Posts Tagged ‘cruises’, still as relevant as ever.

July 24, 2013


In the world of purchasing travel everyone has been taken for a ride once or twice.  Even the most frugal and savvy amongst us don’t know, and can’t know what pricing surprise is about to occur a day, a week or a month from now.  The entire industry has gone through what can only be called a dynamic rearrangement of consumer behavior in the past 5 years.  Advance planning is on the wane, and last minute impulse (hey, I still have a job) is growing each and every day.  It is true that some of the more paranoid individuals do things way, way in advance but that crowd is now down to a fraction of what it was ten years ago.  Sure people understand that travel product spoils like fruit and the older or closer to utilization it come, the less it is truly worth.  These days, even products that never discounted now are creating more and more, “specials” because it is important to get every last dollar of revenue possible. 

Understanding this new dynamic, is in the perfect place to help intrepid, engaged travelers save money.  We do require a certain, higher level of engagement than most other “deal centric” sites, but in our case that extra work converts directly to dollars saved by the consumer.  If you want to save, you have to take these simple steps:

  1. Read the offer carefully
  2. Study the value of the product you are interested in on some other sites.
  3. Bid with your head, not over it.
  4. Understand that the entire process from initial bid to confirmation can take a bit of time.

These four easy steps have been managed by millions of winners over our tenure.  Sure, some people come to the site and want to win for the $1 starting price but while we control the starting price we don’t control the ending price, all of you do that.

So if you are serious about purchasing travel for less, by now (after 14 years) you should have gotten to know us.  If you haven’t and somehow you come across this piece, click here to see our latest round of $1 offers.  We are only just getting started!

When common sense loses out…

July 18, 2013


After being in this crazy tourism business there are a few unstated rules you understand but never fail to ignore.  One of the understood principles it that travel is a subjective experience and what is great for one really sucks for someone else.  There is little you can do to prepare yourself for the inevitable complaints about something you have sold hundreds of times before flawlessly, only to have it blow up on you when you least expect it.

Review sites point out this in a very dramatic fashion.  I know that of course, many of these sites are loaded with brilliant, glowing endorsements written by contracted staff or “ghost reviewers”. By the same token many of the glaring bad reviews are written by competitors employing “blog saboteurs” whose only role is to make the other guy look really bad.  On some occasions however, the actual guest sees everything in a very different way.  Perhaps he is used to staying at Ritz Carlton, but just decided to check out the motel 6 for this particular trip.  Just maybe they got such a good deal they thought, “What the hell” and purchased something outside of what they would do normally.  Either way, it is usually quiet impossible to tell as with all things blog, track record could be completely fabricated and fictional or totally non-existent.

I have written on the dangers of review sites before, yet they grow in strength and numbers every day.  I have even made the mistake of directing customers, friends and family to do their own research prior to purchase only to end up with shock, surprise and dare I say, crap as a result.  Aren’t we all responsible for our own choices?  Is there anything objective about travel other than getting someone to a place, getting them a room and services they paid for?  Even these elements aren’t a slam dunk, usually due to what someone “thought” they would be getting.  How it looks when you are there may not be entirely the picture you had in your mind’s eye.  Travel is about the experience, and expectations and perceptions are just that, not real.

I know it is wrong to rant, to blame others for their misconceptions and expectations.  Dream on, book that $1,000 per night hotel room for $100, I am sure it is the same, exact thing!  Maybe, just maybe value isn’t at all in the place or the food or the room, maybe it is in the experience you have with those you are travelling with or those you meet along the way.  That is the only real reason to travel, after all.

Do us all a favor and spend some money on a vacation this summer.

June 20, 2013

Aren’t we all just a little tired and in need of a nice vacation.  It doesn’t really have to be anything lavish or even expensive, just some time away from our everyday existence and out of ear shod of the 24 hour news cycle.  Is it just me or could we all do with a few less glances at our smart devices over the course of a few days?  I think the answer is definitely yes, but how can we do that without an intense amount of work to find a deal in a hurry.  Shall I look through the stacks of emails I have from every purveyor of travel for whom the word; deal, is a relative term.  I have my top 10 deals, top summer deals, top group deals, my socially delivered deals, which one shall I choose? 

I know what you are thinking, that it is easy for me because I am in the industry, I have an inside track on what is what and where is best.  Unfortunately, I think like a consumer and I have only one real criterion when choosing a vacation, value for money spent.  This makes it easy, I look for what I want to do, potentially a destination and then I work backwards to really see what value I can get for the money I am about to spend.  I don’t want to spend $10 for something worth $5, so sometimes cheap trips don’t hold any real value at all.  It is easier to recognize value at the highest end of the market because these “deal” sites don’t regularly bang around bargains for 5 star resorts so when I see value there, I know it instantly.  In fact, this is a large part of the reason we have so much success at with our higher end product lines.  People recognize the value and they relish the opportunity to save real money on products not normally found shopped around as a “daily deal”.

Value for money spent, I want everyone to remember those words of wisdom.  To me, it means getting the most out of every vacation dollar. The most of what you want on your precious time off.  So whether you want more beach or better beach, or more activities, or less activities, you should size up what you pay against what you receive.  I think most people end up with a vastly better understanding and experience when they don’t let price drive their decision making process exclusively.  You can pay less but are you really getting what you want, or even what you pay for?

So do us all a favor and go on a trip this summer and remember what I told you, discounts are nice, but don’t ever discount what you really want.

4 Travel Deals: Buy it or Bid for it? You be the judge.

March 22, 2013

It was not all that long ago that the travel industry was pinned down to one standardized method of distribution. Not that working through travel agencies is a bad thing but the quality of the service varies wildly and without any warning. You have some great industry minds who manage and run agencies and you have a lot of people who think working in travel is a sexy, glamorous way to make a living. (It really isn’t) What you have is a big wide world of possibilities and no one can really expect any agent to know it all, all the time.
Along comes the Internet and prospective travelers can not only do unlimited research they can also work with companies directly whose expertise can be narrowed down to their area of interest. It is safe to say that someone who sells Greece for a living knows a thing or two about it. So consumers, more and more, are purchasing based on their own criteria and not worrying about whether or not their local agent is selling them something simply because they are making some additional money in commission one product or another.
As empowering as it is to have real distribution choices, there are limited choices when it comes to finding the products you want to purchase for less money. If you really want a deal, you simply can’t rely on most of the sites that promise you as much. Daily deal sites are a joke when it comes to their travel offers. Most tour companies have to build in commissions whether or not they are distributed via a travel agent and rock bottom, net price online giants are battling more and more with hotel companies that simply won’t let them discount. So what’s the solution? I think it is auctioning.
For over 14 years we have been offering a wide array of top quality, brand name products at auction each and every day. We have quietly and efficiently saved people tons of money over our tenure. We are considered an “alternate distribution outlet” and hence, are not subjected to some of the rules other distributors find themselves constrained with. It all depends on whether the consumer wants to engage in the purchase process that requires them to study, understand, price and bid for the products they want to buy. I mean, people are saving hundreds on a single trip so, why not?
Check it out for yourself?

4 Travel Deals, you have to really want it!

March 9, 2013

Travel Relevance in the face of total Travel Irrelevance

How can anyone make a determination on what is a good deal anymore when purchasing travel? The noise is deafening! So many web marketing companies are mining for gold in the travel space that they have completely bleached the word “deal” into something less that white, it is nearly invisible! Even the savviest in the crowd can’t get a firm handle on where, when and under what restrictions you can gain access to a good place to go, at a good price. The web went from wonderful to wondrous, as you stare wide-eyed into a glaze of deals, deals, deals. I meet and speak to people every day who wouldn’t know a real bargain if it bit them in the butt!
You need to stop, get away from the groups and the people living socially and make up your own mind. There are some really great sites for research and photos and descriptions on just about every destination on earth. Get a feel for what you want to do and how much you would like to spend. With that said, here is my paramount piece of advice: DON’T BE A JERK! Sorry if that was rude but you don’t know how many people I run into that want to buy 6 star luxury for 2 star prices. Yep, they go and come back and rant about how they usually stay here or there, but decided to go for a deal and found it wasn’t here or there, it was somewhere completely different! What a shock.
So if you are realistic, and you can narrow down your choices to a few regions you can go out and shop your deal dreams on a few very powerful websites. This doesn’t mean these are the big, big guys alone, but a few that are in business to deliver high value for money spent.
That is where we come in, we make deals, that is all we do. We live to secure and deliver good deals to the people we do business with. Sure we offer some buy it now type stuff for those who won’t ever understand that in order to get real savings, the process might require a bit more “inconvenience” than on other sites. You might have to wait a while for a confirmation but you really have to understand that our unusual process saves you money at the end of the day. So if you really want something extraordinary, and you are willing to invest a bit more time, then you may be worthy of working with us. If you want to pay more to be with the group, then go right ahead.