10 Tips To Buying A Holiday With Group Buying Sites

Group dealing buying sites like LivingSocial are becoming hugely popular for travellers, with savings of up to 90% on retail prices. Here’s what you need to know about booking your next holiday the bargain way.

1. Be realistic about what type of holiday you would like

A camping trip to Africa? If you don’t like the outback, choose a beach or city vacation that will ensure you relax and unwind.

2. Do some research on the destination and merchant

Do some research to make sure the accommodation, flights, food, beverage and additional services suit your travel style. If you are unsure about a deal, call the merchant for more details before buying.

3. Get your partner or friends in on the deal

Booking a trip with friends holds you accountable and will make sure you take the leave, even when work gets too busy.

4. Put in your holiday leave early

Ensure you can actually take the leave from work, and put in your leave well in advance, otherwise you may wind up with an unused deal voucher.

5. Check the deal and read the fine print
Be aware of the conditions of the deal – including the expiry date – to avoid disappointment when you’re ready to use it. Additionally, read the group buying site’s full terms to understand their refund policies and more.

6. Redeem your voucher early on

The longer you leave it without booking, the more likely you will forget you have bought it, or miss out on the dates you want.

7. Be flexible with redemption dates
Group sales can create a lot of demand and merchants have a limited number of available bookings per day. You might not be able to redeem your coupon within a week of booking or on a specific day. Be open to travelling during any season.

8. Keep track of your unused vouchers
Before buying another deal, check that you don’t already have unused deal vouchers offering the same. Impulse buying may leave you with a large number of vouchers that are too hard to manage.

9. Take advantage of “free voucher” offers

Deal site like LivingSocial offers a free voucher for yourself if you get three-plus friends in on the deal.

10. Book your flight early

You may have saved money on the voucher, so ensure you don’t blow your budget on airfare. Purchase tickets months in advance. Some credit cards also offer free travel insurance when you use them to buy your flight.

Have you purchased a holiday using LivingSocial, Groupon or other group buying sites?

January 19, 2012

Caribbean Travel Guide (Contd)

Glitter Bay

Porters, Barbados

Tel: +800 223 1818

Fax: 246 422 3940

Website: www.cphotels.caIn the case of this classy resort, all that glitters is…everything; from the accommodating staff to the polished suites to the sparkling Caribbean. This place is so popular with returning guests that you may you have to book a year in advance if you are planning to visit during high season.

Hitting the Beaches

On the East Coast:

You’ll see miles of untouched beach along the island’s wildest, hilliest and most beautiful stretch of coast. Bathsheba/Cattlewash beach is the premier destination for surfers keen to lap up the East Coast’s crashing waves. Locals ride the waves here daily but swimming here or anywhere along the Atlantic coast can be extremely dangerous, so you should stick to sightseeing in this area.

On the South Coast:

Here you’ll find medium waves and a young, energetic crowd. The beaches are consistently broad with white, powdery sand; the reef-protected waters are crystal clear and safe for swimming and snorkeling. South coast beaches to check out: Accra, Casuarina, Needham’s Point, Sandy, Bottom Bay and Silver Rock.

On the West Coast:

If you want the calm, magnificently clear Caribbean, head for the west coast, where you’ll find stunning coves and sandy beaches as well as excellent water sports. You can even water ski here. This area is also nicknamed the ‘gold coast’ for it’s unbroken chain of beaches. Beaches to check out: Mullins, Paynes & Bombas.

Read more about this exciting destination in California for Dummies Travel Guide or check out The Travel for Dummies series covers many more of the world’s most fabulous cities. The Travel for Dummies series is available from all good book stores nationally.

March 1, 2001

50 Essential Destinations to Go During your Lifetime

Ros Layton, Travel EditorCall Yourself a Traveller?

50 Essential Destinations for Your Lifetime

Those of us who love to travel and explore the world seem to have a built-in travel checklist that we mentally tick off as we visit the famous places on it: the Mona Lisa at the Louvre – tick! The Colusseum – tick! Here’s my choice of 50 Essential Destinations to try and squeeze in during your lifetime, some of which you may have already ticked off, and others you may not have thought of.

  1. Drink champagne by Ayers Rock at sunset.
  2. Spend a week in New York City.
  3. Ski at a European or North American alpine resort.
  4. Drive along the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
  5. Take a luxury cruise.
  6. Stay in a French chateau, preferably one with a vineyard attached.
  7. Snorkel or scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
  8. See Holland during tulip time.
  9. Go to the top level of the Eiffel Tower in the lift.
  10. Do a trek in the Himalayas or the Andes.
  11. Catch a peak-hour train in Tokyo.
  12. Visit at least one Disneyland.
  13. Stand on London’s Westminster Bridge at night for the best view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
  14. Walk a long a cliff-top on the ruggedly romantic Cornish coast.
  15. Survive a ride in a tuk-tuk through the streets of Bangkok.
  16. Visit the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas.
  17. Go on safari in Africa.
  18. See the sights of Rome (without having your pocket “picked”).
  19. Enjoy a concert of Mozart’s works in Vienna.
  20. Visit a red-light district in a major city. Paris, Amsterdam and Hamburg and Bangkok are particularly eye-opening.
  21. Ride a bike in Copenhagen.
  22. Visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
  23. Spot someone famous in LA.
  24. Take a long walk in the Scottish Highlands.
  25. Chill out in Antarctica.
  26. Check out the view from The Peaks in Hong Kong.
  27. Lie under a cherry blossom tree in Japan.
  28. Visit at least one perfectly idyllic island, perhaps the Maldives, Seychelles or Bora Bora.
  29. Go topless on the French or Italian Riviera.
  30. See the Kremlin in Moscow.
  31. Take a photo of the crowds taking photos of the Mona Lisa in The Louvre, Paris.
  32. Stay on a kibbutz in Israel.

    Visit Rio during Carneval.

  33. Experience at least one train journey of three days duration, or more.
  34. Check out the waves in Hawaii when Pipeline’s pumping.
  35. See the mosques of Istanbul.
  36. Fly over the North Pole.
  37. Go to a casino and nightclub in Monte Carlo.
  38. Travel to at least one Greek Island.
  39. Shop in a Moroccan bazaar.
  40. Stand at the border between Canada and the
  41. United States at Niagara Falls or at the border between Brazil and Argentina at Iguazu Falls.
  42. Visit the Taj Mahal in India.
  43. Experience springtime in Paris.
  44. Go white water rafting in Nepal.
  45. Visit at least one of the world’s deserts.
  46. See the Parthenon in Athens.
  47. Sail a yacht in the Caribbean.
  48. ‘Float’ in the Dead Sea.
  49. Rent a villa in Tuscany.
  50. Join the Mile High Club (if anyone has done this, or knows anyone who’s actually ‘joined’, let us know!)
January 1, 2001