Last year I polled my friends to get their thoughts on Groupon Getaways. When I saw the price of some I was somewhat skeptical about the validity of the deals. The consensus was that they were legitimate deals but don’t expect luxury hotels on the package deals. A few months later a friend approached me about purchasing a Groupon Getaway to Iceland. Normally I like to spend a day before booking to research area and deals on the top hotels but this time I was spontaneous and booked quickly.
The details of the Groupon Getaway Deal: $849 after $50 off coupon (Based on Double Occupancy)
- Round-trip airfare from Washington D.C., SEA, or New York City
- Airline taxes and fuel surcharges
- 3 nights of standard accommodations at Reykjavík Natura or Radisson Blu Saga
- Daily breakfast
- Northern-lights evening tour
- Additional excursions-There are cheaper alternatives but it all depends on what you want to do. Gate 1 Travel had limited options but worked for our agenda. Check TripAdvisor for advice on the best companies to use if you want to climb glaciers or go snowmobiling.
- Ground Transportation to and from the airport-cheapest option at the time was Flybus (prepay online before arrival), if you have a lot of points with Icelandair and plan to use again you can pay a few dollars more to use Grayline. If you use a shuttle please check for the departure time immediately after claiming bag. If not you may miss your shuttle. The ride is about 45mins-1hr from the airport to Reykjavik. Check out this post about more details of the airport and flying on Icelandair.
- Breakfast on the first day of arrival
Once the Groupon was purchased we had to finalize with travel company Gate 1 Travel. Pay attention to the dates on Groupon such as how soon you need to book the trip after purchase. Booking additional excursions with Gate 1 was easy. The only downside to using Gate 1 was that they partnered with several local providers, so when there was an issue with our Northern Lights tour (which was canceled due to the weather) it was hard to know where to go. The notes of the deal stated that if the Northern Lights tour was canceled another would be offered, which never happened. Since Gate 1 provides deals for international travel, an international toll-free number, maybe a click to chat would be helpful and additional hours of operation.
This deal was purchased in 2014. You can find much better priced Iceland Groupon deals for under $600.
Additional Things To Check Before Purchasing A Groupon Getaway
- Review of the hotel on TripAdvisor
- Compare weather and the best time to visit the Destination. Most of the time the Groupon Getaway deals are in off-peak season to get the best price. U.S. News and Travel is a great resource to view at a quick glance.
- Read the fine print about the cost based on occupancy and the airport.
- Check for Groupon getaway coupon codes. A simple google search can help you save.
- Check the distance of the hotel from main attractions.
All in all, I would use Groupon again for a getaway but it’s not my first choice. I compare the cost of a cheap flight and discounts I use versus the price of the Groupon Getaway. Although, it did make the trip planning simple. I only made two calls to Gate 1 Travel prior to the trip and everything was set up including additional excursions. You get what you pay for so don’t expect luxury 5 stars. I would suggest doing a quick research on the partnering travel company, hotel and understand additional costs before purchasing the Groupon. If you have special requests about hotel and flights it will be hard to obtain as there are too many parties involved.
How has your experience been with Groupon Getaways? Would you consider using if you have not before?