New website promises Epic Thrills for adventure travelers

Travelers looking for great deals on their next journey have a new tool at their disposal today, as a website has just launched that promises to be the Jetsetter of adventure travel. The new site, fittingly called Epic Thrills, will offer members substantial discounts on adventure travel opportunities from some of the top companies in the world.

For now, the site is members-only and requires an invite to join, but once you’re in the club, you’ll receive exclusive access to some excellent travel bargains. The creators of Epic Thrills have worked closely with top adventure travel companies to offer fantastic deals to ET members, and each week they’ll put another amazing trip on sale. That trip will be available for 7-14 days at a discount of up to 30% off the regular price.

And what exactly can members expect out of Epic Thrills? Their very first deal, which goes on sale later today, offers some insights. The first trip available is an 11-day mountain biking excursion through the Himalaya hosted by Pedlars Pub & Grille, one of the absolute best adventure cycling companies in the world. While on this two-wheeled journey through Nepal, travelers will stay in rustic tea houses while riding more than 200 miles of trail with the stunning backdrop of Annapurna to spur them on. According to the Epic Thrills website, future trips could include heli-skiing in Alaska, surfing in Costa Rica, rafting in Patagonia, and a whole lost more.

Epic Thrills is the brainchild of founder Allen Burt, who came up with the idea when he was left frustrated by the inability to find good, compelling adventure opportunities online. An avid adventure traveler himself, Burt has launched the site to not only offer great deals on adventure options to others, but to also create an online destination to help them discover new opportunities that they didn’t even know existed.

Checkout the site yourself at

Flash sale website ideeli adds dedicated travel category

Make that one more player in the fast-growing flash sale market for travel. Sale website ideeli, Inc. today announced that they will introduce a dedicated travel category to their e-commerce platform that already includes fashion and lifestyle goods.

With a focus on exclusive pricing at luxury and boutique properties worldwide, ideeli will augment these travel experiences by including members-only perks such as complimentary room upgrades, spa and restaurant credits, and other amenity packages. New travel offers will be featured every Tuesday at prices of 30 to 60% off, and each sale will run for up to six days or until sold out.

“Travel is an essential component of our members’ ‘ideel’ lifestyle,” says Paul Hurley, CEO and founder of ideeli. “We are excited to now offer such carefully vetted and editorially-driven travel experiences on a regular basis. “

Leading the travel team is Peter Manice, part of the founding team at Jetsetter, the private travel site, where he most recently served as director of partner management and operations. Working closely with Manice is Andrew Bradick, a former publisher at and director of travel deals publishing at Sherman’s Travel.

“We’ve developed travel products that not only offer value and excitement for our members, but also a series of effective solutions for the travel industry,” said Manice. “By utilizing our many tools for member engagement – from flash sales to giveaways to group buy events – travel suppliers can deliver brand-friendly content and drive traffic to their core channels, all while generating incremental booking activity from our audience of nearly 3 million engaged and affluent members.”

Examples of past and current travel offerings on ideeli include:

* A group-buy deal on ideelACCESS: $50 for a $100 credit toward any of the 600+ properties in the Mr. and Mrs. Smith luxury hotel network.
* Exclusive packages to Lake Austin Spa (Texas), The Venetian (Las Vegas) and Cabo Azul (Mexico).
* Giveaway to a 4-night stay at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, a 5-star star property in Playa del Carmen valued at up to $4500.

To celebrate the launch, ideeli is hosting a “Putter’s Paradise Giveaway” that includes a 2-night stay at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort a, 5-star oceanfront hotel and spa.

Not a member? Use invite code to join.

New travel sale site Sniqueaway: a first look

The team behind TripAdvisor has joined the online flash sale market with SniqueAway, launching September 20. The sample sale site is the latest to join the the ranks of, Vacationist, Voyage Prive and auction-based site Off & Away in the market to offer limited time discounts on luxury properties around the globe for a limited members-only audience.

“We’ve watched and learned and now we’re ready to party with the players who have proven the private sale model to be a winner,” said Massimo De Nadai, general manager for Smarter Travel Media, the parent company of both TripAdvisor and SniqueAway.

The site will offer both four and five-star properties like The Greenbrier in West Virginia and The Crane in Barbados on its inaugural lineup. To qualify, resorts must have a minimum four star rating, with limited exceptions for small and very new properties that have not yet developed a following on

Like other sale sites, SniqueAway will utilize both its existing member base within TripAdvisor and the “refer a friend” functionality to promote the site, which promises a $25 credit to the referrer when a new member purchases their first trip.

On SniqueAway, TripAdvisor hotel reviews are shown alongside limited-time, members-only offers, providing trusted traveler opinions of the hotels, making it easy to book a room before they sell out.

To gain early access to the site, use the link to secure membership and stay tuned for a full comparison review in the coming weeks.

How guilt-free can a Jetsetter be?

Bargain shoppers know a good deal when they see one and budget travelers have a keen eye for finding the last-minute steal, but when it comes to luxury travel, is it possible to buy on the cheap?, an online invitation-only website that offers designer clothes and accessories at discounted prices, launched its travel arm: The concept is similar to its sister site: luxury accommodations and vacation packages are offered at discounted rates during a set period of time. If you’re a member of the site, you can log in to see what’s being offered that week and set your calendars to buy when the slot opens.

With, either you want the deal that’s offered or you don’t – there’s no negotiation and no turning back once you’ve purchased. You can view the sales ahead of time, which allows time for planning (a good thing since some of these deals will take you around the world). The catch: The deal is only good for a certain amount of time – anywhere from 24 hours to a week — and only a handful of rooms are available so if you don’t act fast, you don’t get the deal.

But the real question is: how good a deal is it?

The featured deals on Jetsetter include some of the best resorts in the world, like the Four Seasons Costa Rica and Mandarin Oriental’s Elbow Beach in Bermuda, and vacation packages including safaris in Kenya, and a guided tour of Chile’s Atacama Desert. There are basic rooms to be had at some swanky hotels and if you’re looking for a quick getaway but not sure where to go, this site could provide the inspiration you need to book a trip.

I spent a few weeks on the site looking the standard room rate sales for hotels and here’s what I found:Rooms at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Colorado were offered at $100/night. The rooms were courtyard views and for $50 more you could upgrade to a mountain view. The price includes all mandatory taxes, surcharges or fees. A quick scan of the hotel’s website offered rooms starting at $159 excluding taxes and fees. With’s deal, you save at least $60 night.

Omphoy Ocean Resort, Palm Beach, Florida is one of South Florida’s most private beachside resorts. The boutique hotel is currently hosting a fourth-night free promotion, with rooms starting at $239/night. But if you don’t want to spend four nights in Florida, the deal offered rooms with a pool view from $140/night. A deal? In this case it’s a steal, but you’ll have to compromise a view of the ocean for a view of the pool.

The Pierre New York, a member of the Taj Hotel Group, is one of New York’s most prestigious properties. With views of Central Park and Fifth Avenue, you can’t go wrong with a view from your room at The Pierre. offered rooms starting at $365/night, but the sale did not include weekends. I checked the rates for a mid-week stay on the hotel’s website and rooms start at $595. A savings of more than $200 is a win for the traveler in this case.

These are merely examples, but a good indication of the type of sales happening at the invite-only site. So if Jetsetter hosts these rates at such low amounts, how do the hotels make money? Simple economics: More rooms sold at a lower rate means more money for the hotel, especially if the standard room rates on the hotel’s website aren’t selling at all. These properties don’t pay to be listed on the site, but they hope to provide a deal strong enough to generate a good amount of travelers.

My opinion: Hotels around the world are looking for any way to recoup costs lost from the last two years. Jetsetter’s sales are worth the price, if you’re not into aesthetics (rooms with a view, private suites and amenities you might score by booking with the hotel directly). Sign-up for an invitation or get someone you know who’s a member to send you an invite. Even if you don’t end up buying, the hotels and vacation packages offered provide some stellar inspiration for your next trip.

Sign up for flash-sale alerts with

Want to be in the know about deep discounts and deals on luxury travel packages and top-tier hotels? Well then you need to wrangle yourself an invite to the email list (or just surf on over to Wendy Perrin’s post and use her “exclusive link” for readers).

According to Perrin, Jetsetter is a “flash-sale site that negotiates with noteworthy hotels, cruise lines, and other luxe travel suppliers to offer slashed rates unavailable to the general public.” Those who get on the email list will receive a notice of the next days’ sales each night at 8pm. Each sale lasts just two days, or until the availability runs out.

Sounds pretty cool, right? I used Perrin’s link to sign and up and browse some of the current….um, sales, and found that there are some deep discounts offered here. But remember, this is a luxury travel site. Half off of $800 is still way out of my price range. Budget travelers may have a harder time finding a deal they can afford….but it’s not impossible. One deal currently being offered is a Superior Queen Guestroom at the West Hollywood Sunset Tower for $129 (as opposed to the usual $225-$275). The discounted, but still $650 a night, Asia cruise is probably a little less affordable for most people.

Perrin was able to offer the exclusive sign-up link through Conde Nast’s new partnership with Jetsetter, which is a member of the Gilt Groupe. Each month, Jetsetter will offer special deals on products and services sold by some of the magazines advertisers.