If you are like most Americans, we want out! Summer travel madness has struck as a surge in vacation travel picks up to near pre-pandemic levels.
The rush of eager travelers has caught the travel industry off-guard creating new obstacles to overcome while booking a trip. Everyone’s heard and read about the hottest spots to hit, and are eager to explore a variety of places, from the La Jolla Cove: the best snorkeling in southern California, to the Burroughs in Mount Rainier National Park, and all the other amazing places the US has to offer! Aside from technology, I share an equal love of travel. Combining my passions of travel and tech is about to be your reward.
I’m revealing the best travel tools that can make booking your next trip a whole lot better and often less expensive.
In a few weeks, we leave for our own post-vaccine getaway. Booking was not as easy as pre-pandemic travel. I took some lumps and bruises in my learning curve. Here are some ways to save your next trip.
The Best Travel Tools
First off, there are challenges getting all the parts of your trip to come together in harmony unlike pre-pandemic times. The travel industry is in as much shock dealing with the rapid demand as they were reeling from business falling off the cliff when the pandemic hit.
Rental car shortages are very real, but not impossible to navigate. My feature about ‘how to get a rental car when none are available’ is seeing enormous interest. Airline prices are fluctuating dramatically in a fluid rebuild of flight demand. Hotel prices are insanely cheap one day and astronomical the next. And complaints about vacation rental fees like unreasonably high cleaning fees and added surcharges are making people wake up to comparison shop vacation homes.
Skyscanner app – Use this app to set price drop alerts for booked flights. Take advantage of the fluctuating fares and relaxed airline change fees. When the fare drops in price, rebook at the lower price to save money. Make sure you check fares rules and change fees that are different and constantly changing for each airline. Knowing how flexible the airline will be when you book your ticket can help you save in the long run.
- Download Skycanner app for iOS or Android
- Launch Skyscanner app
- Search for the flight you want to track
- Tap the bell icon at the bottom left
- Tap Create and you will be notified with any price changes.
Once your hotel reservation is made, set a Kayak Price Alert to send you an email or notification if rates for your same nights drop. Use the Kayak app for an easier experience or you can create a free account on the desktop at Kayak.com.
All you do is search for the hotel stay on the same dates you’ve booked, then choose Track prices for alert when the price goes down. Make sure to uncheck any future junk mail they want to send.
Let’s say you’ve found a vacation home listing on VRBO. Now, jump on this vacation rental comparison tool called Hichee.com.
Before you pull the trigger to book, you may learn that it’s cheaper on AirBNB. Hichee lets you copy and paste a vacation rental listing into its search field to see what rates are being shown on competing booking sites. Make sure to factor in all of the fees and taxes added into the final price.
Many are complaining to AirBNB that unusually high fees are being charged for things like cleaning. It may work in your favor to send a message to the contact of the listing asking for a more reasonable adjustment before you commit to booking.
Rental Car Shortages. It’s a very real thing. Expect jacked up prices sometimes double or more of pre-pandemic rates. Book early and at same time of flights and accommodations.
Don’t book nonrefundable flights and hotels until you confirm a needed rental car is available. With many popular destinations completely sold out for peak travel periods, check my post about how to get a rental car when none are available.