I have to say I am super excited about next week. Mike and I have our 8th wedding anniversary, and while we generally do celebrate it in a frugal but nice way, you have no idea how much I was hoping to be able to go away, just the two of us (plus baby), but unfortunately hotels here are very overpriced and it simply wasn't in the budget. (I've wanted to go away together since I was pregnant with Rose, on a "baby moon", but prices for hotels here are just so expensive...)
Then something amazing happened- I was contacted by a representative from TravelPony.com asking them to review their hotel discount website, and in exchange, they'd give me site credit and I'd be able to use that towards a cheap or free vacation.
I was elated, but then crestfallen, since I don't live in the US and was sure that, therefore, I wouldn't be able to use their credits, but was delighted to hear that TravelPony.com has deals for hotels around the world.
So I looked to see where in my area I'd be able to go on vacation, and pretty much found that there were only 3 cities within 5 hours of travel time from my house that Travel Pony had hotel deals there, and within those cities there weren't many listed hotel options.
I guess if you'd have to compare TravelPony to Orbitz or Groupon, I'd say its more similar to Groupon in that there are great set deals that either work for you or they don't, and you aren't necessarily able to get deals for what you're specifically looking for.
For each hotel listed, it says what their standard price is, and how much of a discount you'd get by reserving via TravelPony.com. Most of them had a 10% discount but there were hotels with up to 35-45% discounts through Travel Pony.
I narrowed down my search for hotels to a city that isn't too far from here, so the bus fare there is pretty reasonable, but that I've never been to before as a tourist, and found a hotel on the beach.
I was debating whether or not we'd be able to manage such a trip, what with my husband's work and babysitting for the older kids, etc... and then I got an email from TravelPony.com announcing a sale- that for the next 24 hours, all reservations get an additional 5% off. (As I type this, I see that TravelPony.com has an additional 10% off all reservations, but I don't know how long this promotion will last.)
So I made my reservations. A room in a hotel overlooking the sea, and my husband and I will be going away next week for our 8th anniversary.
I am so excited about this, you have no idea, and will tell you all about it when I come back.
Making the reservation was super easy, pretty straight forward.
My two critiques about the site are:
A) there aren't reviews of the hotels on the site. One of the lower cost hotels in the city we were looking at, upon further research, looks like a sleazy place, in a not so good part of town... So before you make a reservation, look for reviews of the place you're considering, on another site, like TripAdvisor.com.
B) If you're looking for hotels in a certain region, like I was, it's not so easy to find places. You have to search individual cities and it may show that there are hotels there, and it may not. I wish there would be a way to find hotels in a general region and not just searching by city.
But overall, I really like the idea of TravelPony.com, and I suggest that if you're planning on traveling in the near future, check out to see if there are any deals available on the hotels you'd consider, via TravelPony.com.
And I am really appreciative to TravelPony to be able to go on this getaway that otherwise never would have happened.
The way TravelPony is able to offer the deals that it does is that it doesn't spend any money on advertising the way other big sites do. They work only through word of mouth, so the deal is, if you get a discount from TravelPony, you're promising to tell others about the site and pass on the word. Good concept. I like.
Have you ever heard of TravelPony.com before, or have you used them? What has your experience been like?
The opinions in this post are entirely my own.