Groupon

My life before Groupon was a gloomy haze of full prices and routinized restaurants.  After I was exposed to the greatest deal-maker on the Interwebs, my life forever changed.  Half-price movie tickets, discounted oil changes, and 75% off horseback riding adventures!  Are you curious about Ethiopian food but unwilling to shell out more than $10 on a potentially disastrous meal?  No problem, Groupon has your back.

What does this have to do with traveling?

No matter if you live in a city Groupon covers or not, there is a good chance that the place you are visiting will be covered (at least, in the USA).  Before you head to Seattle or New York, check out Groupon for some unusual vacation options, like a Murder Mystery Dinner Show or Glass-Blowing Workshop.  It could save you a ton of money as well as introduce you to some unique tourist opportunities.

And then there is the holy grail of Groupon.  The Getaways page.  I check this category at least once a week, scrolling through location-based vacation deals with one hand and wiping away drool with the other.  There are gorgeous hotels available for reduced rates, but what really gets me excited are the international travel packages.  An 8-day Irish Vacation with Airfare & Rental Car for $899?  SHUT UP.

I have to include a caveat here.  Be careful!  Always click the green “See Options” button–sometimes the advertised low cost only applies to flying out of certain cities at certain times.  It is almost inevitable that you will have to buy a plane ticket to get you to the city from which the Groupon works.  It’s still entirely possible, however, to make the extra purchase and still save a bunch of money.

I used to think this was too good to be true.  But I went to St. Maarten because of a resort discount on Groupon.  Booking our room was easy, they knew us when we showed up, and payments went through without a problem.  I bought another Groupon for a hotel in Puerto Rico that I will use in December.  Hopefully it goes well–if not, I will write a follow up Travel Tip on how Groupon is the Worst Ever OMG.

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