Wednesday, December 19, 2012

5 Great Travel Sites for Saving Money




If you're in the market for a really special gift for someone you love, why not give them the gift of travel? Imagine their delight when the open the present and its trip to their favorite destination, or perhaps some place they've never been before. It will certainly make a big impression. Of course, it will also be pretty expensive. So to help you give the gift of travel, here are 5 great money-saving travel sites you can use to plan your big surprise. And be sure to bookmark this page for anytime you want to save on travel throughout the year. Of course, you can always find vacation rentals at great prices here at PerfectPlaces.com. Be sure to sign up for our monthly vacation rentals deals email below. You’ll be among the first to hear about special, money-saving offers.

BingTravel. One thing I always wonder before clicking the purchase tickets button is whether or not I'm getting the lowest price. It's a common thought, and Bing addresses it with their Fare History feature. Just search for the dates and destination you want, then click the Fare History link. It will show you how fares have been trending for your specific itinerary. If it looks like things have been rising steadily, you might just be getting the best deal possible. Or if you see noticeable patterns in days of the week that are cheaper than others, then you might want to wait a day or two. It's not a foolproof method, but it provides insights that can help you make your decision.

Kayak.com. This site's popular, and with good reason. It gathers all the best airline deals for you. The only notable exception is Southwest, which offers online fares on its website exclusively. But even with that, it's easy to get a roll up of all the best fares, and then go out and check individual airlines to see if you can get a better deal. It has a lot of other great tools, one of which is the ability to scanning a world map for places that are within reach of your budget.

Convert Currency. At XE.com, you can get real time exchange rates, as well as calculators that can help you with international travel. As any experienced international traveler knows, checking exchange rates before, during and after your trip is tremendously important. The amount you save by being savvy could mean you can afford that gourmet dinner in Paris.

RailEurope.com. Speaking of Paris, train travel is often the most economical way to get around Europe. It's also the most romantic as you get to see the countryside and rub elbows with the people more often. Rail travel in Europe is nothing like rail or bus travel in the United States -- it's a much better experience. At RailEurope.com, you can check fares, timetables and book travel.

Hotwire.com and AutoEurope.com for rentals cars. Hotwire collects rates from eight rental car companies, and offers a Hotwire Hot Rate, which guarantees you a car from a leading car rental company. Just as their name implies, AutoEurope.com specializes in finding deals on rental cars in Europe. They'll guarantee the lowest rate by matching any better deals that match and offer 24/7 customer service.