When it’s a deal and when it’s not, that is the hardest question. There are a number of travel sites that send out emails and other advertisements for Great Deals On Travel. The only problem is knowing when these great deals are actually great, as opposed to scams, or even worse not even a deal at all. Use this guide to help you create a foolproof plan for your next great-deal vacation.
Tip 1: Most of the too-good-to-be-true travel itineraries are subject to date restrictions.Use those dates to plan your own itinerary. Nine times out of ten you can put together your own flight, meal and hotel package for the same or less than what the company is offering. They’re somehow making money on this, so you could potentially save money building it yourself.
Tip 2: If it says you have to call to book it be wary. Most of these are not scams, but up-sells. They reel you in with a super low starter price and then get you to agree to package extras. Before you know it that $400 flight plus Hotel weekend has turned into $1,200 and you’re not even saving any money. The best way to avoid this is to either not deal with travel companies that only do phone confirmations, or be extremely firm. Have a list of exactly what you want and make sure that they don’t add anything to the price or your time. You are paying for this so don’t let them scam you.
Tip 3: Look up the product independently of the so-called saving site. For instance, one of the companies that said I could save a whole bunch on a Seattle pass turned out not to be such a great deal. When I went to the actual Seattle pass site it showed the “sale” price as their normal discounted rate. There was no extra savings going on. Groupon has been known to do this, so always check with the site first before buying from a second source.
*That’s not to say avoid Groupon or other sites like it. On the contrary, these sites can have really good deals. Just use the above to make sure your money stays in your wallet.
Best of all, use common sense. You are the best judge of where your money should go. Don’t do it unless you are 100% comfortable with what is going on. If you get scammed you are less likely to enjoy the trip. Remember that you don’t need to buy anything this minute. A better deal can always come along later, and that it is your life. Don’t let others dictate it for you! Stay alert. Stay in control.