Family travel can be an expensive proposition. If you’re trying to show your family the world, analyzing travel deals is a way of life. That’s why I’m still bullish on Daily Getaways.
Daily Getaways has been around for quite a few years now. The brainchild of the US Travel Association, it’s an opportunity for people to get Groupon-style travel deals. Even though some of the truly best deals are long gone, there are still gems for family travel to be had. The first week of Daily Getaways starts April 10th.
If you’re new to Daily Getaways, there’s a daily deal each day on their website at 1:00pm EDT. The most popular deals will sell out almost immediately. Being ready a few minutes before 1pm is your best strategy if there’s a deal you definitely want.
There are 5 weeks of Daily Getaways. I was interested to see a few new deals pop up on the radar. Here’s a quick breakdown of the weeks 3 through 5.
Daily Getaways Week 3
Right out of the gate, cruise fans will like the Carnival gift card deal. They’re offering a $100 Carnival gift card for $85. These can be used to book cruises or pay for onboard expenses. The limit for this auction is 3 gift cards per order, so it will be hard to load up on these. With only 2500 available, I expect this to sell out virtually immediately. If you’re trying to score more, you may want to resort to the multiple browser trick to get more than one stack of these gift cards Not a huge savings, but an easy savings.
The Avis One-Day car rental certificates were something I took advantage of last year to save some decent cash. I’m super disappointed to see that Avis has changed the membership offer from Chairman’s Club to President’s Club, especially since I think paid Hertz Platinum status is going away. That’s a major loss for me.
On Wednesday, we have more Las Vegas deals at MGM Resorts. I have some trouble getting behind these. Bellagio used to be the nicest rooms in Las Vegas. Those days are long gone. Trying to get $2,000 in value out of that package is just plain hard. It may surprise you, but the best deal amongst this bunch IMO is the Luxor deal. I don’t mind their rooms at all. And, Tender Steak is a really good meal. If you think you can easily spend the $400 dinner voucher there, that package is a no-brainer.
Thursday features two separate deals at The Venetian and Palazzo. These are straight room deals, no food, show or spa amenities. I’m not one to spend a lot of money on hotel rooms in Vegas, especially since there’s so much to do around the city. Still, if you can work around the blackout dates, they are good prices for suites.
Friday brings us a handful of Choice Privileges points packages. They’re all roughly 4/10ths of cent per point. I don’t follow the Choice Privileges program very closely. I suppose that’s a reasonable value for specific hotels. The Choice program covers a wide variety of brands, so I’m sure there are deals to be had. But, I’m not a fan of buying points to save for the future. If you have a very specific redemption in mind, then this may be worth your while.
Daily Getaways Week 4
Monday brings back some Universal theme park deals for the Orlando parks, as well as one new choice. The VIP packages they’ve offered in years past are good deals relative to the retail price. But, I wonder if you can really get that much value out of the VIP experience. Universal Orlando is opening a water park, and the 3-day, 3-park tickets offered are an almost 20% discount to buying direct. That sounds like a pretty good deal. I use Undercover Tourist as my guide to whether a discount is a good one. Their price is higher than this one by a little bit.
I’m neither a big fan of purchasing hotel points or of the Hilton program in general. So, I’ll be passing on the Tuesday deal to buy Hilton Honors points at roughly half a cent a piece. I don’t think that’s a particularly awesome price.
I don’t particularly love any of the Wednesday Caesars packages. If you like Nobu, that package is definitely a discount to what a Nobu hotel room costs on an average day.
Thursday is consistently one of the best Daily Getaways deals each year. 20% off Marriott gift cards will go quick. Like, immediately.
55 people are going to get a screaming deal on Friday. This is a new one for 2017. Essentially, you’re purchasing a $1,000 Orbitz gift card for $650. I don’t see much in the way of restrictions other than needing to travel by the end of 2018 (over 18 months after purchase). I can’t lie, I’m tempted. It goes without saying these will disappear before you know it.
Daily Getaways Week 5
A short week to wrap things up. The Fairmont Hawaii deal is interesting. You get 6 one-night certificates that also come with breakfast for 2. I’m not too familiar with the Fairmont properties in Hawaii. But, given the average hotel rate in Hawaii, this strikes me as a good deal. I don’t see blackout dates but I’m guessing there are some. I’m hoping a reader who purchased this auction in the past will pipe in with experience on how the redemption process of Ovation certificates works.
I don’t hate the Hertz deals on Tuesday. I don’t love them, either. The nice thing about these is that they’re batches of points as opposed to a specific one-week rental. That means you could use them for more valuable redemptions. My favorite in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards are the one-way car rental awards.
The final deal of this year’s Daily Getaways is probably one of the best, and not just because of my love for the Hyatt program. Whatever value you put on Hyatt points, buying them for a penny a piece is way below fair value. While I’m still not a fan of buying points just to hold onto them, there are a ton of great places you can redeem them.
Consider two Hyatt properties in Paris, the high-end Vendome and the middle-of-the-road Hyatt Paris Etoile. At a penny per point, you can get a room at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome for $300 a night. Or, the Regency Etoile for $150 a night (that’s based on 30,000 and 15,000 points a night respectively).
Summing It Up
Daily Getaways aren’t as good as they used to be, but they’re good. Value hunters will find plenty of deals. And, like most years, there are plenty of duds. I’ll do my best to update folks on a daily basis for these prior to 1pm EDT. Follow me on Twitter for updates.