As a retired travel agent and member of Team Clark, I’ve decided to spill my secrets about how and where I find the best airline and travel deals.
The Sites and Subscriptions Our Travel Expert Can’t Live Without
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.
Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights)
I am one of more than 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%.
If you opt for the free subscription, you’ll learn about the best deals about a half-hour after premium subscribers and get information on only a select number of deals. Premium subscribers pay $49 annually. Free or paid, all subscribers can personalize their preferred departure airports.
Besides searching more than 20,000 airline routes for deals, this company also searches for deals on airlines including Allegiant and Southwest (something many of the others do not) and shares promo codes for airline website deals.
Airfarewatchdog’s specialty is sending price alerts for particular routes. You can choose to receive city-to-city alerts, departure city alerts (to see all deals from that airport) or arrival city alerts (useful when friends or family are coming from several different airports to one destination).
You can’t book at Airfarewatchdog, but the site includes details on how to find the fares yourself.
I’ve bookmarked these pages to view frequently updated published deals on both domestic and international routes.
This company partners with more than 5,000 top travel suppliers, and each deal is vetted for accuracy and availability before it’s published to more than 30 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 good travel deals on flights, hotels, vacation packages and cruises.
If you prefer to book bundled travel packages with lodging and guided (or independent) sightseeing, this is a site you’ll want to check out. You can explore offers in more than 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.
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 multi-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.
Here is a good thing to know: Whenever you purchase a non-refundable airline ticket, as long as you’ve booked it a week before departure, you always have 24 hours to cancel or change an itinerary with no penalty.
So if you see a deal you can’t refuse, complete the purchase. If you have to cancel, do so at the same site where you booked the flight, and don’t forget you have only 24 hours.
Don’t forget you can find great travel deals 365 days a year on ClarkDeals.com!