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 Travelzoo.com 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 www.ideeli.com/invite/gadling to join.

Airlines roll out last-minute sales for Labor Day

There are just two weeks left until Labor Day, but it’s not too late to plan a getaway for the holiday weekend. In fact, waiting until now to book your trip might even save you money with some of the great last-minute deals that are available.

American Airlines Flights
American Airlines has several destinations on sale for Labor Day. Buy your tickets to Belize by August 28th and travel Monday through Thursday, starting September 1st, for as low as $217 each way. Book a trip to Jamaica by August 24th for travel any day of the week after September 1st, and prices will start at $84 each way. Tickets to Cancun, booked by August 25th for Saturday and Tuesday travel after September 1st, start at $88 each way.

United Airlines Flights
If you can stretch your weekend until Tuesday (departing on Saturday), book tickets to destinations within the United States on United Airlines by August 25th to save. Prices vary by departure and destination cities, but sample fares include Chicago to New Orleans for $89 each way, Atlanta to Denver for $109 each way, and Miami to Washington Dulles for $69 each way.

Spirit Airlines Flights
Spirit is well known for its near-constant sales to destinations within the United States, Central America and the Caribbean. It’s like the Gap of airlines – never pay retail because, just as the Gap will knock 50% off those jeans in two weeks, chances are that Spirit will soon offer a better deal for the flight you want. Their current sale ends tomorrow, August 25th, and discounts some of their more popular routes to as low as $33.90 each way. As with all of their sales, $9 Fare Club members and those in hub cities like Fort Lauderdale and Detroit save the most and have the most options. But even the rest of us can still get some good deals for Labor Day. For example, New York to Medellin, Colombia is $138.90 each way, Boston to Myrtle Beach is $68.90 each way, and Atlanta to San Jose, Costa Rica is $128.90 each way.

Expedia.com Deals
Beyond flights, Expedia has deals on just about everything else – hotels, cars, cruises, package deals – for your Labor Day travels. Deals vary widely by location, but some of the highlights include discounts of up to 50% off hotels in Las Vegas, Orlando and Chicago (among other cities) and 3-night Royal Caribbean Bahamas cruises for as low as $262 per person for an inside cabin.

If these deals don’t work for you, there’s still plenty of time to plan your perfect Labor Day vacation at a great price. Check out Hotwire’s Travel Ticker, peruse the sale list on Travelzoo and follow your favorite airlines on Twitter. JetBlue and Southwest regularly post their top deals on twitter, so you’ll be the first to know about great fares.

Palin or Obama as a perfect traveling companion, and where do Democrats and Republicans want to vacation?

Whether or not the following statistics are true, they’re interesting to ponder. With the election fast approaching, here are findings from a phone survey that blends travel and politics. The survey conducted for Travelzoo ended on October 7, so perhaps the numbers would have shifted a bit by now.

  • Percentage of people who think Sarah Palin would be a perfect traveling companion–33%
  • Percentage who think Barack Obama would be–35%

Destination dreams of Republicans, Democrats and Independents:

Who would take a cruise to Alaska?

  • Republicans–51%
  • Democrats–37%
  • Independents –43%

Democrats would rather take a cruise to the Caribbean–51% of them said this is where they would like to head for the vacation of their dreams.

According the survey, the bickering and pandering during this election are giving Independents the idea that they would like to take a vacation elsewhere–47% of them are looking towards Spain, France, the U.K. or Germany for some R&R.

The survey conducted between September 15 and October 7 included a representative sample of 1,000 people, ages 18 and over.

Travelzoo normally doesn’t delve into politics, but is a Website to head to if you’re looking for travel deals. No matter your political leanings, you might find something to suit your tastes and budget. One thing I noticed is how easy it is to find deal information. Here’s the link for Alaskan cruises. And here’s the link for cruises to the Caribbean.