PHOENIX - With Labor Day just around the corner, you might be searching for last-minute travel deals. But there are some "deals" that may not be that great after all.
There are travel websites that promise dream vacations at unbelievable prices. The clock is ticking on these deals and they tell you to act fast, and most of these websites require advance payment.
Sheri Wallace, editor of Roadtripsforfamilies.com , says you shouldn’t be pressured into making a quick purchase. You have to know what you’re supposed to pay if you didn’t have a deal in order to know whether you’re paying too much.
For example, we found a Living Social deal at the Arizona Grand for $139. It includes one night, free breakfast for two, four passes to their water park, even a $50 spa credit toward a 50-minute treatment and the resort fee is included.
It sounds pretty great, right? The website said it’s supposed to be a 57 percent savings.
CHECK THE SOURCE
We found out it really wasn’t that great of a bargain after checking the resort’s website.
You can get the same deal directly from the hotel. Water passes are included with every reservation, regardless of where you book the deal. As for the spa credit, you have to spend in order to save. Spa services can cost more than $100.
You’re really saving about $50 on breakfast and the resort fee, not the 57 percent savings they promised. And you’re losing out on flexibility.
WHAT'S THEIR POLICY?
For many sites, once you buy, there is no refund and the hotel’s cancellation policy doesn’t always apply.
You also have to use the voucher by a certain time.
LEARN FROM OTHERS
To prevent frustration, listen to the experts. You can read blogs to see what others say about their customer service.
On Flyertalk.com , frequent travelers share their secrets on using airline and hotel points to get the best savings.
And Oyster.com goes around the country taking regular photos of resorts without any type of computer magic to ensure you know exactly what to expect.
HOW TO GET YOUR MONEY BACK
These site allow you to try and sell your deal. You won't make money but you may break even.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Don’t be fooled by mediocre deals.
Also, sites like Kayak.com search several airlines at once to help you be more efficient with your search.
And of course check airline and hotel individual sites to see what they're offering themselves. Sometimes, the specific airline or hotel is the one offering the best deals.
Where do you find great travel deals? Let us know in a comment below.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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