What Websites Does Clark Use To Look for Deals on Airfare, Hotels and Cruises?

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Money expert Clark Howard started a successful travel agency during his 20s and sold it in his 30s.

When he became a media member, giving advice on how to save more and spend less, he expanded into many other areas of personal finance and consumer interests. But he’s continued to give travel advice for decades.

Scoring travel deals usually involves combining three of his passions: his family, travel and saving money. He’s willing to spend hours hunting for deals on plane tickets or hotels just to save a few bucks.

“When it comes to saving money,” Clark said recently, “my time is worth nothing.”

So what tools does Clark use to find deals? What are the best websites to monitor so that you can score deals the same way Clark does?


Websites Clark Uses To Find Travel Deals on Plane Tickets

The people want to know: What are Clark’s favorite resources to find deals?

Asked Rick in Maryland: “What websites do you use to stay on top of travel deals?”

If there’s a single element of travel that Clark seems to particularly relish, it’s scoring a deal on a flight.

Clark explores so many avenues, including traveling on weekdays with less demand (Tuesday and Wednesday), during months after school has started, flying out of airports other than the city where you live or into airports other than the city where you’re going and more.

He also is a huge fan of comparison shopping and meticulously looking at prices over time. And looking for a deal and then figuring out what to do in that city or country rather than choosing a specific travel destination.

“Far and away my favorite for finding airfares is Going,” Clark says. “It used to be called Scott’s Cheap Flights.

“Going is fantastic if you love to start your trip planning by following wherever the deal is. That’s my whole thing. I look for the deal. Then I figure out where I’m going from there.”

Going’s main product focuses on deals in coach. But they offer a more expensive product that offers international deals for seats in premium economy and business class.

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Dollar Flight Club, a similar competitor, is another Clark-approved option, whether or not you consider a lifetime membership.

Clark Loves Kayak for Flying

Another Clark favorite: Kayak. More specifically, Kayak.com/explore.

Enter your home city or cities that you’d consider using as a starting base.

“And whether it’s for travel in the United States or to Canada or to Asia or to Europe or to South America or Africa or whatever, you can pull up a map and go by month or just leave it wide open,” Clark says.

“It’ll show you the cheapest fares that Kayak has found to that part of the world. To each different place. And [what airline] it’s on. And when that travel is. Follow my rule which is you buy the deal and then you figure out why you want to go there.”

Other Sites for Cheap Flights

Here are some other resources to find deals on flights that Clark and Team Clark’s retired travel agent have mentioned in the past.


Clark’s Favorite Site To Find Hotel Deals

Flights can be a big part of your trip’s budget. But perhaps not as big as your hotel costs. Particularly the longer that your trip lasts.

So what does Clark recommend?

“I adore Priceline. Oh, do I love Priceline. I should marry it,” Clark says.

“I love their hotel search engine. But it doesn’t mean I always book my hotels with Priceline. But it’s a stop I always make looking for hotel deals.”

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Don’t forget about Hotwire, which Clark often mentions as well. With both websites, you don’t know the name of the hotel where you’re staying until you book a non-refundable reservation. Although there are some tricks you can use to get around that lack of information.

Beyond those two sites, try Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz or even running searches on Google and looking at hotel websites directly. The more time you spend looking at options the better your chances are of scoring a deal.


Clark’s Go-To Resource for Cruises, Plus Advice for Newbies

When he’s booking a cruise with his family, Clark turns to Costco Travel.

It’s self-service. Costco rebates most of the commission it earns on cruises back to you.

“For people that are experienced going on cruises, using a high-volume discounter? Great,” Clark says.

If you’ve been on five or fewer cruises, Clark strongly recommends you go through a travel agent or a cruise-specific agency. They have specific knowledge that will help you choose a cabin, excursions and other cruise elements that best fit you.


Don’t Forget About Credit Card Travel Rewards, Other Catch-All Options

Team Clark recently named the best travel credit cards available right now.

Clark loves credit card rewards. But he doesn’t automatically book travel through credit card rewards sites.

He often checks the Capital One and American Express travel reward sites. And he’ll calculate the actual cost, including the rewards discount, and compare it to his other options.

Travel Expert Favorites

Here are three more resources that Team Clark’s retired travel agent recommends for deals on tours, all-inclusive resorts, cruises, flights, hotels and vacation packages.

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Final Thoughts

Hopefully a few of Clark’s favorite secret weapons for travel deals help you save money as well.

As you probably know, though, a hammer is better in the hands of a master carpenter than a layperson. If you really want to be like Clark, put in the time and effort to scour the internet for the best possible deal — and don’t settle for less.

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