Shopping around for travel deals takes time and patience – especially, when you have to search multiple sites for different modes of travel several times per day to see if rates are changing. Personally, I don’t have the time or patience for that. It’s so frustrating having what seems like 50 tabs open searching and sorting through dates, places, prices and times.
Throughout my frustrations shopping around for the best travel deals, I’ve come across a few websites that do all the work for me and will just alert me when a deal is available for me to take advantage of.
Airline Flights: Airfare Watchdog (www.airfarewatchdog.com)
With Airfare Watchdog, you can look for initial trips/dates and let the website pull prices from several airlines. Airlines are now reserving their best prices for their own website, and these prices are not listed on most 3rd party booking sites. Airfare Watchdog finds these fares and lists them. They even share promo codes that are usually only shared on carrier’s websites. I have found Airfare Watchdog to be the most organized site in terms of listed fares from multiple sources. You’re able to browse all deals from the sources within the Airfare Watchdog window without leaving the tab.
My favorite thing to use is the Fare Alert option. I use this when I am searching for advanced travel and have some time before I need to purchase. I also use this for spur of the moment trip if a deal pops up that is too good to let pass. I use the City-to-City fare alerts when search for specific destinations and the Departure City Fare Alert for those random, spur of the moment trips on a whim.
Airfare Watchdog saves time when getting prices from multiple sources with its all-in-one window approach and in the extra steps they take to ensure you’re receiving the best travel deals. The Fare Alert option saves even more time if you’re planning in advance. Simply put in your initial trip or departure city and just wait for alerts on the best deals. There’s nothing else for you to do except book the trip!
Hotel Rooms: Trivago (www.trivago.com)
Trivago has been around since 2004 but really hasn’t gotten much attention in the US as it’s a German-based company. However, they offer the easiest way to scan prices for your hotel search from all the popular booking websites. You can easily weed out your preferences and search based on hotel ratings, price, location and amenities. I always sort my searches by price if I am looking for deals. Once you find a deal you want to take advantage of, Trivago will link you directly to the source so that you can book at that price.
Trivago saves time by telling you which prices are from which sources. Therefore, you don’t have to go to each individual booking site searching for the same destination/dates. Unfortunately, there is no deal alert option on Trivago if a lower price becomes available. If you want a price alert tracker for hotels, then Yapta (www.yapta.com) provides such service; however, this is good only when you know exactly which hotel you want to stay at as it will check for drops in prices at specific hotels.
So there you have it! Overall, booking trips can be a time-consuming process. However, an initial investment of 10-15 minutes automating the process will save you time and money in the long run. Use Airfare Watchdog at all times to automate your booking process by booking when you get an alert for the lowest deal. Then use Trivago to search prices from multiple sources in one location. If you know a specific hotel you want to stay at, use the price alert tracker on Yapta to let you know when the price drops so you can book immediately to score the deal!