Nothing screams family togetherness like an epic summer vacation. Of course the money that goes along with those trips is also enough to make a parent scream. Fortunately there are ways to find awesome deals and save money while traveling. We’ve rounded up nine travel websites and apps that that help you save money while planning an awesome family vacation.

road-tripphoto: Leah Singer

1. GasBuddy
If a road trip is in your plans, the cost of filling up the tank with gas will certainly add up. GasBuddy is a free app that helps people find the cheapest gas while on the road. Just type in the area where you’re traveling and you’ll get a list of local stations with prices. GasBuddy can also keep family members entertainment. If you report gas prices while traveling, you will earn points and be entered into a daily raffle. More info:

2. Hotel Tonight
Wanna get away, but haven’t made a single plan? Hotel Tonight is the only resource you need. This travel discount website is ideal for spur-of-the-moment road trips since it offers last-minute deals on hotel rooms in cities across the country. From a basic room in Orland for $37 to a luxe deal in Los Angeles for $180, Hotel Tonight will make sure you find a great place to crash at an affordable price. More info:

3. Hipmunk
Scouring all the travel websites for travel deals can be overwhelming. That’s why Hipmunk does it for you. This website and mobile app compares top travel sites and will find you the most affordable commercial flights and trains to hotels and Airbnb vacation rentals. More info:

4. Hotwire
This website is one of the best places to find a killer deal on travel, especially hotel rooms. It offers more than 173,000 hotels throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Here’s how the site works: you search the city and area for lodging, indicating the type of accommodations you need. Hotwire gives you several options that meet your criteria, but you they won’t release the name of the hotel until you’ve booked. Rest assured, however, that the hotels are highly rated and can often be more than 60 percent cheaper than booking directly with a hotel. More info:

5. Cruise Sheet
CruiseSheet was started by a guy who loves nothing more than to cruise the world at low prices. The site was developed to help you find what you want at the best possible price. The website is easy to navigate, does not charge booking fees, change fees or markup. Need a last-minute getaway? Be sure to check out the last-minute cruise deals with amazing deals like a 7-night Mediterranean cruise to Barcelona for only $524. More info:

disneyphoto: Leah Singer

6. Undercover Tourist
If a trip to a Disney World or Universal Studios is part of your family vacation itinerary, the first thing to do is click over to Undercover Tourist for the best deals on theme parks. This site can save you up to 30 percent off tickets to the Happiest Place on Earth (making it even happier), as well as hotels around you chosen park. The site also has ticket deals for Legoland, Sea World, Six Flags, San Diego Zoo, and Knott’s Berry Farm. More info:

7. Travelzoo
This site is great if you’re looking for vacation packages at affordable prices. Travelzoo provides ideas, flights and hotel accommodations that range from a weekend in San Francisco at a stay at the Union Square Hotel, to a $99/night stay at the Orlando All-Suite Hotel near Disney World. More info:

8. Home Away and VRBO
Hotels are certainly a fun way to lodge while on vacation. But if you have a big family and planning to be on vacation for more than a few days, a vacation rental home may save you money, and offer more convenience, space and amenities. Home Away and its sister site, VRBO, provide you with vacation rentals throughout the country at prices that are comparable to hotels. Whether you’re looking at a family vacation to the Colorado Rockies, Palm Springs or Hawaii, Home Away has options for you. More info: and


9. Family Vacation Critic
If you’re planning a big summer vacation, why not use a website that specialized in deals for families? Family Vacation Critic helps you find the best airfare, hotels and transportation for your crew, as well as suggest the best attractions and things to do with your kiddos. You’ll definitely want to check out the Deals page, which lists discount hotel deals for a limited time. More info:

What’s your go-to app to save money on vacation plans? Tell us what we should check out next!

— Leah R. Singer