Coupons / Travel

How to Find the BEST Travel Deals

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I have had a few readers emailing me about how to get the best travel deals.  Spring Break and Summer is quickly approaching and we could all use a vacation.  But, like everything else, we shouldn’t pay full price for it!

Sign up for Email Alerts from Airlines-
Airlines are tricky.  It is usually the most expensive part of your trip.  But, it can also be cheaper than driving, if you can snag a good deal.  Airlines will usually do a 2 or 3-day-sale.  But, they come out of nowhere and don’t last long.  If you aren’t signed up for their Fare Alert Emails, you won’t know about the deal until it is too late!

One of my favorite airlines is Southwest.  They do not charge any money for Baggage and will allow two checked bags per person.  Other airlines will charge you for bags and it will end up costing WAY too much!  Southwest does not have reserved seating.  But, if you are traveling with kids, you will get to choose your seats first.  You can sign up for Southwest Airfare Alerts here

One of my other favorite places is Travel Zoo.  They send out a weekly email letting you know what the craziest deals are.  Many times, they are last-minute deals that you will need to travel within 2 weeks.  But, when you can get round-trip airfare to Europe for $300, you work around the short notice!  They will also let you know of airfare sales, or vacation packaged deals. 

Vacation Packages-
Booking a vacation right and cheap will take a little researching!  Don’t plan on finding the best deal in 10 minutes.  You will want to price out whether a trip is cheaper to book everything alone, or cheaper to book it as a vacation package.  Many times travel companies will give you a few hundred dollars off by booking your fight, hotel and car rental together. 

Don’t Buy what you don’t need-
My family just booked a trip to Disneyland for April.  We found a resort that will pick us up from the airport for free and shuttle back and forth between Disneyland for free all day too.  So, we don’t need a car!  Try to find ways like that to cut back on your expenses. 

Find Coupons for the Area you are traveling-
Research the restaurants that are around your Hotel.  For example, if you have a Ruby Tuesday close by, you could eat there and use the Buy 1 Get 1 Free Coupon they have available when you sign up for their emails.

Another great resource is the Entertainment Book.  Yesterday, I posted about how you grab the Entertainment Book for only $5.50!  There are so many coupons that you can use from that book while you are on vacation.  It will pay for itself the first time you use it!  You will find coupons on activities, food and retail while you are on your vacation all inside the Entertainment Book.  Plus, once you buy the book, you can immediately print out a ton of coupons that are not included inside the book.  I am personally buying a second Entertainment Book for Orange County and for our trip.  It has Rainforest Cafe Coupons inside and online that we can use.  The Rainforest Cafe is actually in Downtown Disney.  So, we won’t have to drive to get there and we will be able to use coupons on our meal!  SCORE!

So, in conclusion, take the time to plan!  If you plan out where you are going, and what you are doing, you can find coupons to match! 

I will actually be documenting my entire Disneyland Trip for you guys to learn from!~  We leave on April 1st and will be back April 5th.  I will show you how to find deals while you are there.  I will be doing some great video posts from the trip too!  So stay tuned for all of that!

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  1. I love this! Vacations are something I think people spend WAY too much $ on. In early June (peak season) we are taking our 3 kids to San Diego. We used my brothers transferable travel club to get a condo for $400 for a week. Then we cook our meals in the crockpot while we are out playing in the parks and save loads of $ by not eating out. I know for some people eating out is part of their trip, but we don't mind. Also, we are doing Give a Day Get a Day at Disneyland and Sea World also currently has a promo that if you pay for 1 day you get the following 7 days for FREE. So, we buy 4 tickets (baby's free) @ $69/ each and get in for a week. Basically we are spending less than $700 for a week vacation (plus food and gas). KILLER DEAL. Anyway, I am sure you'll have great ideas on how to rock So. Cal. Super excited for that post.

  2. Yay! we are doing disney in June… I will be waiting for your advice. I have become addicted to getting a good deal…it's in my blood.

  3. Saw this on yahoo today…6 Secrets to Saving Money With Online Coupons1. Start Clicking and Stop Printing: First and foremost, be sure to use online coupons in addition to printable coupons. If you do come across an expired or faulty coupon, finding a replacement by doing a quick online search is much easier than if you’re already at the store in a checkout line.2. Time it Right: Mark your calendar or create reoccurring reminders because the best online deals are offered three times a month: the very beginning, the very middle and the very end. Online stores post fresh coupons the 1st-3rd of the month, the 14-16th, and the 28th through the end of the month.3. Check Out the Competition: Don’t wait until checkout to find a coupon. Start by visiting a coupon and deal site to search for the item you’re looking for. This will cut down on visits to multiple sites by allowing you to see which store is offering the best price.4. Get the Truth About Expiration Dates: Expiration dates are subject to change. Stores reserve the right to expire coupon codes earlier than anticipated and without much notice. It can be due to increased demand or limited supply of products. Either way, act quickly on an offer because it may not be there the next day.5. Go Beyond Google and Find Reliable Sites: By simply Googling “Nordstrom Coupon Code,” you’re going to find the most popular or generic code, which doesn’t guarantee the best discount. Instead, go directly to a reliable coupon code and deal site because they work directly with retailers and have access to exclusive coupons that don’t always come up in a Google search.To determine whether a site is reliable, shoppers can look out for a couple of red flags. The first is sites that let users post coupons because the likelihood that those codes will be faulty or expired is much higher. Instead, use sites which ONLY post coupons that are approved by the merchant. The second is sites that have an expired coupons section or list expired coupons on the site. These sites are tricking consumers into thinking they have coupons for certain retailers and will end up wasting your time.6. Beat the Promo Box: Make sure the discount is applied to your total BEFORE you make the purchase – a discount will never appear after you have purchased an item.

  4. A great travel website is

  5. I am so excited to hear your details about your vacation because we are wanting to go to Disneyland soon too. Thanks!

  6. We are going to DisneyLand on the 18th to the 21st of March. This was kind of a last minute trip. My husband is flying with his work for a little conference. Do you have any suggestions on how to save money? Are there a lot of restaurants in Downtown Disney and nearby the actual park that have coupons in the Entertainment Book? Also, because of the short time that we found out of this trip, I'm not sure if I can volunteer in time to get the free day at Disney. Are there other deals out there for Disney Park tickets? Thanks Melea! Your blog is awesome!

  7. Erika-Email me at so we can chat. You dont have much time!

  8. If you have a triple A membership tickets to theme parks are way cheap. We got sea world tickets and disneyland for less than 100 per person for both.

  9. Erika, If you are looking to go to Disneyland cheaply, do not eat in Downtown Disney. It is expensive. We go about three times a year. One thing that we do to save money is go to a grocery store, of which there are several fairly close, and buy snacks to take to the park. They let you bring them in, and we save a ton of money on bringing in drinks alone. They have to be in plastic bottles, but when 16 oz at Disney is $3, you save a lot of money. We also buy our kids lunches to bring to the park. My kids are just as happy with a lunchable, and we spend a lot less. We also make sure we stay at hotels that have microwaves and we pop our own popcorn to bring over to the park. There are a lot of cheap pizza places that will deliver to your hotel and it is a lot of food for not too much money. Have fun! Make sure you take advantage of the fast passes and the stroller passes, as you are going over spring break and it will be busy.

  10. So excited we are also going to be going to Disneyland that same weekend. One thing we do that helps alot is to get a locker. It is digital so you can open it and get stuff out as many times a day as you want. We put extra snacks, water bottles, jackets and our video camera in the locker! I was wondering if you had any good deals or tips you could share with me before we go? Mabey I'll see you there!

  11. I am going to Disneyland Next week with my 2 kids and husband. We are not going to have a car because we found great deals on flights. We got a room with a fridge but we called the hotel and they said that to take the bus to the target down the street will cost over $20 because you have to transfer. We were hoping to get groceries and keep them in the fridge. Do you know if there are any stores close enough to walk or any better ways to do this? There are some great tips here! Thanks, Erin

  12. By the way, you are amazing! I am just new to your sight and a little overwhelmed but, trying and learning….and saving! Thank you!Erin

  13. If you are planning a family vacation check out three of my favorite websites –,, and vacations, You can rent an entire home or condo for much less than you can rent a hotel. You can pick the size that is best for your family. I have stayed in a 4 bedroom condo in Orlando with a private pool for $600. I have used this method in Maine, Hawaii, and Georgia. It is fantastic. Check it out you will be surprised at how much room you can get compared to a hotel. I like it because I pack lighter because I have a washer and dryer. Also, when we have a big family get together we usually prepare simple meals saving us money once again. Good Luck!

  14. Sorry I gave you a wrong address it's not as written.

  15. We also love using VRBO. a couple of years ago we stayed on oahu up on the North Shore on Sunset Beach in a beautiful house right on the beach. It slept 8 people and we had a BBQ and beach toys for less than $500 a night. It was a blast! I would definately do it again!!


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