How to Find Travel Deals Online
You’ve got traveling in your retirement budget, and now, it’s time to plan. Do you have a favorite destination spot? Have you been daydreaming about a tropical getaway? Are you looking to book a fun family vacation with your grandkids? The Internet is a great resource for travel deals if you know where to look. Here are tips on how to book your next trip online and save while you’re at it!
Tip 1: Pick your destination
Retirement can be the perfect time to travel to those bucket list locations! But, how do you decide where to go first? We have some suggestions for you. Or, take these quizzes to help you select the perfect destination:
Once you’ve got a possible destination in mind, you can start searching online to see when you can find the best rates. You can often save if you travel during the less busy times of the year. Or, if you have the date in mind, but haven’t nailed down the location, remember, it might be peak season in one part of the world, but less busy in another! Wherever you choose to go, make sure you have these travel safety tips for retirees handy!
Tip 2: Compare prices on budget travel sites
Going dancing in Barcelona? Taking a cruise by the glaciers of Alaska? Websites like Expedia or Travelocity are tools you can use to compare costs for flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars and more. These one-stop-shop websites make it convenient to plan and book all of your vacation expenses at once! You can even download most of these websites as apps on your smartphone.
But, keep in mind there may be transaction fees when booking through these travel sites. You’ll also need to review the terms and conditions.
Tip 3: Track flight prices with Google Flights or travel apps
Google Flights is an online search service that can also help you buy airline tickets. You can compare different airlines and track flights through your email. Once you sign up, you’ll get a message when a flight changes or ticket drops in price. Go to www.google.com/flights and search dates for your trip to get started.
Prefer to use a different service? Try Hopper or Jetto. Both are flight-tracking apps for your smartphone. These apps let you watch specific flights and send you notifications on the best time to buy.
If you’re planning a fun getaway with your grandkids, you may be able to save on your tickets and theirs! Many airlines provide student discounts in addition to senior discounts.
Tip 4: Search for travel-related discount codes for activities, shopping and more
Want to go on a bus tour in Los Angeles? Seeing a Broadway show in New York? Explore a city on a discount with coupons from websites like Groupon and TripAdvisor. These websites make it easy to search for deals on restaurants, hotels and activities. They also let customers leave reviews so you can see what others are saying about these activities and discounts!
Bringing your grandkids with you? Here are ideas for places to go that may have student and senior discounts!
Museums: What better place to learn about a city’s history than a museum? Museums often have discounted tickets for both students and seniors! Not sure what museums are in the city you’re traveling to? Try the MuseumFinder app for your smartphone.
Live Music Venues: Immerse yourself in the musical culture of a city by seeing a live band! There may be discounts for you online, or when you get to the venue. Check out LiveMusicEarth.com to see what bands are playing near you.
Comedy Shows: Laughter is universal! Take your grandkids to see a comedy show in the new city you’re exploring. Websites like Yelp can help you find a local comedy club and read reviews from people who have gone to see shows. Lots of comedy clubs have discounted tickets for seniors and students, so ask at the ticket booth when you go!
Tip 5: Book discounted lodging
Know your options for lodging in a city or town, even if you only plan to stay in your room for the hours that you’re sleeping. These different apps and websites are easy to use and let you track the best rates at your convenience.
Lodging Apps: VRBO is a website that’s useful for travelers who want to experience how people in the city or town live. It has “hosts,” who are people who are certified to offer up a room or their entire place to travelers looking to stay on a discount. You can also use Airbnb. Like VRBO, this website lists condos, apartments, beach houses and more. These websites provide a fun opportunity to see firsthand what life is like in that part of the country or world – often for less than the cost of a hotel room.
Tip 6: Research senior discounts
Whether it’s discounted train fares or cheaper ticket prices for shows, using senior discounts can help fit travel costs into your budget. The eligible age for senior discounts depends on the place, but it doesn’t hurt to ask! To get you started, take a look at our list of 20 senior discounts that prove retirement is the best time to travel.
What to keep in mind when booking online
Although it’s convenient, there are some things to consider when booking travel deals online. Make sure to keep these few tips in mind:
- Once you find a flight that you like, book through the airline’s website. That way, if any issues arise you can contact the airline directly.
- The same goes for hotels and hostels. If you can find the same deal through the hotel directly, book through their website.
- Research the airlines that are listed for each flight. Make sure that they have good ratings and reviews, so you have the best experience on your trip!
- Check out other discount airlines that may not be included in the apps and all-in-one booking sites, like Southwest or Frontier.
- If you’re booking with a senior or student discount, call the airline or entertainment company to make sure the discount is applied to your purchase.
Trip is booked!
So, your flights are booked and your bags are packed? Check out these travel tips to help with any last minute planning you might need! The world is your oyster – have a great trip!