Tips for Inexpensive Travel: Group Buying Sites

If you've ever used a group buying site you might know that they can be good places to find good deals on restaurants, shows and even a haircut. But the same group buying principle works in travel as well. On the basis that many hotel bookings at a lower rate on one night can be just as lucrative for a hotel as fewer more expensive bookings. And bulk buyers like tour companies and airlines have been taking advantage of this for years, so it's great that now individuals are able to club together to get discounts as well.

Most group buying sites encourage you to sign up to deals in your local area, but there's no reason that someone who lives in New York can't sign up for deals in London and that someone who lives in Auckland but is planning a trip to Scotland shouldn't sign up to receive the best deals in Belfast. The only catch is that the emails that come through telling you about the deals will be in the local language – but then it's good practice for when you get there!

If your travel dates are fixed then you'll need to pay attention and act fast, as some of the deals offered have limited availability and only a certain number of places available for each day. You'll also need to get good at weeding out the travel deal wheat from the chaff. You might not be that interested in having a haircut while on holiday, and if you sign up for quite a few locations your inbox is going to get quite hectic with deals, but be patient, the relevant deals will come.

Watch this space for group buying in travel, in March KLM group sold a special flight to Miami, and in June Air China marketed a whole flight only to people who use a particular micro blogging site, saying the bespoke flight – which users could also select the meal options for - would only fly if enough seats were sold.

Group buying may not be the way forward if you have a really specific trip in mind, but if you're just looking for a cheap weekend away then you might even find a good deal on your local site. And remember if you share the deal with your friends then there's more chance that it will happen. So if you like travelling with your friends or family this is a good way to do it. 

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