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!
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.
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 called Escapes 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.
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?
Have you cut back on going to the movies because of the ticket prices? I don’t blame you for not wanting to pay anywhere between $8-13 just for a regular evening show. You don’t have to give up seeing new releases to save money. Here are some ways to see that movie for less.
A few weeks ago my husband and I saw Real Steel before the official opening by going to a screening. We attended this screening thanks to a media invitation, but there were hundreds of other people who took advantage of free seats.
The studio doesn’t want the experience at screenings to include the audience reaction and will fill the theater with press first and then non-press afterwards. You can sign up for screenings in your city at various websites including Film Metro and gofobo.
A word of warning is to go early. More passes are awarded than there are seats so if you really want to see the movie go at least an hour early.
We’ve been fans of the matinee shows because the prices are lower, the crowds are lighter and we’re not too tired! Many theaters not only have lower prices before 4-6 pm, but they also may offer an additional discount for the first showing of the day.
Check the price structures of your local movie houses.
Most theater chains sell discounted tickets to groups. You can buy these through work, a warehouse club or the entertainment book. I’ve found the price to be comparable to matinee fees but you get to go to the evening show!
Sometimes you may have to mail in for the discounted tickets as well so this option requires advance planning.
We recently received two movie tickets just for drinking coke products and entering codes online. One of the rewards available from my credit card is gift cards to a national movie chain. Swagbucks can be redeemed for a gift card to Fandango.
These are just three ways you can see free movies from some type of reward program. You may already be building points that can earn you a free movie seat.
Daily Deal Sites
Websites that sell one deal a day offer discounted movie tickets usually at least 50% their regular price. Sometimes they’re packaged with refreshments. You are usually limited in the number of tickets that can be purchased and there is an expiration date if not used.
We’ve taken advantage of this several times and are happy to get two tickets, a popcorn and soda for $15. If you don’t normally buy food then it might not be as good a deal.
Getting tickets for free or half price means you don’t have to miss the latest installment of your favorite movie. How do you save money at the movies?