As a writer I am always looking for a deal. Sorry to disappoint, but my life is not all free and easy flying around the world on press tours. For me, those kinds of trips are few and far between. While I am definitely not complaining, I do prefer to make the destination plans myself to avoid the beaten path... and the rushing around to cover off everything on the loaded agenda of a media tour.
So I am just like you, dear reader. I value traveling often, but don't have the bank account to simply book the first flight I Google.
And so I search.
Kayak, Expedia, Airbnb, Wotif and the like. I am also a Jetsetter member and landed a pretty good deal on a chic San Francisco hotel when that platform launched in 2009. I've not had the occasion to use the service since, but the deals and flash sales (I see via their newsletters) are tempting.
There are sites like Tripology that will match you with "up to 3 travel specialists," who compete to find your best deal. There are also the "Golden Rules" -- 25 travel tips drawn up by Wendy Perrin in 2011. Before she left Conde Nast earlier this year, she repeatedly repurposed the tips from this list so it's worth putting them in your back pocket.
Now call me old fashioned, but sometimes I do like to use a travel agent as they do have access to better deals in a time crunch. Summer is here, and it will be the holidays before we know it!
In a recent scramble, I stumbled upon Endless Access -- a very new platform that gives members greater savings (time and money included) on the usual suspects -- flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises -- than what one would find on public sites. Better than my old reliable Kayak? "In some instances, yes," says EA's CEO Scott Boykin. "The savings you receive as a member are upwards of 60 percent greater than the price published on Travelocity and similar sites."
They also have a concierge program that services members who are having trouble booking a trip, and need to speak with a live person to sort things out. A rare advantage these days it seems.
So what's the catch?
There is an annual fee, of course. Which the company will not disclose, of course.
But consider this...
"Our platform provides a wide verity of access to everything from nightly stays at a mom and pop B&B to worldwide cruises and everything in-between. We can also accommodate more elaborate customized vacation requests should that better fit our client's needs," explains Boykin.
One of the trips available via Endless Access is a December break spent at a swish hotel on the lower east side of Manhattan. Dates: 12/21 - 12/28. Includes a room of two, car rental, tickets for Chicago on Broadway, and a luxurious yacht cruise on the Hudson River with dinner and an open bar. All in it's USD$2,227.82. When compared to Expedia, the identical reservation totals USD$7,842.22.
So where will you find your next time-saving travel deal? I'd love to know in the comments!
Image courtesy of CNTraveller.com.
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