Travel Auctions – Big Adventure – Big Savings

Encheres de vacances, subasta viajes, travel auctions… Call them what you will, but there’s money to be saved – and fun to be had!

Travel auctions ultimately bring all the excitement of shopping on eBay to the world of travel. You submit your bids, watch the time tick down, and finally, celebrate as you secure your holiday – frequently, for a fraction of what you might have paid.

Who to choose?

The big hitters of the travel auction world include LuxuryLink, Skyauction, and even eBay itself. LuxuyLink’s focus is, as you’d expect given the name, towards the higher end of the scale, while Skyauction and eBay are a mixed bag price-wise.

In travel auctions, the biggest savings tend to be made the further up the price scale you go, as suppliers can cut their (high) margins and still make a profit. And the result is that high-end travel packages can often be snapped up at the last minute for a decidedly more palatable price.

Go International!

The future, though, may just be international. Many of us learnt at least another language at school, and, in day-to-day life, find very little practical use for it. But for the more adventurous, some of the best savings to be had in travel auctions are through non-English sites like (for French speakers) Nouvellefrontieres.fr, or (Spanish, Italian and Portuguese speakers rejoice!) Logitravel.com.

The functionality – the way the travel auction works, essentially – of the sites is often pretty similar, so even if you can’t understand every word, there’s a good chance you can follow the procedure through familiarity.

Research, research, research

One important thing to remember is to make sure you check out the price of what an equivalent package would be if it weren’t in an auction; there’s no point paying for something, after all, on the suspicion that you’re getting a good deal – always double-check the price directly with the hotel.

It’s also never a bad idea to consider how the ‘auctioneer’ is getting their lot. Just as in an auction house, you wouldn’t pay top dollar for an expensive piece of furniture unless you were absolutely certain of its authenticity; so in online travel auctions, you should dig around into a seller’s history.

What kind of savings can you make?

While you obviously shouldn’t be fooled by the $1 starting bid (you’re really not going to get a $5 cruise, no matter where you look!), there are still some mouth-watering savings to be had.

A recent successful bidder on LuxuryLink snapped up a deliciously decadent 7-night package for two on St. Vincent for $2,229 – making a whopping saving of well over $1,000 in the process. Over at Skyauction, cruises regularly go for 100{e62c403cac7b8cc681803c2c1698f145e7e75e28c1e1f16a71410c7fc8558a25} less than standard under the hammer (so to speak!)

And the savings are no less impressive if you dip your toes in the foreign language travel auction. Nouvelles-frontieres offer a 75{e62c403cac7b8cc681803c2c1698f145e7e75e28c1e1f16a71410c7fc8558a25} discount as standard on some of their travel auction products. The difference on Logitravel, meanwhile, is frequently up towards half the market price, with a three night Nile cruise followed by four nights in Cairo recently going for EUR776 (down from EUR1200).

All in all, then, it’s hard to disagree with the fact that travel auctions are a great way of saving money on your holidays. As long as you set out what you’re prepared to pay beforehand and you hold your nerve, you can sit back and watch the savings roll in… And get a bit of a buzz while you do so!

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