FLIGHTS

SkyScanner.com

skyscanner

Skyscanner.com lets you find the cheapest flights available to anywhere in the world.  Not only can you find cheap prices for specific flights, it also gives you near unlimited customization of your searches.  Search for flights by continent, country, from nearby airports, or if your feeling particularly adventurous anywhere in the world.  Not only does it search all of the major airlines but budget airlines as well making sure you always find the cheapest flights.

SkipLagged.com

skipplagged

SkipLagged.com is probably the best website for finding cheap domestic flights to lesser traveled cities.  If your going to a city that doesn’t get nearly as much traffic as some of the more popular airports then it may be cheaper to actually book a flight to one of the bigger airports with a layover in your destination city and just skip the connecting flight.  Skiplagged finds those flights for you taking out a lot of legwork.  Unfortunately this website has taken a lot of heat from some of the bigger airlines but if you know your airline allows this type of travel by all means check it out.

AirfareWatchdog.com

airfarewatchdog

If you aren’t to concerned about where you are going and just want to travel, this site is the perfect option.  Set up an e-mail alert for your preferred airport and get notified when they find cheap flights leaving there.  If a flight is cheaper than average you will be notified right away.

Southwest.com

southwest

While it’s true that the U.S. is lacking when it comes to budget travel compared to Europe, Southwest Airlines offers cheap flights all across the country.  You may not find $20 dollar flights like you would in Europe; it is significantly cheaper than the bigger airlines.  You’re not gonna get some of the benefits of those airlines, like picking your seat when you book, the price will more than make up for it.  Southwest even gives you one carry-on and one checked bag for free.

ROOM AND BOARD

Hotels.com

hotels

Now I wouldn’t recommend staying in a traditional hotel if you are really trying to save money.  That being said, some people need all the comforts of home while traveling.  If you’re one of those people then check out Hotels.com.  It compiles a list of all the hotels in an area and gives you the option to search by cheapest first.

HostelWorld.com

hostelworld

Hostels are a much cheaper alternative to traditional hotels.  While they aren’t to popular in the U.S. you can find them all over the world.  Hostels offer dorm style rooms that you will share with multiple travelers.  If you do prefer your privacy then most hostels offer private rooms for a slightly larger fee that is still much cheaper than your average hotel.  And don’t worry chances are you wont be kidnapped and tortured for the amusement of wealthy foreigners, no matter what any horror movie tells you.

AirBnb.com

airbnb

By far this is our preferred method of booking a room  while traveling.  People from all over their world open up their homes to travelers for a fee.  Generally they are cheaper than your average hotel, but most importantly there are some extremely unique places to stay on the site.  Have you ever wanted to spend some time sleeping in a tree-house, an underwater hotel, a train caboose, or a bed under the stars than AirBnb is the site to use.

CouchSurfing.com

couchsurfer

Much like Airbnb.com CouchSurfing,com is a site that brings together travelers and people opening up their homes to them.  Unlike AirBnb it is completely free.  The downside is that you aren’t gonna have great accommodations but usually, as the name suggest, a couch to sleep on.  But seeing as how after your plane tickets room and board are generally the most expensive parts of your trip; this can definitely help you offset some of the costs.

TRIP PLANNING

TripAdvisor.com

tripadvisor

While there is something to be said for traveling without any plans and just explore the area you are in, I usually like to spend a day or two with a set itinerary.  The tourist traps are popular for a reason, and while they can be crowded and not all they’re hyped up to be they are definitely worth seeing.  TripAdvisor.com is a site that travelers post reviews of the best places to see in any city.  And while most of the site is reviews on the bigger tourist attractions, with a little digging you kind find hidden gems as well.  Before planning a trip head on over to TripAdvisor.com to help you make the most of any trip and get some insider tips.

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