Are Travel “Deals” Really Worth It? – 114

In the world of vacation planning, everyone is looking for a deal. While planning and researching are often rewarded, some offers are too good to be true. Today, we’ll help you wade through the fact and fiction of travel deals.

Most travel deals are legit but you just have to be clear on what you are getting.

What to Watch Out For in So-Called Deals

  • Packages might bundle things differently from how you want.
    Room type, air travel times
  • Do deals include what’s important to you?
    Some perks you are paying for could be things you don’t even want or can’t use
  • Percent-off offers.
    Percent-off of what?
  • Is the travel deal even available?
    Resort, dates.
  • Watch for cancelation policies, pay in full, or non-refundable deposits

Bottom Line: A travel “deal” may be great. But price out what you would actually want and compare. And know what you are booking!

Big Box Stores vs. OTAs vs. Travel Advisor

  • Transaction vs support
  • What do you get from booking?
  • What will you do when something goes wrong?

Watch for Travel Deal Scams

  • Weird web addresses and email addresses
  • Misspellings/odd language
  • Asking for payment info as the first step
  • It just seems too good to be true

Travel deals are certainly out there and if they fit you/your family and how you want to travel that is great! However, often the fine print is not as simple. Make sure you are clear! Have the right support (TA, hint hint) to make sure y

Question: What is a travel “deal” that you fell for that wasn’t what you expected?

Please let us know in the All Things Travel Podcast Facebook group!

Start Making Your Magical Memories!

Ryan and Shayne are both Travel Advisers with Creating Magic Vacations, an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Feel free to reach out to us for a free quote and to start making magical memories.

Where in the World is All Things Travel?

  • Gilbert, Arizona

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Episode 114 Transcripts

Episodes are transcribed with artificial intelligence,s so there are likely some highly amusing translations!

Ryan: Hello, and welcome to All Things travel in the world of vacation planning. Everybody’s looking for a good deal while planning and researching is often rewarded. Some offers are too good to be true today will help you Wade through the fact and fiction of travel deals. You’re listening to All Things Travel, episode one 14 original air date, June 22nd, 2022.

So Shayne, have you ever been disappointed with a quote unquote travel deal?

Shayne: Okay.

I traveled differently than people. The most people do. I’m usually into it for the adventure.

Ryan: Okay.

Shayne: If something can go wrong that’s a challenge. And if I can go with a flow with something that goes wrong then it’s okay. It adds to it. So, So the answer to your question is yes. In spite of all that.

Yes. And it wasn’t that long ago. In fact, it was the very first AgentPalooza

Ryan: So this would have been what, 2019.

Shayne: Yes. And so I, we were going to universal and it was kind of last minute because we always wait till the last minute to decide we’re going to do something during or after agent Palooza. So I booked this hotel for our trip to universal and it looked pretty nice and it had transportation.

And then. When I walked into it, waiting for my wife and daughters to come to wherever at the airport, I just walked into it and I went, oh no, what have I done? And then my wife asked me a little later, why is your company promoting this hotel? And I went this guy, my company does not promote this hotel. This was Shayne being a little adventurous and, you know, taking a chance on a deal.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah, have to be a little careful. And what we’re going to talk about today is not the travel deals don’t exist. And not that you can’t say. Some good money and find yourself in a good situation, but really have to know what you’re hunting for and you have to be on the lookout for some tell tale signs a travel deal is too good to be true.

And so we’re going to get into that today, but first, you know what, I’m going to ask you

Shayne: Hmm,

Ryan: is All Things Travel, Shayne?

Shayne: you’re going to love this one, Gilbert. Arizona.

Ryan: Gilbert Arizona welcome Gilbert Arizona. In fact, you know, I have heard a lot about Gilbert, Arizona as being a hot travel spot So

Shayne: Interesting.

Ryan: that you’re listening.

Shayne: It is right there by Phoenix and Tim bay. And I found the coolest place of the white rabbit.

Ryan: The white rabbit. That’s a cool name for a.

Shayne: Yeah, speakeasy type bar and it just looks, I mean, just incredible cocktails and the ambience. really cool. And now I want to go to Gilbert to go to the white rabbit

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. I bet they have a cocktail called the rabbit’s foot and I bet it’s really cool.

Shayne: also. Bet. It’s lucky.

Ryan: Ah, there you go. I like it. I like it. Yep. I’m all about the. Well, Gilbert, Arizona. Thank you so much for listening to all things travel. We really appreciate it. And we’re glad you’re here. Do us a favor, reach out to Shayne or RI via email or on the Facebook group.

Cause I’ve got a little thank you gift for being featured on the show today.

Shayne: And to make sure that you hear where in the world is all things travel next week, be sure to subscribe or follow the show So that you never miss any of our travel tips, travel ideas, or travel stories.

Ryan: So Shayne, you’re one that brought up this idea for an episode, our travel deals worth it. What was your thought process behind.

Shayne: Well, that was a mistake. That I made, and I think mistakes are great if you learn from them. And that was sort of when I decided that I was not going to deal in travel deals, I didn’t want to be associated with that place. Cause it was just, it was not a great experience. And so between that experience and then just seeing how travel is coming back now, and people watching deals. There’s just a lot to be careful of. And that, I mean, that’s not just with travel, right? It’s with anything where you see deal, want to be careful and know that if it’s too good to be true

Ryan: Yeah. And like I said, at the beginning, you know, there are a lot of legit travel deals. I mean, there are ways to save money on your vacation. Most everywhere you want to go, but you have to be clear on what you’re getting. And so today we have a couple of tips on how to think about these deals really make sure you’re booking it the right way or getting the support you need to book at the right way.

the first is understanding. The packages may bundle things differently than the way that you want it just because it’s a bundle deal with rental car and flights and resort and everything like that. That doesn’t mean you’re going to want all those things. And when you parcel them out, You might be paying more for things that you don’t necessarily want, or the package that’s offered, the room type is not something that you want to have.

And there’s no way to change that. air travel times. I think Shayne this is one that I deal with when folks want me to bundle air in a resort, the flight time. That the resorts have bundled in their packages are not ones that are very attractive. And so you have to be really clear if you’re getting a package deal what’s actually included.

Is that what you want?

Shayne: An example is I was looking at a package deal just a couple of weeks ago and it was an overnight flight. And so I’m looking through this deal and I’m thinking, okay, it looks good. It looks good. It looks good. And then I finally figured out what it was, is the way the site put the deal together. You were leaving the United States one evening and arriving the next morning, but because you had put that those dates in, it was still trying to book you in the hotel the night when you were on the flight.

Ryan: Well, while you were traveling.

Shayne: Yeah. So that’s stuff like that.

Ryan: it’s not necessarily even that somebody is trying to scam you and we’ll talk about scams here in a couple minutes. It’s that the systems that are trying to work together just are not talking the right way. And if you’re not paying attention, you can really kind of screw something.

So the second one here kind of going along with the first is, does what’s involved in the deals matter to you are the perks that are being offered really what’s important. So for instance, there’s a deal going on right now for a resort that I really liked that I booked quite often for clients.

It’s a very good deal. However, part of the deal is teens and kids stay for free. Well, that’s a problem. When most of the people that I booked for this resort are adults only. And so therefore, They’re not getting to use the real perk of what’s being offered in the deal. You know, it’s not that they’re, it’s not that they’re losing money, but they’re not gaining that perk if you will.

Or if resort credit is offered, you know, and you really want to use it for a spot treatment, oftentimes that free resort credit can not be used at the spa. So just kind of thinking about how are we going to use these things to make them really. Work for us, if you will.

Shayne: And I’ve noticed with a few of the cruise companies is that see these deals

Ryan: Yep.

Shayne: so you take advantage of the deal. And a lot of times these aren’t. The room you want, you’re going to want a balcony. And these are, these deals are always the entry level. And then the next level is, as you start adding these things, as you start adding on to your package, the things that you want to do, there’s a really good chance that you could book a trip that would be more inclusive and include all the things that you want to do on a nicer cruise ship. Probably around the same price.

It’s just, it would be all inclusive versus getting it at that deal and then piece milling the rest of the stuff that you want to add to

Ryan: you’re absolutely right. And what they’re capitalizing on is people not taking the time look at that, break that up and see if that makes the most sense. And so, yeah, you’re looking for the convenience of the booking rather than it’s just what I really want

Shayne: And then I’ve also have friends that would find these deals and would always include a tour and then the really hard sale of

Ryan: Yes, is, that is an issue when you’re talking about some resorts is what does the timeshare, you know, is there a timeshare expectation? And that’s just part of it. You have to be really careful because. If that’s part of the deal you’re booking you’re setting yourself up for a big headache.

Shayne: No doubt.

Ryan: So this next one is percentages watching deals that, that focus on a percentage off of vacation because what’s that percentage based off of.

Shayne: Based off the regular price.

Ryan: Right, but that price is often just like we see with black Friday deals or holiday deals in the store. Oftentimes the price is jacked up before the percent is taken off. And so just getting a room for 40% off, you don’t really know what that 40% off is based off of.

Shayne: And this area you have to do define for you, is a deal? What do you mean

Ryan: Yep.

Shayne: Because we see pretty consistently every year will offer around the spring and summer up to

Ryan: Yeah.

Shayne: off or up to 25% off rooms these certain conditions. And it’s the it’s luxury resorts where you get the 25% as you go

Ryan: Exactly.

Shayne: resort, the percentage decreases and then down

Ryan: Oh,

absolutely. And so our clients call and they say, Hey, I just saw you posted this thing about getting 25% off. Can I do that for the vacation that I’ve booked? And we’ll take the time to look at that. And they’ve booked at a value level resort. And so they’re only getting 10% off and they’re not understanding why.

Shayne: Yeah.

Ryan: because, yeah it’s understanding what the percentage.

Shayne: And 25% off the rate of a luxury resort. I consider that a deal,

but for.

Ryan: I mean, I have used those. I have used these types of promotions to save clients thousands of dollars, you have to read the fine print to understand what the percentage actually. So you brought up the Disney resort promos as an example, Shayne. And one of the things that we find is travel advisors.

And this goes along with the next thing to be on the lookout for the travel deal even available. we will go in cause one of the things that we do when folks book with us when there’s a promotion that pops up, we will automatically go in and see if. And so I don’t have to have a, I don’t have to have a client asked me to do that.

I do that on their behalf and that promotion is not available because the resort only allots a certain number of rooms for that promotion. And so it’s not even, is it available? It’s is it even available, you know, is there even space available in that. And cruises do this airlines, do this resorts, do this.

You know, or the dates are not when you want to be traveling because as a resort or a vacation spot, I’m going to be discounting the times when people don’t tend to travel. You know, it’s not going to be the week between Christmas and new year’s that I’m going to find that.

Shayne: By that same token. If you’re flexible on, when you can go, then you will have better luck in finding the big discounts like that.

Ryan: A lot of these things I’m saying what the bad, what to look out for, but some of these can actually kind of be your vacation planning superpower. Right? If I can travel at any time, if I’m flexible with dates, if I’m flexible with airlines, if I’m flexible with my room type, I just want to be there.

You can really rack up the savings.

Shayne: And speaking of room type, when you see these kind of deals, by the time those deals are offered, chances are those most coveted rooms that you probably have in mind that you’re going to want. Those are probably already booked up by the time the

Ryan: Yes. Yes. So this next one to be on the lookout for Shayne is one that gets me every time, especially with cruises, make sure that, you know, before you book a travel. What’s the cancellation policy. If there’s even availability for one, what’s the pay in full policy and are there non-refundable deposits. So for instance, a lot of cruise lines, a lot of cruise lines that you would be familiar with on commercials.

They show these prices, but those are all based on non-refundable deposits, meaning you’re not going to get all that money. Also with a lot of resorts, they have what I’m finding now, Shayne is they have two different prices. They have a flexible cancelable price, and then they have a pay in full non-refundable price that is cheaper while the one that they advertise.

Is the non-refundable pay and full, cheaper again, if that’s okay for you, if you know, you’re going to Arizona for this week, if you don’t plan on and you have the money to pay in full, this could be to your advantage, but you have to understand that going in.

Shayne: That happens a lot with flying in particular where there’ll be two or three options. And usually that one that you see promoted when you’re searching for the flight deal, that first price you see. Is going to be a non-cancelable fair, a non changeable fair, and it’s not going to include baggage and you can kind of apply that same thing to the cruise ships and the resorts.

There’s going to be those different levels that you pay.

Ryan: And depending on the situation that lower price might fit you fine. And you’re willing to do it, but just be on the lookout. So in this, with these ideas, Shayne, the bottom line is a travel deal may be great, but make sure that you price out what you actually want and compare it to. So that, you know what you’re booking, you know, you may not want that special candle light dinner on the beach.

That’s really not of interest to you. So the fact that it’s in the package doesn’t matter you may really want to make sure that you have the travel insurance, so you’re willing to pay more for that. And so you really have to price us out and see, am I saving the money? And does that make it worth the package?

So this next section should. Is who are you going to book with? And I’ve got three folks for you. The big box stores,

Shayne: Hm.

Ryan: online travel programs, like in an Expedia or a or, you know, things like that. Or you went, I a travel advisor. What’s the difference?

Shayne: I think the difference?

is what we like to refer to as the transaction versus the relationship. When you, book at a big box store or an online travel site. When you hit book, That’s the end. of your

Ryan: That’s the end.

Shayne: with Ryan and me? When we hit book for you, that’s the beginning ish of the relationship.

It’s just the start of what we’re going to be doing for you in this true.

Ryan: So you look at a Costco trip. Example, you’re paying the same amount, whether you book with me or whether you book with Costco, what Costco gives you the $50 gift card. And that’s great, but Costco doesn’t do anything else for you when it comes to vacation, they’re not making your dining reservations.

They’re not offer you options for transfers. They’re not calling the hotel to make sure that your room preference is guaranteed. They’re not sending you an article about the cool coffee shop that just opened down the street. That’s what you’re getting with a travel advisor also versus just doing it on the computer.

There may be a little more surface with that, but again, you’re never talking to a person, so you’re not really sure about what that level of service is going to be, especially when, what happened, Shayne?

Shayne: When something goes wrong.

Ryan: like a global pandemic.

Shayne: That is a good example.

Ryan: Yeah. Or when, just like we saw this last week, when the air traffic controllers in Jamaica go on strike and Kingston and Cenk stir airports are closed down for a day. I mean, all of these things can happen. And if you don’t have that certain level of support, Booking at a big box store booking online booking with a travel agent, where are you going to go?

What’s going to happen. First of all, I guarantee the big box store is going to do absolutely nothing for you.

Shayne: I think we saw a lot of examples of that year before last.

Ryan: Absolutely. The online service like Expedia or something like that may offer you a chat function or a wine to get into over the phone offer some support. Me, here to help you. got your back through the entire thing. we’re both biased towards this, but again, when you’re talking about travel deals, just think of the number at the beginning.

Think of how it’s going to impact you throughout the entire trip.

So this last part, Shayne is travel scams. Okay. Just like anything else over the. Travel gets scammed quite a bit. And there’s some things to look out for when you’re evaluating, whether this is a good deal or not. And you being an IT guy, Shayne, you probably see this stuff from time to time. And so I often see this, you know, I get up in the mornings and I check my email and I check the spam folder of my Hotmail.

And there’s all these weird emails that look legit. Right? And then I click on them and I never click them. I never, I just click them open. I never click anything in them, but I always, the telltale sign for me is I look at the email address where it’s coming from, and it’s always some weird, strange email address.

And. Travel deals are the same way. Never assume it’s from the company. It says it is until you go through and look at it a little closer.

Shayne: They have ways of tracking addresses. And somehow when you go and look at. Travel sites,

Ryan: Yep.

Shayne: the, these these hackers spammers, fishers they figure out what you’re looking for based on your IP address. And somehow they track that to your email address and they’re able to send you these offers that look but

Ryan: Yeah.

Shayne: be offers, but there’s also a good chance that it’s just a phishing scam way that to your personal information.

Ryan: So first and foremost, look for weird web of dresses that are obviously not travel sites. Look for weird email addresses, you know, a string of letters and It is not a company offering a travel site, also with this to Misspellings throughout the email or throughout the deal or odd language that doesn’t quite make sense that wouldn’t be a professional advertisement.

are telltale signs that this is something that, that an individual has put together not a company.

Shayne: And oftentimes the misspellings are really close and you may not catch them. you want to look carefully. And another way to tell is on your browser safari, does it Chrome, does it look where the web address is and look for a little. Icon. If you see that little lock icon, it means that the company gone through a process with a third party to certify that their you, that their URL is actually that company.

it’s a level of trust that you

Ryan: Yeah.

Shayne: whether or not you should do business with that side.

Ryan: That’s a good point. Two more things to look for when it comes to scams with travel deals, somebody that asks for payment info as the first step. You know, if the first step is, and obviously a lot of these are, you know, send us your email and we’ll send you a more information.

That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a site or a travel deal where it’s, you know, put your payment in to be pre-approved. And, you know, obviously we don’t want to be doing that. If you know, you don’t want to be providing that information before you’re getting any other, in any other information to know if this is legit.

And then lastly, to be quite honest with you, it just seems too good to be true. It just seems like they’re there, such a steal that it’s not real. And the likelihood is then it probably isn’t.

Shayne: Probably as even a fits. Actual rooms in a certified location. There’s going to be something off the food’s going to be great. It’s not going to be clean. utilities aren’t going to work. There’s going to be some reason why they can offer that trip at that low fare at that deal.

Ryan: So really, you know, deals are certainly out there and if they fit you and they fit your family and how you want to travel, that’s great. There are certainly times that you can save a lot of money and put yourself in a good position. However, oftentimes the fine print is not as simple. sure that you are clear and know what you’re getting yourself into the right support.

Like a travel advisor, hint, hint. Okay. To make sure that the planning of the vacation is the way that you want So Shayne, to wrap this up, when it comes to this idea of searching out travel deals, what’s your top tip.

Shayne: My top tip is just book early. A great example is Disney. People always want to wait in case they see

Ryan: Yeah.

Shayne: And here’s what happens. let’s say you book this visit. A year in advance. Sometimes the price is going to rise between when you book it and the time of your trip. At some point during that, there’s a small chance that Disney’s going to offer a discount on that rate and you’re going to think, oh great, I’m getting off this in most cases, that discounted rate that you pay six months

Ryan: Yep.

Shayne: is going to be more the regular rate you’re going to pay right now.

Ryan: No I absolutely, every time I look the folks that have booked early are still saving money over, over the promos. And that’s always a good email to be able to send is, Hey, I checked this out for you, but don’t worry. You’re still getting the better deal.

Shayne: And then there’s other fun email that we get to send, Hey, there’s this new offer? And it works out for your trip. So we’re able to save you $500 that

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. And I think to be honest, I think my top tip is really think about what you want the vacation to be before you look for travel de. So don’t get caught up, don’t go to the grocery store hungry. Don’t get caught up with looking for the deals first, know where you want to go, what you want to do.

What’s important to you and then find the package that best fits that.

Shayne: My kid is really good at that. She watches for a few select places that she’d like to visit, and she’s flexible with the time and when she can go and how long she can go. she’s really good at finding deals, but legitimate deals to these destinations. However, like me, she’s also really adventurous and resilient and can adapt to the challenges that.

will inevitably occur a trip like this.

Ryan: That sounds like a really good battle. Well, Hey, you know that Shayne and I are both travel advisors with Creating Magic Vacations and authorized Disney vacation planner. And we would love to work with you to plan your next vacation. And that includes the travel deals that we can help find for you. You can reach us at Ryan that’s me R Y A N at or S H A Y N E at

I creating magic vacations dot.

Shayne: Most families are confused and overwhelmed when it comes to planning a vacation, we work with you to plan a trip. Perfect. For your interests, saving you time, money and stress.