In my opinion, a travel bargain worth mentioning has to be the right blend of quality, reliability, and price.
If the food is of poor quality, it’s no bargain.
If the airline regularly cancels flights or routes or has a reputation for delays, it’s no bargain.
If the discounted price still offers high quality and reliability of service, that’s a bargain. And only when it meets this criteria, do I consider posting it to the She Talks Travel Facebook forum.
What if the price is abnormally low? Then it is important to investigate further. Why is there a deep discount? To use one recent example, the “NOW Emerald” Resort is priced about 20% lower than its sister (and similarly named) resorts NOW Sapphire and NOW Jade.
(This is where it’s handy to know a travel professional and can ask this question before you book. “Why is this one cheaper?)
In this case, NOW Emerald is a recently acquired property. AMResorts, (the parent chain) has purchased this location from Oasis Resorts. So, it was an existing resort that has been purchased and is in the process of renovating and rebranding. During this time of transition, and renovation, they are offering lower introductory rates. Knowing the high quality of standards and reputation of AMResorts, you can be assured of quality food, accommodations and service. Therefore I believe the introductory price qualifies as a bargain.
Another time a bargain comes up is when there is increased competition. So for example, when Flair started flying to Phoenix, WestJet slashed their prices on the same route. In this case WestJet was the bargain.
There is almost always a bargain to be found when you move in the opposite direction of a crowd. For example when everyone goes back to work and school in September, if you go out to travel you’ll find a bargain.
What is NOT a bargain? Anything that is not the right fit for you or your family. It’s simply not a good idea to force a size 9 foot into a size 6 shoe. You will regret trying or buying that “shoe” or trip, no matter how good it looks in the ads.