you to choose accommodations based upon review score, property rating or even by proximity to desired landmarks.

2. Hotels.com

Hotels.com is a leading online accommodation site featuring hundreds of thousands of accommodations in over 200 countries and territories. Their booking process through their site is very user friendly and they offer innovative online tools as well as an easy to use mobile app. Hotels.com also has a Rewards program that allows you to collect nights for future hotel stays. Every night you stay booked through their site, you earn a night.  After 10 nights you get a reward night. Great incentive to book through hotels.com!

3. Priceline

Priceline is a great discount booking site for hotels especially since it offers a lowest price guarantee!  If the user finds a lower priced hotel within 24 hours of their booking, Priceline will refund the user 100% of the difference. You can also use Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” feature which allows you to choose the price, area and star level and Priceline will find the you a quality independent or name-brand hotel!

4. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a great site for booking hotels and accommodations as it features more than  800 million reviews of more than 8 million accommodations. When searching for a hotel, the onsite calendar will display the lowest priced dates for each day of the month. This makes finding the cheapest dates a breeze at a simple glance!


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Best discount travel sites for flights.

best discount travel sites for flights

Flights are generally one of the more expensive aspects of travel. Unless you plan on using airline loyalty reward miles, you are probably looking at spending a pretty penny. That said, these online discount travel sites will help you navigate through all of the different airlines and help you find the cheapest flight for your travel dates!

1. Google Flights

Google Flights is one of the most powerful online flight search engines. It shows you the cheapest flights to destinations all over the world and has a calendar-based view that provides the cheapest flights over the next 12 months. It also has a map-based feature that allows you to check the cheapest places to fly from your airport during your selected date range.

2. Kayak

Kayak is a great resource for comparing flights to find the best prices. It is a fare aggregator that pulls together all of the best deals. You can view flight options by using filters that will display your preferences based upon flight class, red eyes, nonstop flights, layovers and more. Customize your perfect travel plan and let Kayak show you the best flights for you!

3. Hopper

Hopper is a great tool to plan flights as it is an airfare forecasting app that allows you to book your travel at exactly the right time! This app predicts flight prices with 95% accuracy up to one year in advance. This can save you up to 40% on travel. The Hopper app will monitor prices for you and notify you when the price is best. Then you can simply book with a few taps on your mobile phone.


Car Rental Tips

best discount travel sites for car rentals

Many travel sites mentioned above such as Kayak, Priceline, TripAdvisor and Google will offer discount pricing on car rentals as well. So we decided to put together a few travel tips to help you get even better car rental rates, in addition to using the aforementioned travel sites! 

1. Avoid Booking at Airports

If you book a car rental at  the airport, you will likely be hit with some pretty serious sticker shock! Car rental prices at airports are generally much higher than if you rent a car off of the airport premises. Consider taking a taxi, Uber, Lyft or shuttle to an off site car rental location and save money in the long run!

2. Book Your Rental Using a Discount Brand

Discount car rental brands such as Thrifty, Payless and Dollar Rental offer very competitive pricing and are generally cheaper than the typical bigger names such as Enterprise and Hertz. Don’t hesitate to use one of these discount brands. You will still get to your destination but with more money leftover in your pocket!

3. Use Memberships 

If you have a AAA or Costco membership you will definitely reap the benefits and perks that they offer! Costco often beats the prices on other full priced car rentals, while AAA offers up to 10% discount on cars rented through Hertz, Dollar or Thrifty car rentals.

4. Book an Economy Car

If you’re not traveling with a ton of luggage or a large amount of passengers, consider booking the least expensive economy car. Not only will it be cheaper than larger models, if the car happens to be unavailable once you arrive to pick it up, you might be upgraded to the next car size anyway!

5. Use Your Own Car Insurance

Car rental companies generally try to pressure renters to buy additional insurance. It’s always at an additional cost and you may in fact be covered on the rental vehicle under your own insurance. Check your policy before you book and see if you are covered! Some credit card companies also offer car rental insurance. Check to see if your credit card is one that offers this coverage and save yourself the extra money!

31 Comments

  1. Lindsay

    February 24, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Wonderful tips! We’ve also used the hopper app for flights and found it super helpful.

  2. Sara Fox

    February 24, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    We are currently planning a trip to Yellowstone this summer. In the past we have had good luck with Airbnb and VRBO. This time around the cleaning free might just put us over budget. Since we are traveling around WY some we won’t be staying for a long period of time at one place and I think we may need to look into booking hotel instead. Anyone had better luck with Hotels/Cabins on their Yellowstone trip?

  3. Brittany Gonzalez

    February 24, 2020 at 11:58 am

    I also find it helpful to follow local “cheap flights” instagramers

  4. K. McQueen

    February 24, 2020 at 11:38 am

    VRBO and AirBnB are my top choices for booking accommodations, especially when traveling with my little. Great info on plane tickets and car rental discounts. I definitely will use my Costco membership when booking a car next time.

  5. Meredith Macaluso

    February 24, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Great tips!! We use VRBO/HomeAway often as well as AIrBnb. Great info because traveling as a family of 5 adds up quick

  6. Carol Lankowsky

    February 24, 2020 at 10:20 am

    I didn’t realize the array of websites to choose from for discounts. Thank you!

  7. Lisa

    February 24, 2020 at 10:20 am

    We use google flights all the time. I have never heard of Hopper so I will have to check it out when we book our next trip. We are a family of 5 so we are always looking for way to safe on airlines.

  8. Amy

    February 24, 2020 at 10:19 am

    All great tips – we just realized that we haven’t flown on an airplane with both of our kids, because it can be SO pricey, before you even get anywhere! Would love some tips on getting discounted tickets to attractions, as well! I know AAA offers, but not sure if any other sites that don’t require a membership….?

  9. Meaghan Barrera

    February 18, 2020 at 9:53 am

    I love Airbnb and I earn 10% back when I book using my Mastercard. Yay!

  10. Amy

    February 17, 2020 at 12:59 am

    Why does travel have to be so expensive?

  11. hailey

    February 16, 2020 at 2:30 am

    Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

  12. Darla

    February 16, 2020 at 1:40 am

    great post, I like it

  13. Chelsea

    February 12, 2020 at 8:06 am

    This is so great!

  14. Heidi

    February 11, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    I had never heard of a lot of these sites/tips. Thank you so much.

  15. Amanda Pace

    February 11, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Great tips! Definitely going to check out Hopper. I also use Skyscanner to search for flight deals.

    I really like using TripAdvisor as well, even in my own city. I feel like people take more time on their reviews, and they can give you a better insight beyond a general description of what something is actually like.

    1. Meaghan Barrera

      February 18, 2020 at 9:54 am

      Tripadvisor is always my go-to when looking up accommodations.

  16. Bethany Farnsworth

    February 11, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Good deals always make me want to book ALL THE TRIPS. I’ll save this for when my kids are a little easier to travel with.

  17. Kayla

    February 11, 2020 at 9:06 am

    with all this in mind, I’m looking forward to planning my next trip

  18. Vicky

    February 10, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    I will have to try Hopper. A good way to save on hotels: use Ibotta app to access hotels.com (and many other sites) and make a purchase to earn a % cash back. I earned 5% in past.

  19. Leslie Davis

    February 10, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    Great info! I definitely will go off airport premises for renting a car again!

  20. Brandy

    February 10, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    VRBO has been our go to for family travel the last several years. Being able to spread out in a condo or home works much better for us.

  21. Analis Gorritz

    February 10, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    Excellent information. I didn’t know about VRBO and HomeAway so I will look for information because I’m host on Airbnb and Booking and I think it would be a good option. I am in the state of Florida and I can recommend Turo for car rental. It is a service like Uber or Lyft but for car rental directly from the owners.

  22. Whitney

    February 10, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    I’m planning a trip to BC, Canada early spring and will be sure to make use of the car rental and Airbnb tips! Thanks for putting this together!

  23. Cynthia Gardner

    February 10, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    Great info. We rented a car a year ago while visiting San Antonio and we’re surprised to receive a free upgraded model and size. You never know!

  24. Jenna Hill

    February 10, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    I love using Airbnb’s or vrbo rentals when travelling with my little ones. Some hotels will have separate rooms that you can put the babies in to sleep but most do not. If you can get a house or apartment rental then you can put your little to bed In a separate room and still be able to hang out in a living space without waking them.

  25. Melissa

    February 10, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    All great tips, thank you! I will definitely check out some of these when planning my next trip.

  26. Betiana lopez

    February 10, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Great article never heard about VRBO will look into that being that our family travels a lot having another option besides airbnb is great!

  27. Stacy Hammerston

    February 10, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Kayak is my go to.

    1. Meaghan Barrera

      February 18, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Mine too! I like the price alerts that get forwarded to my email.

  28. Joshua

    February 10, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Do you know how much on average using these sites saves people?

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