Don’t get pumped up about great gas prices until you read the small print

Rick Hudnett recently pulled into a Chevron station near his home in Orlando. He wishes he hadn’t.

Read more “Don’t get pumped up about great gas prices until you read the small print”

Maybe this Groupon deal wasn’t a deal after all

auremar/Shutterstock
auremar/Shutterstock
Groupon is a bargain website that promises daily deals and “unbelievable” customer service. But Stuart Lord says he got neither when he bought a VIP wine package in California’s Sonoma Valley — a deal he later discovered was significantly overpriced.

Here are the specifics: The offer was for two people for two nights at the Sonoma Valley Inn and two “VIP” wine tastings. Total price: $169.

“The advertisement said it was worth $320 — a 47 percent discount,” he remembers.

Only, it wasn’t.
Read more “Maybe this Groupon deal wasn’t a deal after all”

BackBid promises a better hotel deal, but at what price?

A few days before Eric Kimmel flew from Montreal to San Francisco for a recent conference, he checked to see if he could find a better deal on a hotel.
Read more “BackBid promises a better hotel deal, but at what price?”

Post-holiday travel bargains abound, but are they worth it?

Everything you’ve heard about Dead Week may be dead wrong.

Dead Week, for those of you who aren’t dyed-in-the-wool bargain hunters, takes place the first week of every year. After the New Year’s holiday, travel falls off the map, figuratively speaking, as occupancy rates and prices plunge to their lowest levels in months.

So why ignore the conventional wisdom and stay home during the first week of the year?
Read more “Post-holiday travel bargains abound, but are they worth it?”

Here’s a “recovery” every bargain hunter is gonna love

expedia-com-travelocity-com-or_uv_1y

Traffic to the three major online travel agencies — Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity — is trending upward, as bargain-hunters snap up discounted airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars. It helps that the agencies eliminated some of their booking fees a few months ago.

Expedia’s bounce (in blue) is the most dramatic, with traffic levels markedly higher than it was at this point a in 2008. The other two OTAs (Orbitz in yellow and Travelocity in green) are holding steady, versus last July’s levels.

You might think that rebounding traffic would translate into an upward stock price. Not necessarily.
Read more “Here’s a “recovery” every bargain hunter is gonna love”