Affordable travel tips from the experts - latimes.com
Getting there: Set up fare alerts using sites such as Airfarewatchdog.com or Tripadvisor.com. Staying there: Flash-sale sites such as Groupon Getaways (www.groupon.com/getaways), SniqueAway.com and Jetsetter.com constantly have tempting hotel deals, but make sure you understand the fine print. Can the travel dates be changed, and is the deal nonrefundable? Would you be better off booking directly with the hotel? Consider Tingo.com; if the hotel lowers its price before you arrive, you get an automatic refund on your credit card. The hottest bargain accommodation at the moment is what travel folks call a "vacation rental," which really means renting someone's apartment or house (at websites such as Homeaway.com, Vrbo.com or Airbnb.com).