Tag Archives: vacations

Buy Your Vacation from a Daily Deal Site

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!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.

Groupon Getaways

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.

Expedia ASAP

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?

Photo: Some rights reserved by Simon_sees

Travel Savvy: Knowing When to Vacation

travel to nc mountains

For some, a holiday is the chance to lie on a white, sandy beach, the wash of a turquoise ocean and a soul-soothing soundtrack as they absorb a UK summer’s worth of rays in a couple of days. 

travel to nc mountains

For others, a holiday is a voyage of discovery, exploring to-them-unknown territories, experiencing native cultures and standing in awe before both natural and man-made wonders. Some see their holidays as a two-week long party, broken only by bleary-eyed bouts of bathing in the hotel swimming pool.

Some party in a different way altogether, adrenaline rather than alcohol rushing their systems as they snowboard from perilous peaks, fling themselves from cliff edges or hunt the highest waves to ride.

Such different goals – the goal to escape the humdrum back home aside, of course – and yet they share a further factor. They’re largely dependent on the weather.

Find out the Best Time of Year to Travel

The right amount of sun, the right temperature, the right sort of snow, or the right amount of wind. Nature produces the world’s most breathtaking landscapes and enables some of mankind’s most absorbing pursuits. So choosing the right weather – the right season – for a holiday destination is of course essential.

Yet we all know someone who’s failed to find out the best time of year to travel to their preferred holiday destination; the couple honeymooning in the Maldives, packing solely beachwear, only to find themselves trapped in their admittedly luxury hotel by monsoon season deluges; the sun-seekers who, spying an irresistibly cheap holiday in Spain, pay little attention to geography and never check the annual climate charts – instead spending their holiday wrapped in a towel indoors, playing cards with a deck of 51.

It seems so obvious to check local weather conditions before you book a holiday, and when we hear of such ill-planned holiday perhaps some of us hide a little scorn behind our sympathy. But it could happen to anyone – you spot a last-minute holiday, bargain price, and leap before you look. Leaving aside those occasions when completely unforeseeable climatic conditions unhinge the best of plans, edge of season bookings always carry some risk. So it’s worth taking your time and doing your holiday weather research before you book.

Travel sites can help you find the best deals so you’re maximizing your savings and going at the best window for travel at your favorite destinations.

Imagine visiting New England during the fall, to see the leaves turn myriad colours as autumn progresses – but arriving mid-November when the spectrum has been exhausted.

Imagine booking a skiing holiday in the French Alps mid-spring, only to find that the best of the snow has begun to turn to slush.

Thoughts on Scheduling Travel

With the weather there are few cast iron guarantees, but by studying a holiday region’s historical weather reports – rather than just looking at the season’s average temperature – you can avoid booking a holiday that doesn’t deliver what you’re hoping for.