We have researched hundreds of travel-related web sites through the years, in hopes of finding the best money-saving deals to affiliate with for the benefit of our readership. However, with some of these sites we have immediately taken a “vacation break” from due to a lack of consistently good deals in the New England area.
If we were, say, a cruise ship, Florida or Las Vegas travel business, the story might be different as myriad deals can always be found on these most popular travel destinations. We just wanted to find amazing deals for our New England neck of the woods from northern Vermont to southern Rhode Island!
With that said, here are our three favorite current travel-related businesses that we feel can help the New England traveler — or a local looking for a good deal — to trip plan for an affordable vacation or day trip in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont:
While technically not a travel site, we are immensely impressed by the hotel choices in its “escapes” section on LivingSocial, as well as the dining, shopping and recreational opportunities on the main landing pages for a given city. Unlike many of the other “deal” sites, LivingSocial is picky, finding, for the most part, high quality businesses with discounts often at 50 percent off and above. Isn’t that amazing, finding deals at more than 50 percent off? I don’t remember discounts like that back in the day in annually published travel guide books!
I think that we tend to be numbed by all the deal sites out there, but don’t let that
legit thought get in the way of a business like LivingSocial that really gets it when thinking of how to offer the best deals out there. If I started my own deal site, I would choose many of the same businesses that LivingSocial does. I also like that many of the businesses they choose are locally-owned and operated. We always feel good supporting local business, so it’s nice that LivingSocial taps into this vital sector of our economy.
What’s more, Living Social does a fantastic job covering New England with “deal” pages for the Boston area, Worcester, Providence, Hartford, New Haven, Portland, southern New Hampshire and northern Vermont. In the past few months, I found deals for classic Vermont inns, New Hampshire hotels in the White Mountains, inns by the sea in Newport, R.I., and Maine, theaters in Boston, Italian restaurants in Providence and ballroom dancing in Hartford. It’s also a great site for families looking to save money, as there’s clearly a priority to list deals that all family members will enjoy. On the other end, you’ll be able to find upscale deals, too. Recently, we located a one night stay deal at the posh Ames Boston hotel for $190. Do you know what the original price was? Five hundred and twenty dollars! No surprise, but this 63% savings deal was sold out very quickly.
I’m a lifelong New England resident and like many others, looking to save money on local hotels, dining, shopping and attractions — it’s just nice getting a break during this lousy economy. LivingSocial certainly meets my criteria for finding a good deal related to travel.
What’s better than finding a hotel deal on one reputable travel site? Comparing hotels deals amongst all the best travel sites with the click of a mouse!
HotelsCombined.com should be a household name when it comes to booking a hotel room. The concept is brilliant: just plug in your desired city or hotel destination, check-in and check-out times, the number of guests and rooms and you’ll receive detailed search results in seconds. This includes cheapest hotel rates, lodging descriptions and photos, maps, nearby travel attractions, customer reviews. and star ratings. So, you might find on HotelsCombined that Expedia offers a better deal than Priceline, or vice versa. How would you know the lowest price of a hotel room if just going to one individual vacation booking site? With HotelsCombined, the customer comes out with the best deal as you get virtually instant results with the ability to then book directly from the travel site. How can you do better than that?
The Go City Card
This is a travel attractions site on steroids. Let’s face it, museums and tours are often not quite the bargains they used to be. Plus, no one likes waiting in line for admissions tickets. Smart Destinations has figured out a solution for the frequently financially battered traveler with its Go Boston Card by offering access to 70-plus Boston and New England attractions for one low price — up to 55% off regular admission rates. Once you have the Go Boston Card pass, you enter for free and even skip lines at many top Boston travel attractions.
These are major league Boston attractions, too, including the New England Aquarium, Boston Duck Tour, USS Constitution cruise, Museum of Science, Fenway Park tour, Paul Revere House, the Mayflower II and Plimoth Plantation. Wicked awesome, as they say in “Beantown!”Follow us on social media