It's a good idea to start planning your trips for the year now, so you can keep your eye out for the best deals and you won't have to resort to paying expensive last-minute prices. If you already have several destinations in mind, check out travel flash sale sites, which can save you hundreds of dollars! Here are a couple to browse through:
Groupon partnered up with Expedia to launch a travel deals vector that features new deals every Tuesday. The deals stay live for seven days or until they run out. The site offers a good mix of national and international travel deals.
Hot recent deal: $39 for $100 toward a round-trip Virgin America flight from San Francisco to Chicago. The deal has already sold out, and over 5,000 Grouponers bought this deal.
A luxury travel site that offers deals up to 50 percent off only the most luxurious and exotic hotels around the globe. Each sale lasts about five to seven days. You can pay 10 percent of the trip price to "hold" a trip for three days to decide whether to book it. If you decide not to purchase, the 10 percent becomes Jetsetter credit that never expires.
Hot recent deal: A hotel in Rome, Italy, that's going for $130 a night. This compares with the regular nightly rate of $220.
Read on for more sites.
Living Social, Groupon's main competitor, offers different travel packages every week to various locations in the US and around the world. The majority of the picks seem to be US cities.
Hot recent deal: $420 for a $1,050 three-night stay in a Yosemite cabin that fits up to four guests.
SniqueAway, which was launched by TripAdvisor, offers up to 50 percent off all hotels and only features hotels that have at least a four out of five rating on TripAdvisor. If you missed a good deal, you can just click "like" on it and vote to bring it back. You can even vote for new hotels as well. Sales go up on the website a few times a week and they last for a week or until they sell out.
Hot recent deal: $219 a night at the Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Florida Keys. Original room price is $349.
Trip Alertz is a part flash sale, part group-buying site, and as more people buy in, the cheaper the deal will become.
Hot recent deal: Although only a rare few can afford it, the $95,000 trip to space seems like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The original price is $100,000.
This site is more luxury-focused and has the thumbs up from the travel experts of Travel + Leisure magazine, who select the offers. You can save up to 60 percent.
Hot recent deal: Tower Club hotel in Bangkok for $130 a night, up to 35 percent off regular rates.
Remember, not all of the listed sales are always good deals. You need to do your research on the actual hotel websites and other deal sites to see if you can get an even bigger discount. Always read the fine print before purchasing because these deals usually are only available on specific travel dates and have a number of other limitations.