I may be an avid traveler now, but it wasn't always so. We all need to start somewhere, right?
Most people I've talked to always dream about travel. But there are obviously significant obstacles to making that dream happen—for instance, the complicated planning and high expenses.
From airfare and hotel bookings to everything in between, travel deals are the way to minimize travel costs and make your travel dreams more attainable.
Along the same vein as these websites, there's an OG player named Travelzoo. Have you heard of it before? If you've heard of them, ever wonder if they've fallen off the charts in 2023, or if they're still going strong?
Let's find out whether Travelzoo in 2023 is still a good tool to use for deals, or if they're a waste of time.
What Is Travelzoo?
Travelzoo is a travel services provider company headquartered in the United States that provides online travel deals to travelers. Travelzoo was founded in 1998 by American journalist Ralph Bartel.
Over the years, the site has grown exceptionally and currently has 30 million members.
Moreover, the company has partnered with 5000+ travel companies and offers travel packages worldwide to its users at zero cost. These include both individual deals on travel, as well as its more popular alternative, travel packages, which oftentimes include hotels, resorts, with organized tour packages.
Does that mean they offer these services? Not really.
Travelzoo, like a lot of other platforms such as Booking.com and Travelocity acts as a third-party provider that enlists the best packages on its website. The company earns revenue by allowing travel companies to pay to post travel deals on their website.
Who's Travelzoo Owned By?
Travelzoo is a publicly-traded company on the American stock exchange: NASDAQ. Its founder, chairman, and CEO, Ralph Bartel, holds 80% of its shares.
What Is Travelzoo Top 20?
One of the most notable features of Travelzoo as a travel deals site is its weekly top 20 list.
Travelzoo has a group of travel experts that sit together every week to find the top picks of the bunch and put them up on the site. These exclusive deals include everything, such as travel options, hotels, and even local entertainment.
Keep an eye out for the top weekly 20s! You'll find a package that hits that sweet spot for your next holiday plan.
How Does Travelzoo Work?
Travelzoo is a site that primarily acts as a third-party agent for other companies on the front end. Simply put, you'll find many packages on the site with links that redirect you to the travel agencies offering that package.
While the company has hit the jackpot with its users as a third-party site alone, it has recently jumped on board at offering its own deals. This way, you can book a package with them at the forefront of managing these offers.
Finding a Travel Deal on Travelzoo
Before you start getting overwhelmed with the infinite options available, the Travelzoo website has made this step of the process as easy as it comes.
Besides the Top 20, deals are divided into categories like refundable deals, trending deals, cruises, luxury trips, all-inclusive vacations, and more.
Additionally, you can find travel deals according to where you want to go next, preferred dates, or travel deals for destinations near you. They often list the full price as well as the deals. If the service is eligible for an upgrade, they'll also point that out in the fine print.
I highly recommend you read the fine print and do your own independent research with travel deal sites like Travelzoo! It'll definitely prevent you booking undesirable tours or packages from questionable providers, as many travelzoo members have pointed out.
What Can You Book With Travelzoo?
Travelzoo offers quite a lot of different options when it comes to travel deals. From events to vacation packages, you can find a lot of them right from the platform. You're also able to check out the Top 20 list for their night package deals for the latest hot deals!
Whether you're dreaming of the white sandy beaches of the Maldives or the picturesque landscapes of the Swiss Alps, Travelzoo's vacation packages cover a wide range of destinations.
These packages often come bundled with accommodations, tours, and sometimes even meals, ensuring you get the best bang for your buck!
Travelzoo boasts deals for an extensive selection of accommodations. With regularly featured discounts, I recommend you keep checking back into Travelzoo's platform.
If you catch a hotel deal at the right time, you can secure a comfortable stay without burning a hole in your wallet. And whatever you save on the hotel, you can spend on other activities or start saving for your next vacation!
These may not be for everyone, but don't knock cruises before you try them!
You be able to sail out to a whole bunch of destinations with Travelzoo's curated list of cruise deals. Whether you fancy a romantic cruise on the Mediterranean or an adventurous trip to the Antarctic, many options exist.
Remember to talk to the cruise line directly for those of you who are avid cruisers. Since COVID, I've found that cruise lines also give out some amazing deals, so remember to shop around a bit!
Did you know you can also find flight deals on Travelzoo?
While Travelzoo is not a flight aggregator, it regularly features exclusive deals and discounts from various airlines. These are perfect for spontaneous travelers looking for a bargain.
Enter in the destination or arrival airport to find all of the flight deals that Travelzoo offers!
Entertainment and Experiences
Beyond the standard travel bookings, Travelzoo also offers a range of local deals, including spa days, gourmet meals, wine tastings, theater tickets, and more. And it's not limited to only travelers!
Since Travelzoo is free, finding entertainment and experience deals can be an ideal way to save money for both locals looking for a day out and travelers hoping to spice up their trip!
Is Travelzoo Legitimate?
Yes, Travelzoo is definitely a legitimate travel deals provider! People have been using their website to save bucks for many years.
Make sure you understand that Travelzoo is a third-party deals provider. Whatever they put on their website is evaluated and recommended only by travel experts.
But, it isn't directly responsible for the services of the travel agencies/companies listed on their website.
What Are Travelzoo Vouchers?
Think of these vouchers as a discount pass for your future travel plans. When you explore offers on the site, you'll often find a link to a coupon.
What you're doing with this voucher is paying for it now and saving money, only to travel later whenever you want. Well whenever you want before the voucher's expiry!
The best part? You don't have to worry about the hotels, airlines, or other associated companies meddling with your booking. Plus, all your concerns will be handled solely by Travelzoo.
Does Travelzoo Have a Refund Policy?
Travelzoo has a decent voucher refund and hotel cancellation policy. If you're purchasing a travel deal on Travelzoo, double-check whether a voucher or booking is refundable when making the payment.
If it's non-refundable, there's no way around it later on.
You have a 7-day window to apply for the refund or cancellation via their website or contact number for refundable vouchers and bookings.
For more information regarding their vouchers, visit their FAQ section.
What Are People Saying About Travelzoo?
With millions of people using its website, Travelzoo has received many reviews. Overall, I'd say that Travelzoo has helped many travelers find the ideal package that meets their needs and budget.
It's no surprise, either. Considering the company's team of experts, Travelzoo only features the best trips, some of which you won't find anywhere else.
That being said, there are a few drawbacks as well. In recent years during the pandemic, Travelzoo has seen numerous customer complaints.
This negative feedback centrally critiqued its partners' poor customer service and shady business operations. One partner company that stood out across reviews: UTO Vacations.
A tip I'd offer to travelers looking for deal packages not only on Travelzoo but on other platform is to double-confirm all of the information that deal companies are offering.
For example, if Travelzoo is offering 3-night stay at a specific resort with beach-view windows and 2 queen beds, double-check with the hotel or resort provider themselves. If they're not able to confirm for you, double check with Travelzoo.
Many travelzoo members mentions that they've been let down by the discrpencies between package listing and what they offered in reality.
These issues are often to do with providers changing package specifics and deal sites not being updated frequently. These can also be as a result of poor communication between the provider and these deal package companies.
If you're unhappy or things changed, make sure to request a refund if you're eligible through travel credit. Credit card company permitting, some allow you to request a chargeback if what you've paid for clearly isn't reflected on the actual services provided.
Is Travelzoo Worth It?
I find this a difficult question to answer directly. There are very mixed reviews online when browsing all of the different websites. And because of this, I think you should browse Travelzoo, especially since it's a free service, but be cautious when using it to purchase your vacation.
It's true that sometimes people have great experiences. Unfortunately, a lot of people talk about a bad experience or a cautionary tale when they write a review, especially those that often call out these companies as scams.
Although there are fewer complaints about Travelzoo itself, there are many complaints about select partner companies. To avoid this, I'd do more reserach into the provider itself, as they're the ones that'll be offering you the specific stay or itinerary listed.
So, before you make a reservation with Travelzoo to book your next trip, make sure that you do research into the partner that you're booking with.
Travelzoo is also probably more useful for those with flexible travel plans. The best way to effectively use Travelzoo is being willing to jump on the best deals—which are sometimes not to the destination you originally planned or along the same timelines.
All in all, it never hurts to check another travel deal website to absolutely ensure you'll have no regret after booking your vacation!
My Rating: 2.9/5
- Weekly Top 20's Deals
- Diverse options
- Great prices vs. direct vendors
- Free to use
- Bad customer service team
- Frequent false advertising
- Hit-or-miss Travelzoo customer support
- Unreliable providers
- Questionable services providers offer
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Once you've found a good deal, you'll need a travel plan to keep things on track. Heard of Pilot?