Would You Book A Flight To An Unknown Destination?

Destination Unknown
Flickr, Nico Hogg

Earlier this year, new booking engine GetGoing began offering deep discounts to travelers with flexibility and a sense of spontaneity. You tell the site what type of trip or region you want, and it will give you two destinations and the airfare you’ll pay, up to 40% off. The catch? You won’t know *which* place you’ll go or which airline you’ll fly until after you purchase.

Now how about booking a trip where you won’t know where you’re going until a few days before departure? FlyRoulette launched this week, taking spontaneous travel to the next level. With FlyRoulette, you’ll tell them your budget, maximum trip length, and type of trip (does “weird and exotic” sound appealing?) and it will create an itinerary for you. But you won’t know where you are going until 12-48 hours before you depart, which means you can probably rule out anywhere that requires an advance visa, but the whole world is fair game. In exchange for your flexibility, you’ll get great hotel and flight deals, but it’s not for those who want some degree of control over their travels.
Would you book a trip without knowing where you are going? While it’s an intriguing concept, there are a few issues I can see arising for even the most intrepid travelers. Without knowing what destinations are in their arsenal, a trip to go somewhere “to party” could just as easily be Daytona Beach or Berlin, two very different tastes. There could be reasons why a destination is discounted: even if you wanted a “quiet” trip, what if everything of interest is closed for the season? While you specify your maximum budget, you don’t know what portion is going to airfare or hotel, so you might prefer a destination with a more expensive flight but cheap accommodations. The site allows you to book for groups up to 25 people and was founded by recent college graduates, which may indicate their ideal demographic. It might be best for INexperienced travelers, who are more open to anything and carry less baggage (no pun intended) about how they travel and where they end up.

GetGoing Promises Deep Discounts For Flexible Travelers

Sometimes, you just need to get out of town. It doesn’t matter where, so long as it’s far away.

For these kinds of trips, flexible travelers can now avail themselves of a new booking platform: GetGoing.com.

The site, which celebrated its public launch yesterday, features an innovative Pick Two Get One platform, which provides airfare discounts of up to 40% if travelers can prove that they are flying for leisure by being flexible about their destination.

Here’s how it works:

– Search for the type of trip you want to go on. It can be a geographic region, like Europe or Asia, or a more general theme, like “History and Culture” or “Beaches and Sun.”

– Select two destinations from the options provided to you, then select two potential itineraries. At this point, you can see the discounted fare you will receive, but not the airline.

– Fill in your traveler details and credit information, then hit “complete this purchase” and let GetGoing decide where you’ll go.

I recently test-run the platform for an upcoming trip to Europe in May. Some of the discounts were significant, like $854 to Tel Aviv ($211 discount) and $631 to Moscow ($146 discount). But most fares were about on par with what I found by searching discount engines like Skyscanner and Kayak. And since the engine is airline-blind until the deal is done, you can’t factor frequent flier mileage programs into your deal search equation.For me, what’s most exciting about GetGoing’s platform is the ability to search for trips based on an idea, rather than a specific destination. For example, you can search for discounted fares to destinations on the New York Times list of Places to Go in 2013, like Managua or Istanbul. Or, search “Adventures and Outdoors” for destinations like Billings, Montana, and Los Angeles, California (we suppose there are all sorts of adventures to be had there).

According to GetGoing, “a little flexibility can save a lot of money.” Your experience on the site will depend on just how flexible you’re willing to be.

[Photo Credit: GetGoing]

Would You Let A Website Choose Your Travel Destination?

beach Set to launch November 1, GetGoing is a new website that takes the hassle out of trip planning and budgeting while giving sizable discounts.

Travelers simply input their travel dates and what kind of trip they want, and the site searches hundreds of destinations, including ones they may not have thought of that could be a great fit. Users can input information about the region, like Europe or Asia, or interest, like history, beach or culture. From the generated list of 10 possible trips, users then choose their top two choices, as well as times, stopovers and prices. GetGoing will then choose one the trips and handle the booking.

So, why would one use this service? Along with less thinking on your part, GetGoing promises airfare discounts of up to 40% when you use their services.

Still sound crazy? Not to co-founder and CEO Alek Vernitsky, who explained to NBC News, “Giving somebody the option of selecting two destinations instead of one fits with how people think about vacations. People naturally think in terms of options – do I want to go here or there?”

Using the flip-a-coin philosophy, the company is able to leverage the fact their clients aren’t married to certain dates or destinations, allowing them to get great deals on remaining seats. For now, GetGoing will offer flights from 12 U.S. airports and trips to about 2,000 destinations. Future goals include adding similar offerings for accommodations and local getaways.

Would you use GetGoing’s new travel service?

[Image via Shutterstock]