You’re probably familiar with a common vacation dilemma: Book now while there are still seats available on the flight, or wait and see if the price drops.
It’s a delicate dance that most of us do because we hate overpaying for hotels, rental cars and flights. What if the price drops after you book a flight? Then what? What if you get to the hotel and learn that the guy staying in the room next to you got a better deal?
Thankfully, there are a handful of websites that make it easier to commit by tracking the best prices before and after you make your travel purchase. If these services find a lower rate or notice a price drop, they’ll help you get your money back.
Here are five that may help ease some of your travel purchase headaches.
Founded in 1989, CheapAir.com helps millions of travelers buy cheap plane tickets with less stress. Since 2012, the California-based company has offered a price drop payback guarantee. They’ll reimburse you up to $100 per ticket if your fare drops before your trip.
“Buying a plane ticket is a lot like playing the stock market. You see a fare you think is a good deal, but a week later it could be higher or lower,” according to Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com. “We created Price Drop Payback to take the worry out of knowing when to buy and to reassure folks that they’re getting a good deal, guaranteed.”
With its website and mobile app, Yapta.com tracks flight and hotel prices to help travelers get the best fare—even after their initial purchase. After you book a trip, Yapta will monitor prices and alert you if you’re eligible for a refund or a travel voucher, according to the company’s website. Since some airlines charge a re-booking fee, Yapta takes those into consideration and only alerts travelers when the price drop covers the fee. Since 2007, Yapta has discovered more than $550 million in savings for travelers.
Not only does AutoSlash help you find the best car-rental prices by using coupons, discount codes and your club memberships (think AAA), they’ll also track your rental after you make a reservation and re-book it if the price drops. There’s typically no need for a refund, since you don’t pay for the car ahead of time.
After you book a hotel through Tingo.com, the company will monitor your room choice and automatically re-book you at the lower rate. The site was launched by TripAdvisor in 2012 and is a favorite of savvy traveler George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com. Hobica told the LA Times that Tingo helped him get money back on a two-night stay in Las Vegas.
Priceline.com offers a best-price guarantee on all flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages booked through the website. Unlike some other services, Priceline doesn’t look for a lower price for you. If you find one on your own, however, you can alert Priceline and they’ll help you cancel your existing reservation so you can re-book at the lower rate. If you can’t re-book, they’ll refund you the difference after your trip. Your new itinerary must exactly match the one you booked through Priceline, according to the company’s website, and the price must be available to the general public—no special discounts.