A web of sites

Flash sale Web sites are on a tear, with more new companies (or old ones with the trendy feature) jockeying for our vacation days. This subspecies of travel planning has even spawned its own aggregator, EveryLodge, which launched this month. Unlike the major third-party booking sites, the minors vary wildly in inventory and overall character. But they also share some similarities: Sales typically last five to seven days, and discounts can be 50 percent or more. You may have to sign up to access the members-only deals, but it won’t cost you more than two minutes of typing time. Here’s a sampling of sites:


Overview: The exclusive site (invitation required) specializes in the upmarket and the exotic. Its carefully curated properties and vacations often appear on dream-trip lists, but with up to 50 percent off, they’re now making the rounds in reality. Sales are based on specific dates.

Sample deals: A seven-day Mount Kilimanjaro climb with Abercrombie & Kent, from $7,350 for two; a two-story penthouse loft at Thompson LES in New York for $1,099 a night; a seven-night Windstar cruise from Istanbul to Athens for $3,190 per couple.

Info: www.jetsetter.com

LivingSocial Escapes

Overview: This growing e-retailer focuses on hotels and excursions of a more inclusive bent. Its deals span the globe, but the site really excels at regional getaways packed with perks. Travelers receive a voucher for their trip.

Sample deals: Two nights in the Lieutenant’s Lodge at the Lodges at Gettysburg for $259, including a $10 dining credit and two tickets to the American Civil War Wax Museum; two nights, plus breakfasts, at the J.D. Thompson Inn on the Jersey Shore for $149; a six-night tour of China, with air from the West Coast, for $1,999 single.

Info: www.livingsocial.com/escapes

Groupon Getaways

Overview: The pioneer of cattle-call coupons taps into Expedia’s supply chain of properties and packages, offering a mix of the lowbrow (e.g., a chain hotel near the Daytona Beach raceway) to the high-adrenaline (an all-inclusive Alaskan fishing tour). Book and you shall receive a coupon to be used within a certain time frame, unless otherwise specified.

Sample deals: Sandaway waterfront lodging in Oxford, Md., from $139 a night; two nights at the Palms Place at the Palms in Las Vegas, plus a $25 pool credit and Ghostbar passes, from $169 for a family of four; all-inclusive volunteering trip to Zambia, plus a Botswana safari and a Victoria Falls excursion, for $2,000 per person.

Info: www.groupon.com/getaways


Overview: Part of the Smarter Travel Media and TripAdvisor family, this lodgings-only site offers sales only on hotels that garner at least a four on the rankings scale. You must book a specific date for the flash sale.

Sample deals: The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., from $189 a night; . . . Viceroy Bali from $499 a night; Hotel Gault in Montreal from $239.

Info: www.sniqueaway.com


Overview: The tastemakers from Luxury Link and Travel + Leisure cherry-pick upscale properties in states near and countries far. Many deals tack on extras. You must select a date to nab the bargain.

Sample deals: A night at Mr. C Beverly Hills, plus two bellinis and a $50 food-and-beverage credit, from $271; the all-inclusive Cocos Hotel in Antigua, from $312 a night; Hotel Santa Teresa in Brazil, from $390 a night.

Info: www.vacationist.com/membersonly


Overview: Travel is a small segment of this lifestyle site, which also posts sales on such trip-related accouterments as a leather John Varvatos duffel bag. Offers based on specific dates or time periods.

Sample deals: The American Club Resort in Kohler, Wis., $598 for three nights; three midweek nights at Tucson’s Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa for $2,325 for two, including a $150 spa credit per person per night; a land package to the French Open or Wimbledon: for the latter, pay $4,999 for two tickets to the men’s and women’s first-round matches and two nights at the Stafford London.

Info: www.ruelala.com

Expedia ASAP

Overview: You have only 12 hours to book a property before it goes poof. Read the fine print for blackout dates and restrictions on travel dates.

Sample deals: Circus Circus Hotel in Vegas from $26 a night; all-inclusive Riu Jalisco in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, from $147 per night; Savoy Hotel in Buenos Aires from $68 per night.

Info: www.expedia.com/p/multi-deal/vacation-ideas-asap.htm


Flash sales on Groupon, LivingSocial, other Web sites are changing travel buying

An African safari on a Web travel deals whim: Smart buy or into the lion’s den?