13 Apps & Websites That’ll Score You Big Discounts on Family Travel

Andie Huber
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When it comes to your annual family vacation, if the sibling arguments don’t get you, the cost of the trip might. While we can’t help you keep the peace, we can give you tips and tricks for saving money on family travel. Between finding the cheapest gas for a road trip to saving on that pricey amusement park entry fee, we’ve found the best travel apps and discount sites to save you money.

Kate Loweth

1. GasBuddy
If a road trip is in your plans, the cost of filling the tank with gas will add up (especially right now!). GasBuddy is a free travel app that helps people find the cheapest gas while on the road. Just type in the area where you’re traveling, and you’ll get a list of local stations with prices. GasBuddy can also keep family members entertained; report gas prices while traveling to earn points and be entered into a daily raffle. More info: gasbuddy.com

2. Hotel Tonight
Want to get away but haven’t made a single plan? Hotel Tonight is the only resource you need. This travel discount website is ideal for spur-of-the-moment road trips since it offers last-minute deals on hotel rooms in cities across the country. From a basic room in Orland for $37 to a luxe deal in Los Angeles for $180, Hotel Tonight will help you find a great place to crash at an affordable price. More info: hoteltonight.com

Kate Loweth

3 & 4. Go City and CityPASS
Whether you are visiting Paris with your kids, or exploring the nearest big city on a staycation, Go City and CityPASS can get you to all of the popular attractions on a budget. Snag one of these passes, plan out your itinerary and you are on your way to explore everything the city has to offer. More info: gocity.com and citypass.com

5. Cruise Sheet
This travel app will help you find the cruise you want at the best possible price. The website is easy to navigate and doesn’t charge booking fees, change fees or mark-up prices. Wondering if you can still book a last-minute getaway? Be sure to check out the last-minute cruise deals with amazing deals like a 7-night Mediterranean cruise from Rome for only $506. More info: cruisesheet.com

courtesy Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

6. Undercover Tourist
If a trip to a Disney Park or Universal Studios is part of your family vacation itinerary, the first thing to do is click over to Undercover Tourist for the best deals on theme parks. This site can save you up to 30% off tickets to the Happiest Place on Earth (making it even happier), and hotels around your chosen park. The site also has ticket deals for LEGOLAND, Sea World, Six Flags, San Diego Zoo, and Knott’s Berry Farm. More info: undercovertourist.com

7. Travelzoo
This site is great if you’re looking for vacation packages at affordable prices. It provides ideas, flights, and hotel accommodations that range from a weekend in San Francisco at a stay at the Union Square Hotel to a $99/night stay at the Orlando All-Suite Hotel near Disney World. More infotravelzoo.com

8. Airbnb and VRBO
Hotels are certainly a fun way to lodge while on vacation. But if you have a big family and planning to be on vacation for more than a few days, a vacation rental home may save you money, and offer more convenience, space, and amenities. Airbnb and VRBO provide you with vacation rentals throughout the country at prices that are comparable to hotels. Whether you’re looking at a family vacation to the Colorado Rockies, Palm Springs or Hawaii, these rental sites have options for you. More info: airbnb.com and vrbo.com

9. Family Vacation Critic
If you’re planning a big summer vacation, why not use a website that specialized in deals for families? Family Vacation Critic helps you find the best airfare, hotels and transportation for your crew, as well as suggests the best attractions and things to do with your kiddos. You’ll definitely want to check out the Deals page, which lists discount hotel deals for a limited time. More info: familyvacationcritic.com

a girl at seahurst beach is one of seattle's best tidepool beaches
Allison Sutcliffe

10. The Points Guy
If you can get in on the travel points game, you can really maximize your travel options. The Point Guy offers loads of suggestions for credit cards that offer reward points when you sign up. You can also get info on how to move points from one card to another program. It’s pretty complicated but they are the experts so follow their lead. More info: thepointsguy.com

11. Thrifty Traveler
If you have travel on the brain, sign up for this newsletter ASAP (or better yet, join their premium program). You’ll get email alerts of travel deals from your preferred airports and you’ll also have access to their expert travel advice. Premium subscribers can join the super-helpful Facebook group where you can post your travel questions to other experts and get loads of advice. More info: thriftytraveler.com

12. Hotwire
This website is one of the best places to find a killer deal on travel, especially hotel rooms. It offers more than 173,000 hotels throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Here’s how the site works: you search the city and area for lodging, indicating the type of accommodations you need. Hotwire gives you several options that meet your criteria, but they won’t release the name of the hotel until you’ve booked. Rest assured, however, that the hotels are highly rated and can often be more than 60 percent cheaper than booking directly with a hotel. More info: hotwire.com

13. Groupon
When you explore a new destination, it’s hard to not want to do everything on your bucket list. Before you book any tours or buy tickets for museums or amusement parks, be sure to check Groupon for deals and discounts in the area. You can also use the site to find discounts on travel! More info: groupon.com

 

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