I love planning vacations almost as much as I love taking them. This means that sometimes I plan vacations that I don’t even take. Or I’ll plan and replan the same vacation just for the sheer exhilaration.
Since I love to plan travel so much, it goes without saying that I love the internet, where I literally have a world’s worth of travels at my fingertips. If I’m in my office feeling wistful, then I never have to wait long for another travel fix.
I thought I’d mention a few of my favorite travel websites. Maybe you have some you would like to share as well. Remember: do your homework. Once you find a deal, search that deal so that you know where it will be cheapest. Don’t be afraid to google “Cheap California hotels” Call the company (hotel, cruiseline) directly to ask for their “best price” or see if they price match. Read the fine print and make sure things work for you. Now, sit back, relax, and take a little mental vacation with these true blue sites:
Best hotel deals: bookit.com. I like this website because it also always has advertisements for the current specials. So you don’t necessarily have to have a destination in mind. I find this very inspiring. You have to look past the “alarmist language,” and take it with a grain of salt. Even though bookit is trying to get you to “act fast!” “limited time only!” and “don’t miss!” realize it’s probably not quite such an emergency. Also, bookit might not have the cheapest prices. They just have the hotels with the best deals. Once you find the hotel you want, check out travelzoo’s supersearch to discover what search engine can give you the lowest price. *Runner up: hotels.com
Best for groups and families: airbnb.com Relatively new on the travel scene, airbnb offers the unique experience of booking a private residence for a reasonable price anywhere in the world. For example, we booked a 3 bedroom house in Sonoma, wine and cheese included, for six people, and only paid $100 per couple for a weekend stay. Amazing!
Best tropical/romantic/all-inclusive: cheapcaribbean.com This isn’t only the Caribbean. This search engine will find you all sorts of tropical, romantic, all-inclusive, OR all-of-the-above deals you could possibly imagine. This is how we found our honeymoon.
Best overall search engine for travel deals (air/hotel/packages): TRAVELZOO. Travelzoo is amazing. It is a search Engine of search engines. If you click on the “supersearch” tab and type in what you’re looking for, Travelzoo will find the sites with the lowest prices. a.MAZ.ing. Also, they post a “Top 20” list every Wednesday. It is the whole reason why I look forward Wednesday, which otherwise is a totally nondescript day. This Top 20 will literally give the 20 best travel deals available on the internet that week. If you subscribe to their newsletter and give your city, then they will send the Top 20 deals to your email every week, along with 7-10 additional deals for your city. Did I already say this is amazing? Because it’s worth saying twice. And I’ll bet you didn’t know that this week you could take a 6 night England castle trip with hotels, car rental and international airfare included for only $1399. Dreaming about going is almost as good as the real thing, isn’t it?