We're always looking for new ways to save on travel. The latest on our radar: blind booking.
Blind booking is designed to inject a bit of mystery into your next destination, while saving you money and time on planning. The websites work by securing ongoing deals with certain lodging venues whereby they're able to secure unsold room inventory at a ridiculously low rate. In turn, they sell those rooms to people like yourself who don't care as much about where exactly they rest their heads, but rather how much fun they're able to have per dollar spent.
You need to have a certain degree of flexibility and a laissez faire attitude to really enjoy this process. If you're a control freak, you may not be completely satisfied with what's behind the curtain, which can darn-near ruin a trip. Keep in mind, however, that blind booking services rely on testimonials just like any other business, so it's in their best interest to under-promise and over-deliver.
Plus, there's something to be said for a little spontaneity when you travel.
Here are three to try for your next trip.
CheapCaribbean.com offers an easy-to-understand proposition: you pick the locale, and they pick the resort. Their constantly rotating Deal of Fortune packages include options like four nights in Puerto Rico for $359 per person (assuming a couple's vacation). Oh, and that includes airfare from Fort Lauderdale as well. The typical savings are in the 40-to-60 percent range.
Pack Up + Go offers an even more serendipitous package for U.S.-based travelers. These folks actually play up the mysterious destination angle, making it a part of the entire experience. To get started, you tell them your budget, complete a brief survey (so they'll know if you're looking for sun or snow), and then let the company handle all of the planning. A week prior to your trip, they'll email you the forecast, recommended items to pack, luggage size restrictions, and where to go for departure. These guys don't promise to save you a certain amount over planning it yourself, but you will save a bundle of time by not having to map out your own logistics. Plus, past testimonials show clients that were dazzled by the quality of accommodation they received for their budget.
Lufthansa Surprise is yet another option for uncertain travelers who are based in Germany. You just pick your departure airport (Frankfurt or Munich), a themed destination (like Bromance or Nature), and hang on for dear life. With package rates starting as low as €89 (or approximately US $97), including flights, you probably won't be let down.