If you’re in a situation like the two of us with no upcoming travel plans, sometimes you can feel a little stuck. There are many ways to survive when you’re not traveling but nothing comes close to the thrill of actually getting out there and doing something.
Picture this – you’ve got the savings in the bank but unfortunately you don’t have the time to commit to spending more than a weekend away. Not only that, you’ve seen a lot of your own backyard already and you’re not exactly sure what you can possibly do.
A past Frugal February suggestion we made was to use a group buying site to find yourself some great unique deals at discount prices. We decided to put this theory to the test by using Groupon to put together the best weekend we possibly could.
While we didn’t set any spending limits, we set ourselves some basic rules and had to purchase:
- One meal.
- One night accommodation.
- One activity.
Here are our three purchases and a rundown of how our experiment turned out.
Three Course Italian Dinner with Wine for Two – $39 ($100 value)
Our first purchase was a three-course meal for two at one of the top-ranked Italian restaurants in Melbourne. We were somewhat expecting to be treated like second-class citizens for redeeming a Groupon at such a place but this certainly wasn’t the case as the two of us received top-class service at Pane e Tulipani.
From the antipasto platter to share to the delicious gnocchi and pizza we enjoyed as mains, we had a terrific experience and would certainly book another restaurant deal through Groupon after this.
Great Ocean Road One Night Stay for Two – $129 ($262 value)
We purchased one night’s accommodation in Warrnambool, which marks the western end of the Great Ocean Road. This would allow us to explore Australia’s most famous coastal drive together for the first time during the day before having somewhere to rest our heads that night.
While the accommodation was nothing to write home about and we certainly question the “original price” specified on the Groupon website, it served its ultimate purpose by allowing us to see the Great Ocean Road and take photos such as this one along the way.
Thirty Minute Flying Lesson for One – $89 ($220 value)
The final purchase we made was for Kieron to take the controls of a plane with a training introductory flight in a Jabiru J-160D. This would tick “flying a plane” off the bucket list and would also be an exhilarating hands-on experience with breathtaking views.
Unfortunately we haven’t redeemed this Groupon as yet but stay tuned for more.
In total we spent $257 between the two of us plus incidental costs (eg. food/fuel on our road trip) for one night’s accommodation, a dinner and an activity for one. According to Groupon, we saved $325 however after our accommodation experience we aren’t convinced that it’s an accurate amount.
While our spending a little on the expensive side, if you’re looking for something spontaneous then jumping onto Groupon and seeing what’s available in your city is a good option.
Want to give it a try yourself? Here are things to consider when purchasing deals through Groupon.
- Read the fine print carefully. Many deals don’t allow you to redeem them during peak periods.
- Check the expiry dates on your Groupon and make sure you book as soon as possible.
- Check the original price where possible and see how much you’re really saving.
Disclaimer: We received a voucher from Groupon which covered part of our expenses. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.