The economy may be wobbly, but our travel dreams are still strong. The internet has really revolutionized the way we plan our vacations, and there are many sites out there that will help you keep on budget.  We have made a list of some of the best travel sites out there that will help you score the best deals on hotels, airfare, car rentals, and more!

1)Check Traveler Forums Before Bidding on a Room.

Almost everyone has heard of Priceline.com and HotWire.com where you can bid for unsold hotel rooms. The savings you can score from “blind booking” is usually 35-60%. However, before doing any type of online booking check message boards for the related site of your choice. If you like bidding for rooms using Priceline try BiddingforTravel.com which is a forum other travelers use to share knowledge, including how much they are spending in a certain area. If you prefer Hotwire.com you can check out BetterBidding.com for tips in their forum.

2)Find Cheap Vacation Rentals online.

Renting a condo, apartment, or even hotel from it’s owner is becoming more common. Try using sites like VBRO.com or Homeway.com to find places for rent by owner. Make sure to check out the reviews and pictures online before agreeing.

If you are okay with the idea of staying with a stranger, or even swapping houses with them you can use sites like AirBnB.com or HomeExchange.com.

3)Be Flexible to Find the Best Deals

Let the deal drive the trip instead of picking a destination and specific day first. Great deals often pop up and disappear quickly, but keeping your eye on sites like Travelzoo.com, AirGorilla.com, and Mobissimo.com will allow you to score some great savings. You can also try Groupon.com if you want to go within a short period of time.

4)Track Airfare Online to See if the Price Drops

AlaskaAir, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and US Airways will give you a voucher for the difference if you notice a cheaper price after you purchase an airline ticket. But, unless you are constantly checking airline prices you might not even know you overpaid. This is where Yapta.com comes in. After you sign up they will automatically track your flight and help you get the difference if the price goes down.  Be cautious it is work asking for first, since some airlines may charge a processing fee for a refund.

5)Ditch the Frequent Flyer Card

The trend in this industry is leaning towards devaluing frequent-flyer miles by making them harder to earn and redeem. We suggest opting for a Cash Back Credit Card instead. (You can check out a list here of some great Cash Back Rewards Cards.)

6)Save on Airport Parking

Using off-site parking and taking advantage of free shuttles to the terminal can be a better idea than keeping your car at the airport. Sites like BestParking.com and LongTermParking.com are search engines that find drivers the cheapest and most convenient parking facilities.

7)Take a Bus

Greyhound has launched a new line called Boltbus.com, and Megabuses serve a large part of the country in busses that have amenities like free Wi-Fi, walloutlets to charge devices, and more legroom than a plane. A quick search at Megabus.com reveals deals like $5.00 from Detroit to Chicago! Some other tickets may be closer to $40.00, but it beats an airline ticket!

8)Ship Packages When you Travel

You can avoid hefty baggage fees by using UPS ground to ship extra luggage back. Also, while you’re at the gate listen carefully for announcements, some airlines will ask for “volunteers” to check their bags for free.