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Just a quick note to share the good news that the Daily Getaways will return in 2015!
The offers will start earlier in the year running from March 23rd – May 8th, with previews going up on March 16th.
If you have been reading this site for a while you are almost certainly familiar with the Daily Getaways, but if not, here are some details on these once-a-year sales and opportunities based on how they handled the sales in previous years.
What are Daily Getaways?
Daily Getaways are limited time/limited quantity opportunities to purchase things like hotel packages, hotel points, discount air travel, car rentals, etc. at a reduced price. They are brought to you via the US Travel Association. Once upon a time they were referred to as the Discover America deals and offered in partnership with American Express. There is typically one type of deal per day on each weekday for several weeks. The deals are announced in advance and usually go on sale at 1PM Eastern. Some of the deals are smoking and disappear literally within seconds. Some of them aren’t as popular and hang around for hours or even days.
What are some examples of “smoking” deals available through Daily Getaways?
In 2011 I purchased some sets of 32,000 Wyndham Reward points for around $90 and turned that into a two night stay in New York City for my parents. That came to $45 all-in per night for a nice NYC hotel at Christmastime. While I don’t necessarily trust Wyndham at all, they do have a NYC hotel again available for 14k points per night if you still need to unload some points from previous Daily Getaways!
In 2012 my personal favorite purchase was for a package at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas that included:
- 4-consecutive-night stay in a “Mirage Suite” or similar suite (double occupancy).
- Airport limo transfers to and from McCarren Airport to The Mirage.
- Dinner for 2 at Stack. Dinner for 2 at Kokomos Steak Lobster. Dinner for 2 at Onda Italian Cuisine. There is a maximum of $500 per dinner for a max total of $1500.
- VIP seating for 2 to The Beatles LOVE™ by Cirque du Soleil®.
- VIP seating for 2 to Terry Fator. Terry Fator is not performing on Sundays and Mondays; The Beatles LOVE™ is not playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
- Massage for 2 at The Mirage Spa.
- VIP amenities of champagne and strawberries in your guest room.
I think I paid about $1350 for the package, but we got way more than that amount of value from the deal. It was amazing. Other popular items last year were Hyatt points for less than a penny each and some very affordable Hertz points. There were also points deals from IHG Rewards, Best Western, Club Carlson, and others.
I didn’t buy as many deals in 2014, but I did get some Choice Hotel points and IHG points at prices that were lower than I could get elsewhere.
Who is eligible to purchase Daily Getaway Deals?
Historically it has been open to US residents 18 and older with a major credit card.
Does using an Amex get you a discount?
In the past that got you a 10% discount for paying with an Amex, but sadly it seems that will not be the case this year as the website says “all card types are eligible to receive the same great savings.”
Do you have to be online right when they go on sale?
For the popular deals, yes. In fact, if you have a partner who can also be on at the same time trying to get a package in their cart it isn’t a bad idea. It is a little crazy, and you won’t be able to buy everything you want. Think of it like a bridal sample sale. Lots of folks rushing around trying to pick up a really amazing deal in a hurry…just in a virtual internet world.
Will you detail all the deals as they come out?
Absolutely, especially the good ones. Like last year, I will probably just do one post summarizing the deals for the week unless the deal is particularly good.
I don’t know what the deals will be this year, but assuming they are at least in the same ballpark as what we have seen the last few years, this is something to pay attention to as it can really make family travel affordable if you leverage it correctly. Packages like the Vegas deal I bought are pricey, but many of the points deals are in the $50 – $100 range, so there are deals that appeal to most budgets.
I will throw out the warning early and often that it doesn’t typically make sense to buy points unless you know how you are going to use them. We have seen many point devaluations this year that can really sting if you aren’t earning (or buying) and burning, so keep that in mind when you are considering spending hard earned cash to buy points.
Daily Getaways may not be the deal they were several years ago, but I’m still excited to see what they have in store and potentially grab a few good travel deals this spring.