I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who build up a pretty solid routine when it comes to booking trips. I’m not one to venture onto unknown sites, or book trips through vendors that I’m not 100% sure are genuine or reliable. It’s through being like this, and through researching each site that I rely on when looking for a good deal, that I’ve built up a checklist of sorts for websites that I know I’ll go through when I’m in the planning stage of any holiday.
Since Summer is starting to wind down now, and whether you’re looking to head out pretty soon, or you’re pre-booking for an adventure in a different season, I thought it was a good idea to talk about some reputable sites that I can guarantee will offer you a cheaper rate than if you were searching traditionally!
I’d love to hear what your go-to sites are? I’ve also done posts on Securing Cheap Flights, Packing Luggage in the Most Effective Way and Saving Money While on Holiday as part of my Thrifty Travel Guides series, so make sure to check those out if you’re looking at saving money!
Now seen on each and every YouTube ad (anybody else? Or maybe I just see them all because I use the site so often, ha!) Trivago has recently shot into popularity. I’ve been using the search engine for years, though, and it always gives me a price that not only makes me happy – but usually includes breakfast free of charge, too.
In case you weren’t aware, Trivago is essentially a search engine for hotels and hostels. You enter your location, the dates of your travel – and voila! It will crawl the web, finding prices from something like one million different vendors and give you the best hotels at the best prices from each site. It’s super easy to use and has a bunch of criteria that you can adjust whether you want to stay in a certain location or a certain star hotel. It’s flippin’ fantastic.
Unlike Trivago, Booking.com is actually one of the sites that Trivago crawls and offers you hotels for a fixed price wherever your holiday dreams be. Recently stretching into flights and car rentals too, Booking.com offers the entire holiday package now instead of just hotels.
What I love about Booking.com is their policy. They charge zero booking fees, and with the vast majority of their hotels, you usually don’t have to pay until you’re actually at the hotel. Meaning that you can secure the dream hotel at your dream location – but you don’t have to put any money down and risk losing it if anything happens, you can simply adjust and amend your stay up until the week before, and then pay for the hotel once you arrive at the location.
They also offer a pretty sweet Genius deal, too, where if you book your accommodation through them five times, you’ll then be entitled to a 10% discount on any future bookings and receive a bunch of sweet deals worldwide! How cool is that!?
Having raved about Skyscanner in my Thrifty Traveller’s Guide to Finding Cheap Flights post, I’ll try and keep my gushing about them pretty quick. The site, which offers you easily customisable flights from any airport around the world, is a godsend. Similar to Trivago in the sense that it crawls millions of sites finding the cheapest flights (instead of hotels) and lets you view and customise them based on your schedule.
You can view flights by monthly-planner, meaning that you get to view week by week and see a visual chart of whether flight prices are rising or dropping on individual days and weeks. I wouldn’t have booked half the amount of trips I’ve gone on without it because most of them genuinely start with a “WOW! This flight to ____ is so much cheaper than I thought it would be!” and then the rest is history.
Another great thing about Skyscanner is that you can have them sign you up for price alerts, meaning that if you’re half-in for booking a trip somewhere, you can simply give them your e-mail, or set up an account, and have them beam you a price breakdowns for it every so often (whenever suits). This is great if you suspect the price will fall at some point (aka the very real 8-week rule) but don’t want to keep coming back to the site manually each week.
Although everybody knows about Airbnb, it certainly deserves a spot in my go-to sites list. When looking at hotels, you can’t skimp on checking Airbnb too, because you’re more than likely to find a few great places that are cheaper than hotels of lesser quality in the same location!
I found this to be more relevant than ever in Santorini, as it’s a pretty deluxe island, the hotels all seem to cost a pretty penny. Especially if you’re after a ‘do it for the Gram’-style Grecian hideaway. Whereas, the more traditional and authentic Airbnb’s, which are all extremely gorgeous, boasting cliff views, private roof terraces and secluded peace and quiet, were coming in around half the price!
Airbnb offers new customers signing up through a ‘referral link’ (aka a link that is given to Airbnb members) a complimentary £15 of travel credit, so if you’re after some extra dough to knock off your upcoming stay, be sure to check it out here. If you’re interested in their referral link T&C’s, you can check that out here, too.
The Thrifty Traveller’s Guide is a series of posts dedicated to saving money, time, stress and hassle when booking and going on trips. To see more posts from my series, be sure to click here. And let me know what you think of them, or if there are any Thrifty Travelling subjects you want to see me cover!
Do you have any go-to sites that you’re sure will save you money when booking a trip? I’d love to hear about them! Be sure to comment them below!
I hope you have a great day,