Searching for cheap travel deals can be daunting. Luckily, there are some great travel deal websites to help you out.
Another option is to subscribe to a “deals” list like LivingSocial or Groupon. Both of these sites offer city-specific discounts on various goods and services as well as travel opportunities at amazingly reduced prices. For example, when I opened my email inbox yesterday, I found a travel deal notification from LivingSocial for 6 days, 5 nights at an all-inclusive resort on Grand Cayman for $550. Sound too good to be true? You’ll just have to sign up at one or both of these sites and find out for yourself.
As I mentioned above, both Groupon and LivingSocial are city-specific, meaning you’ll only receive deals in the cities you sign up for (except for travel packages, they are offered to everyone). If I’ve already booked a flight somewhere, I always sign up for the Groupon or LivingSocial list in that city. For example, when I visited L.A. last fall, I signed up for the Los Angeles Groupon before I left and was able to score several half-priced meals and 75% off massages for both my travel companion and myself.
How each site works:
With over 35 million users, Groupon serves more than 150 cities in North America and 100 cities in Europe, Asia and South America. The site launched in 2008. Recently, they have begun offering travel packages as a part of their daily deals program. Most travel packages are advertised for a week at a time (as opposed to the daily deals that must be committed to within 24-hours).
1. Go to www.groupon.com and register for as many cities as you would like.
2. When you see a deal that you’re interested in, commit to buying it. If enough customers commit to buying the same deal, it’s a go.
3. Watch for an email from Groupon with your coupon/deal information.
4. Redeem your deal and enjoy!
Similar to Groupon, LivingSocial offers daily, city-specific deals and is an international social buying company. As of September 22, 2010, LivingSocial was serving 89 cities around the world. Lately, they have begun offering travel packages as a part of their daily deals program. Although daily deals are usually only available for 24-hours, the travel “escapes” (as LivingSocial calls them) are available for a week at a time, giving you ample opportunity to discuss with your travel partners.
1. Go to www.livingsocial.com and register for as many cities as you would like.
2. When you see a deal you’re interested in, commit to buying it. As mentioned above you have a bit more time with the travel deals, so find a few people to do it with you. A perk that’s specific to LivingSocial is that if three people book the same deal (this applies to both daily deals and travel), your deal is free.
3. After you purchase your deal, you will be given a link that you can share on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site you use. If three people purchase the same deal (no matter what the price) through your link, your deal is free. That could mean a free vacation!
4. Watch for an email from LivingSocial for information about your deal.
5. Redeem your deal and enjoy!