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

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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 discount sites and travel apps to save you money.

photo: istock

1. GasBuddy
If a road trip is in your plans, the cost of filling up the tank with gas will certainly add up. GasBuddy is a free 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 entertainment. If you report gas prices while traveling, you will 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 make sure you find a great place to crash at an affordable price. More info: hoteltonight.com

3. 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

4. Cruise Sheet
Cruises might not be running at 100% quite yet, but this travel app will help you find what you want at the best possible price. The website is easy to navigate, does not charge booking fees, change fees or markup. 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 to Barcelona for only $524. More info: cruisesheet.com

5. 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

photo: courtesy Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

6. Undercover Tourist
If a trip to a Disney World 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), as well as hotels around you 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. Travelzoo 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 info: travelzoo.com

photo: Istock

8. Home Away 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 suggest 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

—Leah R. Singer

Feature image: iStock 



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