HIGHER hotel prices, airline capacity cuts and rising travel demand mean travelers will have to work harder to find a good deal in 2012. But there are plenty of online tools to help keep your vacation expenses in check. Here are 19 go-to Web sites to help you save money this year.
Looking for sales on a specific route, or just want to go somewhere cheap? AirfareWatchdog.com hunts down deals computers tend to miss, like promo codes airlines include in e-mail newsletters. It also finds sales from Allegiant and Southwest, which typically aren’t listed on major airfare search engines. You can sign up for specific fare alerts or a list of all the cheap round-trip fares from your local airport.
Where can you go for $500 or less? Kayak.com/explore will show you where you can vacation for a particular price and display the results on a map. You can narrow your search by month, region, flight length, weather or activity. Clicking on a price reveals dates the fare is available.
If you already know where you want to go, use Itasoftware.com to find the cheapest dates to fly. Click on “airfare search” in the middle of the home page, then enter your departure date and destination and select “see calendar of lowest fares.” To purchase, you must go to the airline’s Web site or online agencies like Travelocity.