Here’s some tips on finding cheap flights and accommodation:
If you see a good flight, book it! Don’t wait – prices tend to go up unless there is a last minute special.
If you are really flexible and would like to find the cheapest flight departing over a 30 day period, for a custom length (+- 9 days), use http://matrix.itasoftware.com/ . You can’t book through this site, but it gives you n indication of the best fares available (which you can then book on kayak, expedia, etc).
For accommodation, never use a travel agent! – unless they have a combined flight/accomodation package tour which may be at a discounted rate.
Check the reviews on these hotel search sites, and cross-reference the reviews on tripadvisor.com Before you book, finally have a look at the rates on the hotels website – they may have a special that is not available to the hotel search sites. Then book, before the price goes up! Try booking with a hotel that offers free cancellation – this allows you much more flexibility to change plans prior / during a trip.
If you’re looking for something cheaper than hotels, where you get an opportunity to meet other travellers, book a hostel – you can book either a shared dorm or a private for reasonable rates. You will be surprised how good value / clean some hostels can be. I prefer to book on hostelbookers.com or hostelworld.com – check the reviews on a hostel before booking. If hostelworld’s price is cheaper than hostelbookers, click this link to get a free gold card that allows you to save further with no service fees: https://www.hostelworld.com/
If you are looking at longer-term, cheap accommodation, consider using airbnb.com – for villa/apartment/home rentals.