How I Liberated my Inner Adventurer

Travelzoo has a saying: “We never recommend a deal that we wouldn’t book ourselves.” Since joining the company late last year, I’ve lived up to this adage. In the last six months, I’ve tried at least a dozen Travelzoo offers, from an overnight stay in Chicago to a massage at Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel. This summer, I’m attending the Stratford Festival and taking my teenage son on a Wild Adventures Canada canoe trip in Algonquin Park.

This burst of activity is new for me. I’m cautious — even thrifty — by nature. Taking my food-obsessed kids out for a six-course tasting menu at Globe Bistro (as I did after finding a deal on Travelzoo) wouldn’t have occurred to me a few years ago. But Travelzoo has helped liberate my inner adventurer.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your Travelzoo membership.

Keep an open mind. Travelzoo offers are researched, vetted and test-booked before they’re published. The more flexible you can be about what you’ll do and when you’ll go, the better deals you’ll find. “With hotels, you can often find the best prices if you stay midweek,” points out Travelzoo publisher Michael Duchesne. “Leave the weekend warriors to battle traffic and crowds.” To find new destinations, let yourself be inspired by the Travelzoo Top 20 — a roundup of our latest, most exciting experiences close to home and around the world. Members receive it each Wednesday at noon.

Think long-term. When the Hawaiian cruise of my dreams was in our Top 20, I hesitated. It sailed in 2018, and who knew what I’d be doing then? But I’ll tell you what I won’t be doing: Going to Hawaii, because the deal sold out. Don’t be afraid to commit to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some of Travelzoo’s most buzzed-about deals — like the $698 trip to China we offered earlier this year — have to be booked well in advance. Get cancellation insurance if that helps put your mind at ease, and have fun anticipating your big adventure.

Consider convenience. The lowest price for that Caribbean all-inclusive vacation or African safari might only be available on a few dates. But Travelzoo vacation expert Amanda Blake points out, “sometimes surrounding dates or months may be only $100 more.” Travelzoo will do the research and include additional dates if they’re also a good value, so you can find a holiday that fits your schedule as well as your budget.

Try something new. Of all the deals I’ve bought, many of my favourites get me doing things I wouldn’t normally do, like indulging in a luxury spa day. Plus, Travelzoo has members-only events that can’t be found anywhere else. Experiment with something different — but don’t be surprised if you like it so much, it becomes a habit. (That six-course dinner was such a success that my family went back to Globe a few months later, albeit for just three courses.)

Travelzoo membership is free but it comes with exclusive benefits. Feeling inspired to take new adventures may be the best one of all.

Susan Catto is Head of Publishing, Canada at Travelzoo.

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