One of my biggest regrets in life is that my husband and I didn’t travel more before we had kids.
We both worked in social services and didn’t have a lot of money. (But how cute is HE?!)
Then we pinched our pennies forever to buy our first house.
And then along came kids, pets, and a big ol’
suburban prison lawn to mow every damn weekend.
We still pinch our pennies. Every time we think we are making some progress, someone needs braces (Nature Boy), or has an umbilical hernia surgery (Mini-Me), or forgets to close the rear hatch of the van and snaps it completely off while exiting the garage (ahem), or swallows a piece of string that bunches up their intestines and threatens to kill them (our cat.) Yeah. I don’t really remember any of those scenarios in the game of Life by Milton Bradley.
And yet, that IS real life, isn’t it.
So a weekend getaway would really be awesome once in a while.
But in order to do it, I absolutely have to know in my bones that I’m getting a good deal. If I feel like I’m getting fleeced, I will curl into the fetal position and just “staycation” in my Snuggie with a Criminal Minds marathon.
(Not great for the marriage, I tell ya.)
That’s where DealAngel can help. It’s a new free service I just discovered that searches over 30 hotel booking websites to present the best hotel deals on the web. And unlike Expedia or Priceline, they only focus on the hotel portion of your trip. This is critical for an easily overwhelmed trip planner like me!
Hey, I don’t want to name my own price, because frankly, I don’t travel very much and I’d be afraid that I’d overbid and get screwed, or grossly underbid and end up staying in a cardboard box under a bridge. I want to see my choices side by side, in an apples-to-apples comparison.
I decided to test drive DealAngel and see if it was something I could use the next time I try to book a little getaway.
First I tried to search for deals in the Key West area, but there weren’t any great deals to be had there, and I wanted to see what a “great” DealAngel deal looks like. (Love that! Numbers don’t lie, folks. If there are no great deals, they tell you right off the bat!)
So I picked a bigger destination: Miami Beach. We went there once for a work function and it was fantastic. I’d love to go back for fun!
Here’s what DealAngel looks like when you enter your destination city and trip dates:
It’s clean, uncluttered, and totally not overwhelming to the eyes like some of the other travel sites. It even shows me which days are more expensive so I can avoid traveling then (brilliant!)
Then you click “Go” and voila:
…you get an interactive map! And it shows all the locations of the great and good deals! You can see the hotel choices listed at the bottom and if you hover over them, it shows you where that hotel is on the map. (Very user friendly.)
The only caveat is that you really have to know exactly what part of town you want to be in before you shop for a hotel. If you are unfamiliar with a town, you could end up in an area that isn’t ideal or where you could wake up in a bathtub full of ice, missing one or more of your major organs. So do your destination research first. But that’s probably true of any travel booking site.
Here’s what you get when you click on one of those hotels listed at the bottom. I picked one of the “great deals” just to see why it was so great:
Oooh, pictures of the hotel! Nice! A listing of amenities. Yes, go on. If you scroll down from there you get this:
…it’s DealAngel’s signature Deal Rank Analysis. TADOW! No more stress about whether or not I’m getting a good deal! They order the hotel rates from “great deal” all the way down to “rip off,” with tons of choices for any budget. I love that kind of honesty, don’t you?
Speaking of honesty, this is a sponsored post by DealAngel. But I only offered to do it because I love what I saw there and I fully intend on using them to book my next hotel. Hey, the only way I would ever sell you a pile of poo is if my kids and I made it with our bare hands. You know that about me by now, right?
But try DealAngel for yourself and see what you think. (It’s free!) Better yet, they are running a contest on their Facebook page where you could win a free two night stay in the dream hotel of your choice! I entered it. You should too! (Or vote for me and help me win if you’d rather stay home in your Snuggie with Supervisory Special Agent Hotchner and friends.)
And that’s not all. To help spread the word about this cool new service, DealAngel has graciously offered to give one of my deal-savvy readers a $50 Amazon.com gift card! To enter the giveaway, just jump on the Rafflecopter below:
This giveaway ends Friday, July 20th. Good luck everyone!