Hunting for travel deals? Don’t forget these Web sites

by Sheila on September 14, 2009

by Sheila | September 14th, 2009  

Google search "coupon" (courtesy Bramus! at Flickr CC)We’re so used to using search engines like Google or the new Bing Travel to look for travel deals (and metasearch engines like Kayak or Travelocity to book trips) that it’s easy to forget one “old school” way to do it….

The visitor’s Web sites that belong to the destination where you’re going.

For example, this fall I’m going to be attending the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) conference in Seattle WA, and speaking at the Oklahoma Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Tulsa OK.

Here’s where I’ll be looking around….

***  The Visit Seattle Web site has links to various deals and a lodging booking engine running down the right side of its Visitor Center Page, plus you can follow @SeattleMaven on Twitter for up-to-date local info.

***  The Visit Tulsa Web site has local accomodation deals all on one page, and a free discount coupon book for local attractions that I can order ahead of time  –  it would be nice if it was also available online, though, like the one from Hutchinson, Kansas or these deals from Fort Worth, Texas. Don’t forget @VisitTulsa on Twitter, either.

Be persistent; some tourism Web sites inexplicably bury the links/info for discounts.   Look hard for family packages that combine lodging and tickets to an attraction – SeaWorld San Antonio has these all the time.

Headlines may not be accurate, either – the Travel Iowa Web site has a link for “summer deals” but when I skimmed through it, I could see many offerings that are good all the way through September.

More examples – the Legendary North Dakota site has a bunch of ND vacation packages and the Orlando, Florida visitor’s site is packed with bargains. The city of San Francisco has this family package that includes a bunch of goodies like cable car passes, plus here’s the whole list of “City by the Bay” packages with many tied to their big King Tut exhibit this fall through spring 2010.

(Hint – if there’s a blockbuster museum exhibit in a city, you can often find package deals on city tourism/CVB (Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) Web sites that include lodging and tickets to the exhibit.)

If a site hasn’t been updated and still has “summer deals” up, poke around or even make a phone call, because there are certainly “fall deals” going on right now.

Yes, this all applies outside the US as well - Paris passes and bookings, anyone?

Do you have a tourism/visitor’s Web site favorite that consistently offers good deals on the site?  Please share with us in the comments.

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Costa Rica Hotels September 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Great resources indeed, will have to bookmark some of those

TravelinJon September 22, 2009 at 11:57 am

Those are some great suggestion! Another great travel discount site is! That’s the official website of the green discount traveler guides that are available all along U.S. interstates. I pick them up every time I take a road trip and they help big time! They are definitely worth checking out if you are traveling in the U.S.!

David Dutton September 22, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Awesome tips. You’re right. You have to be very thorough when searching for deals on lodging and tickets.

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Jill M September 25, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Just wanted to share my website that is full of family travel ideas – from adventure tours to cruises and eco travel – check it out at Thank you!

Mahdmim September 28, 2009 at 8:54 am

Hi Sheila,
Nice websites you suggest in your post.
Just want to share another website of interest for activities and travel deals : You can find on it plenty of great things to do and experiences all around the world. Don’t hesitate to have a look.

Iman M. September 30, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I am an avid exercise participant. I also travel a lot for business. Most times the hotel gyms are unreasonably expensive and as fall temperatures are starting to come around it is harder for me to run outside. Do you have any advice as too any other workouts and/or exercise equipment I could purchase to stay fit while on the road?


Malta Vacations October 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

Hi there,

Great website you’ve got here. Very informative.

If anyone reading is interested in visiting Malta – a tiny island in the heart of the Mediterranean have a look at my website:

It’s full of info on Malta and best of all it’s written from a local’s perspective … that would be me :)

Malta is a very family-friendly destination so if anyone’s fascinated by Mediterranean islands visit my website for more info.



Clark October 6, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Great idea. These sites can be a wealth of information not only for deals but what to do when you arrive.

One other source, at least in Asia, are the airlines themselves. Many have package deals and/or deals with hotels which might be better than what you could find otherwise.

Mary October 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Great article, thanks for researching and sharing these travel deal resources.

Another site to check – – it’s a social voting site meaning anyone can share a deal and the community votes / comments on the deals. The deals with the most votes rises to the top.

They also have a blog with a regular feature “Deal of the Day Roundup” listing travel deals mentioned on major publications such as NY Times, LA Times, conde nast, etc.

Here’s the travel deal blog address:

Bustpriceline January 12, 2010 at 3:05 am

Well written and bookmarked. Honest advice from Sheila. The so called ‘discount’ websites lie most of the time.

Bali Villa February 10, 2010 at 4:30 am

I think Bing Travel is much more appealing because of the vivid photos of famous world destinations. But Google travel has more choices.

Sheila March 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

The whole point of the post was to highlight Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB)/tourist board offerings, not the usual stuff from Expedia et al.

Cristina M May 6, 2010 at 5:30 am

Thanks for compiling all these!

In case you would like to travel the world with your family, please check out They have your children in mind when they arrange your vacation and make traveling with kids an enjoyable experience.

Family Travel

claudia May 7, 2010 at 6:44 am

Hi, its a worthwhile compilation and i wish we would have many more visitors bearua that give actual information about vacations and choices in each country

Ben May 19, 2010 at 5:22 am

The official London city guide,, has comprehensive information about what to do in the capital, as well as offering a direct booking accommodation section.


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