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These Cheap Travel Deals Will Help You Get A Head Start On Your 2019 Vacation Plans

By Karen Tietjen
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If one of your resolutions is to travel more in 2019, listen up: You may not board a plane until the new year, but now is the time to start booking your trip. Many major airlines and online travel agencies (OTAs) are offering cheap travel deals as 2018 comes to a close in order to stir up wanderlust in worldwide adventurers.

Although there are plenty of "too good to be true" steals that are actually legit, Dom Scarlett, a travel expert at TravelPirates, says to do your due diligence before clicking the "purchase" button. "You need a multi-pronged approach when looking in to anything online," he advises. "First, you want to look at the OTA. Is it credible? Make sure to look up reviews. Then look up fine print. Does the hotel have good deals? Are there any hidden fees that come up later? If everything checks out, then book it." He adds that using a credit card offers you the most protection should a faulty transaction take place, and if you're a true travel hacker, you can opt for a card that earns points for discounted or free flights.

Ahead, get the scoop on the hottest deals you can snag as you prepare your itinerary for 2019 — but hurry, they won't last long. Pack your bags, because the more money you save, the more you can travel.

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Flights

It can be tricky to find sales on airfare, and on any given day, you might have the best luck on price comparing sites that will pinpoint the cheapest tickets for you. With that said, flash sales and fare deals do pop up, and the best way to get notified is to follow a site that is constantly scanning the internet for them. “Often, the best sales spring up without notice and last just a few hours before the discounted seat inventory sells out," says Tracy Stewart, content editor for the travel deal site Airfarewatchdog.com "To stay on top of these as they happen, cast a wide net and sign up for fare alerts from a mix of airlines, OTAs, and fare listing sites."

Sign up for Airfarewatchdog airfare alerts or follow them on Twitter (@Airfarewatchdog), and you'll stay in-the-know about flash sales and score promo codes. Below are some current promos that are published on their Fare Sale Blog.

  • Deal: Qantas Holiday Sale; $875 to $1,047 roundtrip airfares to Australia
  • Departure cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York
  • Destinations: Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney
  • Promotional dates: now through Jan. 3, 2019
  • Travel dates: subject to departure city

  • Deal: Norwegian Air Sale; $260 to $350 roundtrip airfares to Europe
  • Departure cities: Boston, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York
  • Destinations: Paris and Amsterdam (New York only)
  • Promotional dates: now through Dec. 21
  • Travel dates: mid-January through end of March 2019

  • Deal: Southwest Sale; $98 to $208 roundtrip airfares within the US
  • Departure cities: various
  • Destinations: various
  • Promotional dates: now through Jan. 3, 2019
  • Travel dates: early January to May 22, 2019

  • Deal: SAS Sale; $348 to $498 roundtrip airfares to Scandinavia
  • Departure cities: Los Angeles, Newark, Boston, Washington, DC, Miami, Chicago, and San Francisco
  • Destinations: Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo
  • Promotional dates: now through Dec. 31
  • Travel dates: February through June 3, 2019
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Hotels

Hotwire

Hotwire Hot Rate Hotels are listings with the hotel names hidden until the purchase is made. If the element of surprise makes you hesitant, don't worry: You'll still know the location and star rating before booking. By hiding the names, Hotwire can list hotels for up to 60 percent off retail price, and with added promos like the ones below, you'll get savings upon savings.

  • Deal: nine percent off Hot Rate Hotels during the New Year's sale
  • Code: none
  • Promotional dates: Dec. 26 through Dec. 28
  • Travel dates: no restrictions

  • Deal: 10 percent off Hot Rate Hotels when booked through the mobile app
  • Code: NYE19
  • Promotional dates: Dec. 31 (24 hours only)
  • Travel dates: no restrictions

Orbitz/CheapTickets/Travelocity

All members of Expedia Group, Orbitz, CheapTickets, and Travelocity are also OTAs that offer travel options at discounted prices. From now through early 2019, each site has a promo code to help you save even more on select hotels.

  • Deal: 10 percent off select Orbitz hotel listings
  • Code: MITTENS
  • Promotional dates: now through Jan. 13, 2019
  • Travel dates: now through Sept. 30, 2019

  • Deal: 16 percent off select CheapTickets hotel listings
  • Code: WINTERBREAK
  • Promotional dates: now through Jan. 6, 2019
  • Travel dates: now through June 30, 2019

  • Deal: 10 percent off select Travelocity hotel listings
  • Code: TRAVELOCITY10
  • Promotional dates: now through March 31, 2019
  • Travel dates: now through Sept. 30, 2019
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Packages

TravelPirates

TravelPirates is a site that scours the internet to find the best travel deals and put them all in one place. What's more, it breaks down the prices and details to make everything easy to navigate, especially for first-time purchasers. One caveat, though: Since it doesn't create the deals themselves, the end of the promotional period is unknown. Below are some of the team's favorite deals, so snag them while you can and follow TravelPirates to stay in the loop.

7-Night Mykonos Vacation From $890

  • Price per person
  • seven-night stay
  • Includes airfare
  • four-star hotel, breakfast included
  • Dates dependent on where you're flying from

4-Star All-Inclusive Dominican Republic Resort From $120 A Night

  • Price per two-person room
  • Price per night
  • Does not include airfare
  • four-star all-inclusive hotel
  • Includes spring dates

5 Nights In Mexico City From $339

  • Price per person
  • five-night stay
  • Includes airfare
  • three-star hotel, breakfast included
  • Dates dependent on where you're flying from

7-Night Hawaii Cruise from $1249

  • Price per person
  • seven-night stay
  • Does not include airfare
  • Includes free meals, beverage package, $100 onboard credit, and 10 percent off excursions
  • Dates in February and April