Worth It? Groupon Getaways

By Erica Root

Erica Root
Erica Root

Sometimes you just wanna get away. And a Southwest flight to Las Vegas ain’t going to cut it.

That’s typically when I find a Groupon Getaways email in my inbox.  

It just sits there innocently. Tempting me.

These emails are my kryptonite. I can never not click on them when they come in.

Because, let’s face it, the appeal of getting out of town, even if it’s an awesome town like Sacramento, is ever present. Lurking in the background and flaring up in times of stress and exhaustion.

Despite my love for travel, I hadn’t been doing as much of it as I would have liked since entering the workforce. I always felt a sense of guilt for even considering leaving the office for more than a day or two. Like everything would crumble without me.

Fortunately, I have slowly, but surely learned how ridiculous that is.

Determined to get out of the country, my significant other and I began brainstorming places we wanted to visit. Thailand, Greece, and Costa Rica were some of the options. We’d been talking about Costa Rica in particular for a long time and eventually settled on that as the perfect week-long getaway destination.

Narrowing the destination down to Costa Rica was tough enough. But when it came to figuring out what we wanted to do while there, the process became a little overwhelming. Between family illnesses, getting a new job, and a slew of extra curricular activities, it had been an incredibly busy fall, and I was feeling too stressed out to plan a relaxing vacation. Which was obviously exactly what I needed.

Enter Groupon Getaways….

I had always toyed with the idea of a Groupon Getaway. From B&B’s in Napa, to all-inclusive resorts, Groupon had a range of options that were appealing.

While we had our doubts at first, we figured in the age of Yelp, people would absolutely make it known if they had a crappy experience using the website to find hotels and vacation packages. In a world where everyone can review everything, it makes it difficult for bad actors to get away with these things.

So, my boyfriend and I perused the Groupon site and found a couple of different options available for Costa Rica. After scouring TripAdvisor for reviews, we ended up booking a Groupon Getaway with a company called Eco-Terra.

This is the part of the article where I tell you about my experience with Groupon Getaway without making it sound like they paid me. Because they didn’t. (Although wouldn’t it have been awesome if they did…)

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I have to say the whole process was pretty easy. Let me break it down for you:

 

Step 1: Book the Groupon deal.

You can’t start working with whichever company you choose until you’ve booked your deal. At least that was our experience. I have heard otherwise, that you can actually book trips and activities at the Groupon rate without actually buying the product through Groupon. But that might be an urban legend and wasn’t how it worked for us.

Step 2: Tell the company you booked the deal.

This is easy. You get your voucher and it tells you exactly who you need to email to coordinate your itinerary. Let them know your desired travel dates, because often times they just give you travel windows; specific dates are important in the follow up.

Step 3: Book your flight.

A lot of deals don’t have airfare included, which means you need to book your flights separately. Make sure you leave ample time the first and last day of your trip. Sometimes it makes sense to add an extra night (or several) at the beginning or end of your trip, just to give you some wiggle room.

Step 4: Double check your math.

Now this is an embarrassing step, but I have to include it because it happened to me and it might happen to you too. Double check to make sure which nights are covered in your package. For some reason we mapped out our vacation thinking we had one more night covered by the deal. We didn’t and had to book another evening at a nearby hotel. Fortunately we had the funds to do this, but it was definitely an unexpected, last-minute expense. And it seriously made me question my math skills…

Step 5: Review your itinerary.

If the travel company you use is as awesome as ours was, then you will have a full on guide of your day-to-day activities. They will tell you what meals are covered, what to wear, and what other touristy options are available to you during your stay. Make sure to look this over and make any adjustments prior to arrival. There can sometimes be flexibility while you are in country, but sometimes additional excursions need more advanced notice and planning.

The Verdict:

Overall, I’d highly recommend using Groupon Getaways. For me, it was freaking awesome because I didn’t have to think about it. I just had to show up.

And while I love being in control and organizing things, sometimes it is good to step back and just let someone else do it. For us, the trip ended up being the perfect balance of action-adventure and rest and relaxation.

So if you need to getaway — because don’t we all — and are too stressed to plan everything, check out Groupon Getaways. They might just have exactly what you were looking for.

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