Friday, March 23, 2012

Group Buying Power Saves You 50% or More

Anything that can help you travel more cheaply is a good thing in my opinion. An even better thing is something that can help, virtually, anyone save on trips. It’s rare that I find a website that works for just about everyone and also boasts a 50-90% savings on everything they offer, but I have found just that. It’s likely many of you have already found it, too, but didn’t realize how truly useful it is for traveling. I’m talking about Groupon. It’s seriously my favorite daily deal site and I’ve used it at home and away and saved gobs of money. Today is all about the goodness that is Groupon.

For those of you who don’t know what Groupon is, it’s a pretty simple concept: Each day there is a new deal put up from a local company. They can be a salon, tour company, restaurant, yoga studio, shop or any number of other things. They will offer one rockin’ deal for Groupon customers. The discount is always AT LEAST 50% off. They will have a minimum number that need to be purchased for the deal to be valid, which means if you “buy” and they don’t reach the number they need, then your card won’t be charged for your order. If they do reach their desired number of purchases, then everyone who buys that day will get the awesomely discounted whatever they are offering. Groupon means “group coupon”, so that explains why they need more than just one person to take the deal in order for it to help both you and company offering the deal. Companies get their name out to customers, customers try them out and everyone wins!

I can attest to the money-saving aspect of Groupon on vacation, because last year we went to Hawaii and we booked all of our entertainment and some dining by using Groupon Honolulu. We’ve purchased 2 tours (one full-day and one half-day) and a snorkeling trip that also features an on-deck BBQ. How much did we save on just those 3 things? Almost $250 (approximately £163). We did think about buying a Go Card for our trip, but we were only there for 7 days, so we knew we would be doing other activities that were either free or inexpensive on their own: the Dole Plantation, Honolulu Zoo (which would be ½ off if we had a current zoo membership), the beach and the International Marketplace. I love a GoCard, but if I can’t get the full benefit of it, then I would rather not spend the money on it. What did I do with the money I saved? Bought tickets for a luau, of course!

Not only did we save on activities, but when I received emails from Groupon that included restaurant discounts, I looked at where they are located in relation to my lodging and then purchased accordingly, since going out to eat in Hawaii can be relatively expensive. We purchased a few certificates for dinners at nearby restaurants and one for Wahoo Fish Tacos for lunch to mix in with our expected trip to both Chili’s and Hard Rock CafĂ© (we have neither in Portland, so we do look forward to eating at these when we travel), our lunch at the Dole Plantation and then whatever we chose to make ourselves in our included kitchen. Our trip turned out to be much more affordable than we first expected, with the help of Groupon, which allowed us to put more money aside for our return trip to London in the fall.

And now Groupon has teamed up with Expedia to bring you fantastic(er) deals on travel! With amazing discounts on luxury hotels and accommodations, you can’t afford NOT to travel well while still on a budget. The rates may not be slashed to 90% off, but they will be great and you’ll drool over their gorgeous photos and long to go everywhere all at once.


So, how do you sign up for Groupon? It’s easy and free! In fact, you can use your Facebook account to sign in if you want. Use either your home location or your next vacation destination as the one you wish to get deals for and then look for them in your email. You can click through to look at your local area as well, and your preferred destination anytime you want.

Use Groupon all over! Use it to save on date night at home, be a tourist in your own city, get pampered or save on everyday things. That’s right, you can purchase BOGO certificates for bowling, 50% off dinner, discounted massages or facials and even save on oil changes for your car. The possibilities are virtually endless.

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