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Two of my greatest passions in life are travel and deal hunting. Finding the intersection of these passions brings me unending joy. One of my secret weapons? Groupon Getaways.
You might be thinking that the large discounts Groupon Getaways provide is in some way indicative of the quality of the deal. But in my experience, when you book a trip with a Groupons Getaway deal, you’re getting an incredible value for the price.
In many cases, you’d pay the same amount for roundtrip flights to an exotic destination than you would for complete Groupon Getaways packages that include ground transportation, hotel stays, and tours on top of roundtrip airfare.
It’s unreal, yo.
Here’s my Groupon Getaways review, based on 3 trips to totally separate parts of the globe: Ireland, Peru, and China.
My First Groupon Getaways Trip: Ireland
Trip Details: 7 Day Irish Tour: Kilkenny, Killarney, Limerick, and Dublin (Find Similar Deals)
Price: $899 per person (based on dual occupancy)
Groupon Getaways Review:
It’s impossible to see everything in Ireland in a week (or even 2 or 3) but this trip gave my BFF Nikky and me the opportunity to explore a lot in a short time.
This particular deal had an interesting structure. Many all-inclusive tours on Groupon Getaways include ground transportation which is such a great perk.
Since most of the trips I purchase on Groupon Getaways involve a fair amount of flight time, time zone changes, and jet lag, it’s nice to know that you’ll be taken care of on the other end. By purchasing a deal with ground transportation included, there’s no need for an elaborate plan to get from the airport to your accommodations.
At any rate, this deal was the first I’ve ever bought from Groupon Getaways. Instead of included ground transportation, the tour operators gave us the power to move ourselves with an included rental car. This wasn’t without its challenges, as Irish people drive on the opposite side of the road than Americans are used to—but it was certainly an awesome way to do Ireland in style.
Minus the first night at a Days Inn hotel, we stayed at well-reviewed boutique hotels the entire rest of the trip. They were easily 100€+ per night places—but not for us! Most (if not all) Groupon Getaways detail hotel information on the deal page, so you’ll be able to do your own study of where you’ll be staying before purchasing a deal.
Because we were driving ourselves from place to place, we weren’t technically part of an organized tour group. Luckily, my BFF was dating a native Irish boy and he showed us around during part of the trip with the help of some friends.
During the trip, I won back some of the money I spent on this super cheap vacation on a horse racing bet (check out the pictures on my article about TSA Precheck). I turned 10€ into 118€ (or something like that) thanks to a crazy bet. Ireland sure is a wonderful place.
At any rate, it’s safe to say that after such a successful first trip with Groupon Getaways, I was hooked. My Groupon Getaways reviews have only continued to be positive ever since.
Checking out China on the Cheap
Trip Details: 9 Day Tour of Shanghai and Beijing (Find Similar Deals)
Price: $1,199 per person (based on dual occupancy)
Groupon Getaways Review:
I’ve got to say, I love being able to see a lot in a short amount of time but I really enjoyed having some extra time in our schedule to really focus on these two intriguing Chinese cities.
I went on this trip with a friend who had recently moved to Houston, Texas and IAH ended up being the airport we booked the trip from.
I had to purchase a separate flight to Houston from Chicago but are you seeing that price??
At $1,199 for round-trip airfare to China (and airfare within the country, between the two cities), luxury hotel stays, tours, ground transportation, and some meals included, I had plenty of money left over for this critical piece of the puzzle.
When I say some meals, I really mean most of them. A highlight of this particular Groupon Getaway deal is that the hotels we stayed at offered an extensive buffet breakfast each morning.
This offered an opportunity to fill up and snack for/skip lunch, saving extra dollars for a delicious dinner later in the day. Of course, even filling up at breakfast didn’t do much to get in the way of indulging throughout the day. After all, I understand culture best through my stomach.
China has got to be one of my favorite places to souvenir shop. Their fabulous fakes (like Nikes with swooshes that look slightly off or “Beats” headphones at ridiculously low prices) and trinkets quickly filled what little room remained in my suitcase going home. Most places in China, even some indoor malls, allow (and expect) you to bargain, making shopping an affordable travel pasttime.
This particular deal supplied us with many days of group tours: entrance fees already included. You could purchase additional half-day/all-day excursions for extremely reasonable prices (think $50/per person). Going to China without an understanding of the language (or the culture, really) made this an invaluable feature of this tour package. Almost nobody that I came into contact with in China spoke English—even in the big cities.
Going on a trip like the one I’m detailing in this Groupon Getaway review, you mostly have to think about budget in terms of extra excursions, souvenirs, and making sure to save some money to tip your tour guide(s) at the end (think ~$5/day/guide as a rough measure). Usually, trip packages like these on Groupon Getaways also offer affordable extension options to other nearby cities—definitely worth considering.
Exploring Wonders of the World in Peru
Trip Details: 10 Day Tour of Peru: Lima, Cusco, and Puno (Find Similar Deals)
Price: $1,699 per person (based on dual occupancy)
Groupon Getaways Review:
This trip was honestly one of my favorites of all time and on this list of Groupon Getaways reviews. Peru is such an enchanting place with interesting people, amazing food, lots of history, and best of all? It’s mad cheap to travel well here.
You’ll notice that at face value, this trip was one of the more expensive to book on Groupon Getaways. While this isn’t an inaccurate assumption, know that I ended up saving an extra ~$250 on it by strategically stacking deals.
First, Groupon Getaways was running a promotion for 10% off. They do this from time to time, often when there are great options available for the picking.
Using a Groupon Getaways promo code saved $150. Note that they offer a maximum discount that may not be the full 10% of the deal price (as was the case here).
Before checking out, I activated 6% cash back on Ebates (Groupon as a merchant typically offers between 3-6%, depending on the occasion), which is like a rebate you earn for certain online purchases. That knocked off another ~$100 and brought the true price closer to $1,457 per person.
The biggest takeaway you should from this Groupon Getaways review? Use what you know about how Groupon Getaways incentivizes purchases to save even more money on your next deal.
This deal was structured very similarly to the above China travel deal. It included roundtrip airfare, multiple flights within Peru, ground transportation, hotels, a tour guide and several included excursions, and some meals. The included excursions brought us to several historical/cultural amazements, including Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca/the floating islands.
We even made a tank to commemorate this beautiful place!
A Unisex/Men’s Lake Titicaca Tank Top:
And a Woman’s Lake Titicaca Tank Top:
Getting the Most from Groupon Getaways
You shouldn’t just quickly browse Groupon Getaways and immediately purchase something that strikes your fancy. Instead, consider these tips to grab the best deal:
- Book using a credit card with points. In a discussion about stacking deals, it would be silly to forget such a fundamental aspect of maximizing your budget: using a credit card that earns points. I’d recommend the United MileagePlus credit card—but check out my guide to Hacking United Basic Economy to see how this can help you save on travel year-round.
- Book during a 10% off sale. Time purchases with Groupon Getaways promo codes to save extra money on already low prices.
- Be flexible with travel dates. Some people have strict timeframes as to when they can take off time, and their lives suck. While most people tend to travel during summers and the holidays, traveling during off-seasons will provide you with more options for cheap travel deals (and less competition at tourist attractions!). Besides using some of the tips mentioned during these Groupon Getaways reviews, you can also make serendipitous travel plans using a service like Scott’s Cheap Flights.
- Sign up for Ebates. Without having to think about it (thanks to an intuitive browser extension), you can use Ebates to make money (in the form of a post-purchase rebate) on just about any online purchase. Recall that I stacked the use of Ebates with a Groupon Getaways promo code and a reward credit card to minimize the actual cost I paid for the Peru deal mentioned above.
- You have to chase deals to airports in other cities. This is what I did to fly to China (from Chicago to Houston) and to Peru (from Chicago to Miami). In both cases, roundtrip flights from Chicago weren’t much more than $100, so it was a minor charge/inconvenience considering the total Groupon Getaways package pricing. Be open to looking at deals that don’t originate from your nearest airport.
- Travel with at least one other person. This is more or less self-explanatory: most Groupon Getaways deals are priced based on double occupancy. You can travel solo, but you’ll pay a surcharge that usually adds several hundred dollars to your total.
- Travel to destinations with a low cost of living. Peru, China, Thailand, Mexico: what do all of these destinations have in common? The fact that you can have a great experience without spending the big bucks. Maximize your travel budget by picking from destinations such as these.
Groupon Getaways Review: A Whole Vacation for the Cost of Airfare
There’s a Groupon Getaways deal for exotic destinations all around the globe. Though I’ve only used them to travel to Europe, Asia, and South America, I’d definitely use Groupon Getaways to explore the rest of the world. And I will! I just have to decide on where to go next.
What questions do you have after reading my Groupon Getaways review? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’d be happy to answer from my experience!
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16 replies on “ Groupon Getaways Review: A Whole Vacation for the Cost of Airfare ”
Did you ever feel like you may get ripped off?! How often did you talk to the travel agency that sold the deal? I am very interested but I’m afraid of getting ripped off or stranded in a foreign country!
In my experience, no, I haven’t ever felt ripped off. Once you book with the travel agency (upon purchasing the deal), you can have as much or little communication as possible! I feel like they make their money off the excursions and for your guides, when you tip them at the end of the trip. My advice? See which travel company is behind any given Groupon deal and look for reviews online! Hope that helps. 🙂
Would you use a Groupon Getaway for a important celebration like a big anniversary? Considering the Greece package for our 35th!
Absolutely! I’d say you really just have to decide if you want a guided experience or if you want to do your own thing and pick your package accordingly. 🙂
What does the whole voucher thing mean? It says each person has to buy a voucher, but the price is based on two people traveling anyway. Not sure what this means exactly…
They charge a surcharge if you travel alone, because they build the discount into the fact that you’re sharing a hotel room. The “voucher” is just Groupon’s word for the deals they sell. Two people need to buy two vouchers (or everyone needs to buy their own voucher).
You can think of it being referred to as the travel “package” by the tour company. You can look on the travel company’s website to understand it separately from Groupon’s “voucher” if that helps at all. 🙂
Thanks for reviewing these trips. I have looked at ones to the Caribbean and always think they look too good to be true. your experience with more than one trip makes me want to consider a trip. I had booked domestic getaways for an overnight stay and due to my mother-in-law passing had to cancel. the resorts themselves were very willing to refund the money on my behalf even contacting groupon (who refused).
Groupon definitely isn’t perfect—I’ll be the first to tell you that. But generally, Groupon Getaways are a steal. In the future, consider trip insurance!
My friends and I are considering using Groupon for a trip to Thailand, but we would only have 3 people traveling. Does this mean a solo fee would be implemented for the 3rd person? I would be purchasing the vouchers all at once. Also, under the fine print section where it says “reservation required, subject to availability” and “airline subject to change/availability,” what do these statements mean exactly? Should I be worried that my flight gets changed to a different day or something? This will also be our first trip on our own so my main concern is that we get stuck somewhere or lost or we don’t get what we paid for sort of thing, if that makes sense. Please let me know your thoughts!
These are questions best directed towards the travel agency behind the deal BUT here’s my two cents:
– If you all share a hotel room, you probably won’t have to pay an extra fee—but make sure to double check with the agency!
– The “reservation required” just means that you have to make sure to take that voucher to the agency and actually book the trip. They need passport info and other stuff to actually get the flights. If you bought the trip and waited like, a year after it’s scheduled, that’s them covering their asses on the “subject to availability” part.
– For “airline subject to change/availability” — flights get changed/ anceled all the time! I just booked a TravelZoo deal recently and they’ve rebooked one of the flights once already, even though the trip is in September. It’s their way of saying “be flexible if something comes up”—not, “you’re going to get stranded”.
Hope that helps!
Which companies were your trips booked through?
I’ve had great experiences with Gate 1 Travel (they have TONS of deals, even outside of Groupon) and Intertrips. 🙂
hi… i have a few questions for you regarding your review … first, i really liked your write-up, it was very helpful… i’ve never tried Groupon Travel and have heard mixed reviews. Have you found similar? i’m looking at/considering a trip to Greece, as i’ve seen them offer several trips. When you traveled to any of the three you wrote about (any since??), were you locked in to the itineraries (aside from Ireland), or could you kind of go off on your own when you got to new locations? also, i guess in general, and recommendations NOT to try with them?
Thanks! i’m an avid traveler for sights, food and the occasional volunteer with animals opportunity (ex.- https://america.cgtn.com/2018/ 01/17/galapagos-adventure-is- one-more-check-off-the-bucket- list). Hope to hear from you soon
I’m so glad you liked the article! To answer your questions:
1. I recently traveled to Thailand through Travelzoo and am traveling with another tour deal through Globus this Fall. Though they weren’t booked through Groupon Getaways, they were structured in a very similar way. I’m assuming that your question is “Do you still trust Groupon Getaways?” (or similar type tour package offerings, advertised at a discount) and the answer is a resounding “yes”!
2. The only aspect of being “locked in” to an itinerary is when your tour company is getting you from one city to another. Sometimes, this will involve some tours (this was the case in Peru, when traveling to one city from another by bus). But when tours aren’t part of transport between cities, no, you can opt out—as a couple did during our entire trip to China. So yes, you can DEFINITELY do your own thing if you prefer! Some people buy these deals because it’s much cheaper than they could get on their own for airfare + hotel (thanks to group bookings prices at travel agencies).
3. As far as recommendations for what tours to opt out of, I’d say that you should steer clear of factory tours (and the like) when possible, as they’re a thinly veiled sales pitch. Unfortunately, sometimes these are part of a full day of tours that you don’t want to miss! I’m also iffy about evening dinners + activities (like dinner and a show). Oftentimes, you can book these on your own at better pricing—but that’s not factoring in the convenience of transportation your tour company will provide.
Hope that helps!
Hi Maddy! Would you recommend travel deals through groupon with children? Groupon have a limit that they sale per person. I have 4 children and I travel with them around the US as well to the Caribbean since they were born. Now I want to venture out to other continents with them but it’s not cheap with 6 people in total. Should I contact the travel agency directly for these types if deals? What would you suggest?
All good questions!
I think ultimately, it just depends on the structure of the deal. I’ve done Groupon Getaways that were self-guided, others were fully planned out tours. On the tours I was on, there were no kids. So getting in touch with the individual travel agencies could be idea to double check a tour’s suitability for kids. Or, if the deal is a self-guided trip, you should be good to go!