There’s nothing worse than anticipating a much-needed getaway, traveling all day to get there, and discovering it’s a dump—for $300 a night. It’s why the whole vacation-planning process makes me nervous: With so many sites and so many choices, how do I know I’m getting the best deal? (I happily turned the job over to my husband, Steve, who doesn’t mind trolling online for days.) So what do the experts recommend to make the process easier and rewarding? Here’s how to get the best prices with the fewest clicks, plus backup sites to help you feel better about your decision.
Sites for Savings
Calculate the cost–mileage, gas, travel time, and carbon footprint–of driving anywhere in the United States.
Buy tickets at half price to sports events, comedy shows, the opera, the theater, and concerts.
Find the perfect pair of shoes at the lowest price (up to 40 percent off). Hundreds of brands and 30 retailers (zappos.com too).