Who doesn't love getting away for a night or a weekend? I sure do. Living in California, there are many picturesque towns just a few hours' drive away where I can enjoy a day or two of rest and relaxation. But I don't love paying the ticket price for these getaways when nice hotels can charge up to $200 a night. Fortunately, social-buying websites such as LivingSocial or JetSetter have started offering discounted hotel/vacation packages. If you do your research and make sure to read the fine print, you can score wonderful deals for as much as 60% to 70% off.
My boyfriend and I have always wanted to stay at a Bed & Breakfast. But a well-regarded B&B costs over $200 on the weekend, which is more than we are comfortable spending. Last week, we saw a 45% off deal for a historical B&B (Britt Scripps Inn) in San Diego on LivingSocial. Before we clicked the "purchase" button, however, we did our due diligence.
1. Read the reviews.
Britt Scripps Inn's website is beautifully done, but how about some impartial third party review? I checked Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Review to get a complete picture of the hotel. Most of the reviews were extremely positive and consistently lauded a great breakfast, richly decorated rooms, and wonderful location.
2. Check how much the hotel/vacation normally sells for.
Most of the time the social-buying sites have an accurate "compare at" price. But maybe the hotel is offering other packages that turn out to be even cheaper. It's usually worth it to check the website to see if there is another deal that makes more sense for you. Britt Scripps Inn charges almost $300 for one night, so our $149 voucher is certainly a great deal.
3. Understand the fine print.
Make sure you understand blackout dates and restrictions. There's nothing worse than realizing that there is a minimum-stay requirement or your planned dates are restricted after you've already clicked "buy." We knew we'd want to stay for a Saturday night, which is the most in-demand night of the week. So I made sure that the deal didn't say "excluding Saturday night" or "two-night minimum required for Saturday."
4. Enjoy luxury for less!
This is the best part. I like knowing that I am getting a good value for my money. Social buying websites can help you enjoy a great hotel experience at a big discount. As long as you do your homework, you will be able to enjoy luxury for less! This is the last, and best part of any vacation-planning experience.
Photo Credit: Jarita.
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