At least once twice a week, someone stops by the Wandering Moms Facebook Community to ask the question “Has anyone ever tried a groupon travel deal?” and, I’ll be honest, it’s happened enough that it’s started to make quite a few of us roll our eyes a bit.

For one, the “search” function is incredibly underused in Facebook Groups. If folks started with searching the group for keywords from their question, they’d likely easily find the answers and great feedback.

But humans be out here humaning so we rush into the group, drop off our question without thinking about it and hope we get some answers.  I’ve certainly done it, so I’m judging us both, trust me, lol.

The other reason this question likely grinds folks gears is because it’s like asking has anyone ever bought towels at Target. Let me explain.

Groupon is merely a marketplace, like Target or Wal-mart. They don’t sell travel experiences themselves, they create an online store for other companies to sell their travel experiences at a discounted price.  That said, each person’s experience will differ depending on the company they actually bought from.

Asking “have you ever bought towels at Target” is a generic question that’s tough to answer because I may have purchased towels at Target from one of many different brands. If three people buy towels from three different brands at Target, they’re reviews of their towels can’t necessarily be compared, at least not to convince you to buy from Target.

So how can you decide if you should book a deal you found on Groupon?  Here are three things to consider:

  1. Research the company actually offering the trip.  Groupon is just an online store and they will not be the ones responsible for making sure your trip is excellent, they didn’t even plan your trip. They just put XYZ Travel Agency’s trip on the shelf for you to buy it. So look up reviews of XYZ Travel Agency and see what you find out.The travel agency is listed in the groupon deal.  Get their name and do a google search or research on them.

    Sample groupon travel deals page, note the name of the Travel Company offering the trip.

  2. Do a little research on what’s offered inside the trip details.  Often the trip details will list the hotels you’re staying at, the sites you’ll see, or the tours you’ll do while there.  Do a search on the reviews for those as well and determine if these are reputable companies you would spend your money with.

    This trip page has links to the hotels you’d be staying at. You can easily research the accommodations.

  3. Determine if it’s worth it.  You could comparison shop on Expedia to find out what this trip would cost you if you did not use Groupon.  Groupon is pretty much known for deep discounts and they are really good at it, but it’s not a guarantee that they will always have the best price.
  4. Be sure to read the fine print. In some cases, Groupon’s terms can be very restrictive – you can only use this trip on certain days, you can only fly from certain cities, etc. You may be able to create your own trip with a little more flexibility for close to the same cost.

    Checking out the fine print is super important!

That’s it, pretty straight forward!

I have booked a trip on Groupon before, it was a cruise and a 3 night stay in the Bahamas at a lovely resort for my mother and I that cost $499 total! WHAT A STEAL! We had a BLAST! Very glad I booked it.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope you and your family have an amazing time, post lots of photos, and be sure to review the travel company that organized the trip so the next person looking to book has a point of reference when doing their research.

Happy Travels!

 

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