As a retired travel agent and member of Team Clark, I’ve decided to finally spill my secret sauce on how and where I find the best airline and travel deals.
Here are my tried and true go-to websites and free subscriptions that can help you book the trip of your dreams on a budget.
The sites and subscriptions our travel expert can’t live without
I am one of nearly two million people who subscribe to this must-have e-newsletter for international airline deals. Handpicked and vetted airfare alerts can save you up to 90% (saving average of $607 per ticket).
If you opt for the free subscription, you’ll learn about the best deals about a half-hour after premium subscribers and receive only a select number of deals. Premium subscribers pay $15 quarterly; $25 semi-annually or $39 annually. Free or paid, all subscribers can personalize their preferred departure airports.
Beside searching over 20,000 airline routes for deals, this company also searches for deals on airlines like Allegiant and Southwest (something many of the others do not) and shares promo codes for airline website deals.
Their specialty is sending price alerts for particular routes you want to know about. Choose to receive city-to-city alerts, departure city alerts (to see all deals from that airport), or arrival city alerts (useful when friends/family coming from several different airports to one destination).
You can’t book at Airfarewatchdog, but they’ll include details on how to find the fare yourself.
I’ve bookmarked these pages to view frequently updated published deals on both domestic and international route deals.
This company partners with more than 2,000 top travel suppliers and each deal is vetted for accuracy and availability before it’s published to more than 28 million subscribers. Members receive a weekly Top 20 email of globe-spanning offers on vacations, cruises, hotels/resorts/all-inclusives, and activities.
I subscribe to this free curated Top 25 newsletter for the best travel deals on flights, hotels, vacation packages and cruises.
If you prefer to travel on bundled package deals with lodging and guided (or independent) sightseeing, explore offers in over 160 countries and experience the destinations at a pace that fits your unique travel style. The Deals tab selects the best last-minute offers, early-bird deals and two-for-one tours.
And now for my very favorite place to shop airfare deals…
I love this free and super easy-to-use site! You can enter multiple departure airports to view deals and each has a timeline as to when the deals were found (26 minutes ago; 2 hours ago, etc). The results also show the airline offering the deal and the source of the offer (Airfarespot.com, Travelpirates.com, Momondo.com, etc). Click on the price to view pop-up calendars with airfare rates shown for each day of the week.
I still love the ease of use at Google Flights! It’s a great basic website to search domestic and international airfares when you must fly a specific airline, must have a nonstop flight, or have a multiple city trip (flying into one city and out of another).
In other words, Google Flights has a wide range of filters to display custom results.
My tip: Frequently hit the RESET button to the left of the date entry boxes. Even when you do see a great fare, hit RESET again. The calendar may adjust with an even lower fare.
Whenever you purchase a non-refundable airline ticket, know that you always have a 24-hour period in which you can cancel or change an itinerary with no penalty.
So, if you see a deal you can’t refuse, complete the purchase and, if you must, cancel at the same booking source within that time frame. Just remember that the reservation must have been booked at least seven days ahead of the scheduled departure on a flight going to or from the U.S.
Don’t forget you can find great travel deals 365 days a year at ClarkDeals.com!
More stories you might enjoy from Clark.com:
- The best day and time to book a cheap flight
- Clark Howard’s travel and planning booking guide
- The best day and time to book a cheap hotel room
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