Daily Deal Sites: Exploration at a Discount

Aside from the sheer expense, being employed and entrusted with adult responsibilities means you have to rein in your travel lust. (*Sigh*)

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to save a little cash on a getaway now and then, or merely go and explore your own city.

To that end, here are some cool daily deal sites that will inspire you to get yourselves out into the world — no matter how near or far.

In case you’ve just said aloud, “What’s a daily deal site?”, know that I’m talking about websites that generally offer daily/limited time-frame price breaks on local excursions, spa treatments, dining, travel getaways and more.

Targeted by location and offering discounts of 40%-90% off regular prices, these sites are designed to introduce you to inexpensive getaways as well as unique experiences and businesses in your own city. And since even the mere act of visiting a new-to-you neighborhood involves travel, rest assured that I’m a big fan.

The most efficient way to use daily deal sites is to sign up for their e-mail lists; the deal of the day is automatically sent to your in-box. All have Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, as well, or, when available, you can download a site’s app and do all your daily-deal transactions from your smartphone. (Doing the latter means that you always have your coupons with you and don’t have to bother with printing them out.)

Once you purchase a deal, you have a set time-frame in which to use your coupon; once your time is up, you either forfeit the cost or, more often, the money spent becomes credit to be used on future deals. Additionally, most deal sites allow you to earn credits by referring friends and family…who don’t mind if you pass along their e-mail address. Or, in what might be a more welcome route to deal-site introduction, you can give most deals — including vacations — as gifts to those who might need a break even more than you do.

Without further ado, please allow me to present my favorite daily deal sites:

Groupon

The grandaddy of all daily deal sites has been around since 2008, and offers enticing little bargains in 43 countries. Their Getaway deals are generally offered for five-day increments and offer escapes to everything from little lodges in the blissful midst of nowhere to brand-name hotels in city centers.

Great/recent Groupons for couples: afternoon tea, wine tastings, a submarine ride beneath the Pacific

Download the Groupon smartphone apps here

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Zozi

Covering cities both large and small across the U.S. and Canada, Zozi focuses almost exclusively on adventures-for-two. Recently partnered with popular mobile “check-in” site Foursquare, Zozi aims to reach you with deals wherever you happen to be at the moment.

Great/recent Zozi deals for couples: a helicopter tour over L.A., scuba classes, surfing in Costa Rica

*At this time, Zozi has no smartphone apps; sign up for e-mail delivery or see their Facebook page and Twitter feed

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Bloomspot


Presently offered in 11 major U.S. cities, Bloomspot offers a sexy interface and a wide range of experiential deals: spa treatments, casual and fine dining, getaways, local events, local excursions and more. Especially exciting are their educational deals and romantic offerings.

Great/recent Bloomspot deals for couples: wine-and-cheese-pairing classes, celebrity chef events, 6 nights in Bali for $400 off

*At this time, Bloomspot has no smartphone apps; sign up for e-mail delivery or see their Facebook page and Twitter feed

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Living Social

 

Offered globally, Living Social is the only daily deal site to offer two tracks — deals for families and deals for everyone else. So, pick and choose your adventures/excursions/etc. and decide if you’re bringing the kids along — or not.

Great/recent Living Social deals for couples: sushi making & sake tasting, 3 nights in Cartagena, twilight kayak tours

Download the Living Social smartphone apps here

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These are my favorite daily deal sites because they include travel getaways and unique excursions
…but did I miss any? What are your favorite daily deal sites?

Comments

  1. Nicole J says:

    You’ve got to check out Scoutmob. Their are deals in 13 cities, and you don’t have to pay up front for the them. Much more spontaneous, and great for travel. Check it: http://scoutmob.com

  2. Nicole, thank you! Scoutmob was a new one on me – and looks great.

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