Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy New Year to more Adventures

As with every new year, 2011 offers so many promises, hopes and adventures!  Time to start using up my deals more instead of holding them for a special occasion.  That special occasion is NOW!

First up, a much needed massage.  Okay, so it's not so much of an adventure, but a great way to soothe the body and spirit after the holidays.  I've collected a bunch of spa deals, from mani-pedi's to massages to facials and body wraps.  Women, in general, don't pamper ourselves enough.  Guys, you deserve to be pampered too.  And who doesn't like to have people waiting on them hand and foot while servicing their hands and feet.  Don't knock it til you try it.  There's a great spa deal in Tacoma.  If you miss that one, don't worry.  There's at least one spa deal a week or so.

Chevy Chase Beach Cabins in Port Townsend

Along the lines of pampering, a getaway to a cabin with gorgeous views on the Olympic Peninsula is a nice way to pamper yourself:  a Two-Night Studio-Cottage Stay at Chevy Chase Beach Cabins in Port Townsend. Deals like this go quick, offered at 12:01am and sold out at 8:21am.  Now I have to admit, not all the Groupon hotel deals are great.  Good, but not great.  This one was a great one. And here's why and what to look for on other great deals:

#1 First and foremost, if you see a deal you find interesting, purchase it right away!  You'll have until the end of the time period to cancel without it charging your card, even if it sells out, especially if it sells out.  This way you have time to investigate the deal and decide if you want to keep it vs. missing out on something you'd really want. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say "I saw it, but waited for {insert reason here} to get it."  Hey, it's happened to me once or twice and that was enough.  ;)

#2 Investigate the deal.  Go to the hotel's website and see how it compares to the advertised rates and their own specials.  Also note that some deals will include the tax, like the Chevy Chase Cabins.  Not all do, but factor that when comparing prices.  Also some hotel deals will throw in extras they normally charge for or don't usually offer at all, like including a spa package, meal gift cards, bottle of wine/champagne, and/or chocolates. Talk about sweetening the deal.

#3 Pay attention to the expiration and blackout dates.  I came across a suite deal in Spokane which had no blackout dates, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve and Valentine's day.  How rare!!  If you have a date in mind or on a limited schedule, book right away to get your spot.  Most likely you'll have time to change it if need be.

#4 Check to see if you can use multiple vouchers to extend your stay or pay the difference to upgrade, extend your stay or use off season.  That's one of the reasons the Chevy Chase Cabins sold so quickly, it allowed for all of these options.

#5 For larger or chain hotels or hotels in areas between major cities, check other local cities other than your own to see if they deal is available there too.  If it sold out in one city, it may be available in another.  Also, I noticed for the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver it was shown in at least 3-4 different cities with different expiration dates. (This is one of the reasons I list links to deals along the west coast for you below.)  Not sure if it sold out or if it was pulled, but it didn't last long.  I still kick myself for not getting that deal, rather for not checking other cities!  Would have been a great tie with a repositioning cruise.

So enjoy pampering yourself with an adventure and between them too.  You'll be glad you did.

Check out the daily deals in the West: