Daily deal websites have come a long way since Groupon introduced the concept in late 2008. Many of us buy them regularly to stretch our budgets with 50% off or more on entertainment, products, restaurants and services. Some even overspend due to the lure of the deal!
While I have had good luck getting refunds when the retailer didn’t honor a deal certificate, the risk is prepaying for the good deal is usually less than $100. Now that risk has been kicked up a notch with vacation deals!
My sister recently bought a week-long stay at a Mexican all-inclusive resort from a group buying business. It was a great deal, but cost several hundred dollars for something they won’t use for a few months. She felt comfortable with the purchase because of previous experience with the site.
If you are always on the lookout to save money on travel plans, consider subscribing to a few travel deal sites. You’ll get a feel for the type of offerings at each site and figure out if you’re up for this type of vacation purchase. Let’s look at a few of the sites.
The granddaddy of group buying has travel offerings ranging from hotel rooms to a safari for $3,600. One of the features here is recommendations for things to do nearby a destination or hotel. Groupon stands behind the purchase with their promise to refund the money if you’re unable to book the stay you want.
Living Social Escapes
Living Social was close on the heels of Groupon and started in 2009. Their travel deals are calledEscapes and have a wide variety including hotels, rafting trips, and more. You have 30 days post-purchase to return your voucher, no questions asked.
Bloomspot Travel Getaways
This is another site with interesting, discounted travel offerings. The day I checked there was a 11 day tour to New Zealand at 55% off the regular price. I couldn’t find information regarding travel purchase guarantees or refunds.
Although technically not a daily deal site, Expedia is offering what it calls “A Sudden Amazing Price” or ASAP. Every morning at 9 a.m. Pacific time a new deal is available for 12 hours only.
At most sites, the offers are available for several days to give you a chance to coordinate calendars before purchase. Be sure to read the fine print to understand expiration dates, additional charges and other important details before completing the purchase.
Another option to daily deal sites are membership discount travel sites such as Jetsetter.com and Vacationist.com which both offer free memberships. Don’t forget your warehouse club or other membership organizations.
What do you think about buying your next vacation from a daily deal site?