Flash sales offer vacationers travel deals

August 16, 2011 8:12:13 PM PDT
Summer is winding down fast now and a lot of people still haven't gone on a vacation. If the cost is holding you back, there is some welcome news -- travel flash sales.

Remember about a year and a half ago when Groupon took the coupon world by storm? Now we have hundreds of daily deal sites. The latest thing in deep discounts are travel flash sales.

"What makes it a flash sale is that the deal is only available to the consumers for a very short period of time," Spire senior travel editor Jennifer Gaines said. "So if you see a deal you like on a flash sale travel site, you need to book it as soon as possible so you get the dates you want at the price you want."

First off, know what you are buying. Is it a hotel room, or a voucher for a hotel room?

"It is a big difference; something people really need to watch out for," Gaines said. "It is neither a good or bad thing, but something consumers really need to be aware of. Are you getting a voucher or are you getting a confirmed reservation?

A reservation is a bird in the hand, but a voucher offers flexibility.

So what are the deals like?

Off and Away is offering a stay at the upscale Jackson Hole Hotel Terra for $120 a night.

A spot check of the hotel's site compared with Off and Away showed, although there was a sliding scale, Off and Away's deals were cheaper.

An offer on Spire on Tuesday showed Ravella at Lake Las Vegas advertised, "was $119, now from 83."

7 On Your Side checked the Ravella site and found the room going for $104. Not $119, but still more than 20 percent off.

Spire guarantees every hotel room sold on its site is at least 30 percent off. So 7 On Your Side called and said the deal was only a 20 percent discount. Spire said anyone who bought the deal is eligible for a $100 voucher. It is an incredibly good deal since those buying were given a $50 voucher as a bonus for making the purchase in the first place.

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