A photo by Jonathan Velasquez. unsplash.com/photos/4mta-DkJUAg
Technology has proven beneficial in practically every facet of modern life. Platforms such as Expedia and Hotels.com have been around for years now, but these and similar websites and apps are offering more tools and features than ever before, making vacation planning a breeze. Using technology – and the sharing economy – to plan your vacation is a substantial time-saver, but it can also help you plan the most affordable vacation you’ve ever taken if you know the tools and tricks of the trade.

Use Price Forecasting and Other Tools to Get the Best Deals

Travel websites like Kayak and Expedia make vacation planning simple. But their value is in more than simply comparing prices around the web to find the lowest cost. Using all the features sites like Kayak have to offer, such as Price Forecasting, you can easily determine whether it’s in your best interest to buy tickets for that flight to Honolulu now or wait it out. Plus, Kayak’s Hacker Fares can save you money by booking two one-way flights rather than round-trip flights in some cases.

You can also turn to resources like Google Flights to discover affordable destinations or score cheaper flights. The Flight Deal is another useful site that discovers fare sales and mistakes that can save you cash, while Skyscanner can help you find more affordable flights from budget carriers that sometimes aren’t listed among the mainstream deal-finding options.

Tap into the Sharing Economy for Cheaper Accommodations

Technology isn’t just useful for saving money on your airfare. There are also tools for finding great deals on accommodations. Skip the hotel for your next trip and rent a fabulous place through Airbnb, for instance.

Other travelers may decide to connect with a friendly local who will let you crash on their couch using the Couchsurfing site. Of course, you should use such options carefully. While most such sites take steps to ensure the integrity of their users, never agree to an arrangement that makes you uncomfortable in any way.  Trust your gut and use due diligence to ensure your safety.

What About the Homefront? How Tech Can Help You Take Care of Things at Home

When planning a vacation, you need to make arrangements for things at home, too. Several platforms exist to help you do just that, such as House Carers, which helps travelers find trusted help to care for their homes while they’re enjoying a vacation. You may need someone to mow your lawn and check the mail while you’re away, or you might simply be more comfortable knowing there is someone you trust watching over your home and your possessions.

Skip Public Transport and Get a Ride

The sharing economy makes it easier to get an affordable ride from the airport to your hotel (or your Airbnb rental accommodations), as well as from place to place at your destination throughout your trip. The Uber app connects people with local drivers who can pick them up and take them to, basically, wherever they’d like to go.

It’s a handy alternative to public transportation that can save you tons of time, and sometimes money as well. Who wants to wait for a bus when there’s a driver two blocks down the road? Lyft is a similar, albeit somewhat lesser-known, alternative to Uber with drivers who can also get you where you need to go, on your schedule.

Relax

Technology makes it possible to accomplish things that were impossible just a few short years ago. The sharing economy is just one of many trends emerging from technology advancements, and it’s reshaping daily life. When it’s time to plan your next vacation, using these technology tools and services can save you time, stress, and money. When you can easily make arrangements with confidence, you can actually enjoy your trip – so you won’t need a vacation to recover from your next vacation.

About the Author:

Aimee Lyons loves DIY and spends every bit of her free time on pet projects–crafting, refurbishing furniture, remodeling rooms, turning her yard into a landscaping masterpiece. She created DIYDarlin.com to share her DIY knowledge while also serving as a forum to learn from other DIYers.