Travel booking can be exhausting, why? Because we are all looking for the best possible deal, wether its for airfare or hotels. As a frequent flyer myself, the travel booking aspect for me its definitely the most exciting part, since this is the start of a whole new adventure to begin. Some of my best trips are the ones that were less planned and lean more on the adventurous/spontaneous approach which I’ve had a few throughout my years of flying and I had a great time. Though the efforts of finalizing hotels and other aspects come down to arriving at the destination which at times can be truly nerve racking but thats part of the adventure.
For those with a tighter work schedule and travel more on the “seasonal” basis, booking travel can be easier as they are planning mostly a holiday trip for themselves and loved ones, and thats when the efforts of finding a good deal are always the number one priority. On Today’s installment I will share with you all some of my favorite travel services I use to check up on airfare and hotels. While I use a few other services, I would say the following ones are the ones on the top of my list with the most accurate information with no hidden fees, which is truly what you want.
AIRFARE AND HOTELS TRAVEL SERVICES
- TheFlightDeal > My friends at TheFlightDeal are without a doubt one of the best out there. They truly work hard on providing the best possible airfares that they find. Not from one specific carrier but all carriers out there, for example: American, Delta, United, Jet Blue and much more. As a general rule of thumb when they post about an airfare, some of these deals aren’t meant to last very long. So as they say and I recommend, book the airfare and do the planning later. In most cases you have a 24 hour cancellation period that if you think it cannot be possible, you can cancel the trip and get your money back. Here is one of the popular mistakes some tend to make, not booking the airfare, “waiting” to see if a lower deal comes, etc..chances are you will miss the deal and that price is unlikely to return anytime soon. If you happen to be on Twitter, you can follow them on here. Not only do they post some great deals, but they also showcase some valuable travel tips to keep in mind, wether you’re a rookie or a “pro”. They have been a great supporter of my travels specially on a multi city trip they found me from LAX-NRT-HKG-NRT-LAX for a hell of a deal, where I was able to visit two of my favorite destinations for the price of one.
- Google Flights > Google flights its my second to-go travel tool that I use to book my airfare. I normally fly American Airlines but now with the recent move to the Middle East I am looking to fly Etihad Airways as I recently obtained my Etihad Gold Elite status, so maintain status with them is now my priority. I tend to book my airfare directly with the carrier rather than using third party sites to book my tickets. Here is the trick about Google Flights and how it works. When you’re on the website you will be able to select your departure and return dates, shortly after below that a text will come and recommend you that if you leave a date sooner or return a date later you will save X amount of dollars for that particular trip. Furthermore, it will also tell you the months where peak season starts and the dates tend to be much “slower”. If you are a planner and would like to save some money, this could be a good option to consider. Last but not least, with Google Flights you will be able to find pricing for: OneWorld Alliance, SkyTeam and Star Alliance.
- HotelsCombined > HotelsCombined its a great choice for those looking to save some money when looking to book their hotels. While it’s not a source I use often, it does come in handy when I am looking to have my hotel chain of choice look into the Best Rate Guarantee, when they happen to “match” what they see from different hotel booking services. HotelsCombined will pull up the final pricing of your stay with no hidden fees and not only that but it will also scan different hotel booking websites to find “the best deal possible” for you. As an elite member with Hyatt, Hilton and Starwood, I don’t normally book via third party websites because then I will not earn elite nights, my points or benefits. But those looking for a budget or luxury hotel, this is a good site to keep an eye on when looking for hotels.
- OnHotels.com > Back in my days when I didn’t have elite status with hotels and was looking for the “best deal” OnHotels.com came to the rescue a handful of times since I was able to book several hotels for simnifically less of what they were advertise on their website. You will find from a wide variety of hotels wether they are “hip”, budget,boutique or luxurious, they have it all and the price you see is the final price with no hidden fees. Once you book the hotel via OnHotels.com simply print your booking reference number and confirmation and bring it to the hotel. Upon check out you will be shortly on your way since you already pre-paid the room and was done via a “Travel service” website, which all properties honor with zero issues.
- HotelTonight > HotelTonight its the definitely the “life saver” for those who tend to go on spontaneous adventures and looking for a hotel to book for a night or two on the “last minute” basis. This is one of the hotel booking services that I strongly use during last minute trips within the US, although their International expansion is coming. I wrote a more detailed post about why I love HotelTonight & swear by it but without repeating myself. HotelTonight will give you a hotel rate for much less than what the room would normally go for. For example: The Malibu Beach Inn hotel normally goes for $412+ per night and thats without counting tax and fee, via HotelTonight for Tonight its pricing out to be for $365 with taxes and fee for one night which its a pretty good deal for this type of hotel in the heart of Malibu. What makes HotelTonight truly special? Only people who have stayed at the properties can leave reviews, which makes the booking service much easier since you are getting feedback from previews guest and not just “anyone”, which truly adds value and peace of mind for those looking for a good hotel to spend the night at. Last but not least, HotelTonight only showcases hotels that they consider a good fit for their customers so no random hotels are uploaded into their database. If you would like to receive a $25 dollar credit for your first stay, please use my code JCARTER352 and place it under “Promo code” as that will also help me on getting $25 for my next booking as well.
While they are many other travel services out there, these are the ones I strictly use on a daily bases. Not only are they user friendly and easy to navigate, but it also makes the booking service effortless and convenient while providing real information, which in this case its truly important.
What are some of your favorite travel services you use and why?