Travel savings beyond those on popular websites

October 1, 2013 2:55:53 PM PDT
It's time to save big money on holiday travel. You are likely starting to look for travel deals now. But hitting up all the regular travel sites may not save you the most cash. There are things you can do that will help you cut costs.

You can always get a better deal on travel if you just know where to look. Don't worry, though, because we did the work for you.

Savvy travellers at Hobby Airport know how to save big on travel.

"If I am going to do price matching, I usually start with Orbitz," traveler Aaron Wadle said.

"I like," traveler George French said.

"Usually I search sites like Fat Wallet and Retail Me Not and find the discount codes," traveler Jason Kujda said.

But to get an even better deal, we turned to our Super Saver Tiffany Ivanovsky for her top tips. With nine people travelling, the Ivanovsky family knows where to score the deals.

Tip Number 1: When it comes to hotels, negotiate over the phone. Ivanovsky's three-minute call to the Drury Inn on San Antonio's River Walk saved her big -- $50 cheaper than the website's price.

Ivanovsky says apply the same strategy to rental cars.

Tip Number 2: If you want to skip the phone calls, have a website negotiate the deal for you. For hotels, Ivanovsky uses a site called

"We have tried two times and so far we have come out ahead," she said.

This is how it works. First, book your refundable hotel room. Make sure it is refundable to avoid any charges. You can book this at any website of your choice like Expedia, Travelocity or even the hotel site itself.

"Then you take the confirmation email from that, you send it to Back Bid, and they are going to actually send it out then, your reservation, and then they are going to have other hotels bid on your reservation," Ivanovsky said. is a free service but you must sign up with an email address. And it is your responsibilty to cancel your reservation should you re-book somewhere else.

Tip Number 3: For saving money on flights, sign up for free airfare alerts. Websites like and will do the work for you.

"Anytime air fare drops, I am going to get an email and an alert that's letting me know what the current price is," Ivanovsky said.

Tip Number 4: Consider opening up a travel rewards credit card to score free tickets and earn points. But beware...

"Make sure you are responsible, obviously, and that you are able to pay that off and that money off so you don't get hit with interest, which can completely wipe off any benfits to getting those tickets," Ivanovsky said.

One more way to save on travel -- sign up for groupons at the city you are planning to visit. That way you can score great deals on restaurants and entertainment while you are there.

Find Patricia on Facebook at ABC13PatriciaLopez or on Twitter at @patricialopez13

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