Does “The Deal” Fuel Your Hawaii Trip?

A survey this week from Expedia says that us travelers are hell-bent on attaining travel deals. So much so that their study of nearly 1,000 U.S. travelers indicated that 60% of trips are based simply on finding a good enough deal.

Survey methodology

Funny thing though. When I tried to read the actual survey results on my own (I’m a marketer), it was not available on-line. It appears the survey was conducted by Sniqeaway, a Trip Advisor (Expedia) company that has much to gain from positive results, rather than through an independent research company.

That’s like the current controversy on Dancing With The Stars. Is the voting rigged to keep stars on the show who drive the most advertising revenue? Unless an independent company is in charge of their voting tabulation (like Price Waterhouse) we may never know what goes on behind the scenes.

Same thing with surveys. I like to know who conducted it, how the participants were chosen and their demographics. Just to make sure there was no bias.

Deal mentality is huge

Expedia’s survey looks interesting at face value. We know that when we post a deal, your interest gains dramatically. On a day with great Hawaii deals, as many as 10,000 people look to our content.

Notwithstanding my questions, here are some other interesting statistics from their survey:

  • 69% subscribe to deal newsletters (I think our email subscribers are in that group).
  • 81% of deal newsletter subscribers receive 1-5 newsletters
  • 19% receive more than five newslettesr

I know that my own brand loyalty long ago went out the window when it comes to airlines, hotels, and car rentals. Instead of looking for a brand, I only focus on excluding brands I tend to avoid at all cost.

What do you think about the results? Do you feel a natural high when you score a great deal? Would a better deal to Mexico keep you away from Hawaii beaches or do you still shop by destination?

Let me know how deal hunting works in your travel plans.

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20 thoughts on “Does “The Deal” Fuel Your Hawaii Trip?”

  1. Not so much for me. I love a good deal, but we go to the big island twice a year because we have 2 married daughters and their families there. I go more for the direct flights, such as Alaska from SJ to Kona. However, I was just notified that our flights in January have new departure/arrival times that are not good. I may have to shop around.

  2. Hi Vicki,

    I spent quite a while looking at your dates and didn’t come up with anything better. Keep trying. I’d probably check Hotwire and DHCR about three weeks before you leave. It will go down. While I don’t care for Alamo, especially at HNL, on a recent rental they did not charge the on airport fees which resulted in a big savings.

    Thanks for your very nice comments. 🙂


  3. Like everyone else, I love a deal…but it is *NOT* a determining factor as to where I’m going to go on vacation. I have the unfortunate position of living on the east coast…only Maine is further east than where I live…So airfare to Hawaii is expensive. I know it’s about $800-900 round-trip with an average *deal*. so that’s what I budget. But if I were to find an airfare under that, I’ll jump on it…so far, that’s not been very often. As a result, I only am able to get to Hawaii every 3rd year or so, and it sucks! Sometimes, I wonder if I should vacation in the Caribbean islands, they are alot closer. But when I check airfare, its around $600-$700 RT…for that, I’ld rather spend the extra $200 and go to Hawaii!

  4. I definitely look for deals, but only to places I really want to go, like the Islands. I tend to favor American Airlines, so wouldn’t say my loyalty has been dramatically impacted, as the deals I’m hunting for airfares usually center there. Of course, other airlines deals can impact pricing on American, so I keep a close eye on what’s going on with ticket pricing.

  5. Jeff, I’ll be there January 22 to February 1. I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with Alamo, so don’t use them any longer. I also avoid pre-paying unless it’s very close to my arrival date. I plan to keep looking right up until I leave just in case a pre-paid deal comes up. I’d love to see what you can find. It’s so much fun planning the trip that as soon as I get home, I start looking for another deal right away. Wish I could travel more. Thanks so much. You guys are terrific. Probably because you live in Hawaii and absorb the wonderfulness. Vicki

  6. My last 2 rental cars have been through Hotwire (must prepay)…8 nights Maui midsize $202.00. 9 nights Maui midsize $222.00. Beat of Hawaii also gets my vote as number #1!!! Your website is the most personal and “real”. I do not go to Mexico any more due to violence there. Seattle always has great deals to Hawaii – but one must spend some time looking and comparing. I LOVE getting a Deal! Once you’ve done the research- then spotting a deal is easy every time.


  7. Hi Rob. I tried Discount Hawaii Car Rental just the other day when I saw mention of it on Beat of Hawaii, but the deal was not as good as what I had already found. I think I started my search on Travelocity, which I often do. I like Enterprise in Honolulu and I’m paying $291 for the 10 days. I feel lucky to have found it. It’s for their smallest size car but that works well in Honolulu because parking can be small in size too. I’ll keep shopping to see if I can do any better, and I’ll keep an eye on Discount Hawaii Car Rental too just in case. I’m so looking forward to getting there. It was cold here in MN today. Aloha Vicki

    1. Hi Vicki,

      If you’d like, tell me your car rental dates, and I’ll see what I can find, just for the fun of it.

      Aloha, Jeff

  8. We are deal shoppers – definitely. Been to Hawaii 4 times since 2004. Have managed to snag $500 pp RT airfare from STL each time. Sadly, we haven’t seen anything close to that yet for our ‘hoped for’ 2011 trip.
    Since the hubby refuses to do multiple stops (more than 1) to and from – our DEAL just may not exist anymore.

    I will give up in mid December and reschedule our timeshare for later (much later) in the year and perhaps go in the fall. We just hate going someplace warm when it is still warm at home.

    If ‘THE FARE’ doesn’t show up soon, well, we may end up in Cancun doing an All Inclusive or doing a cruise. I am one of those 5+ newsletter folks – Beat of Hawaii being my FAV.

    But, sadly, in this economy – it will be THE DEAL or NO TRIP. We have NO CHOICE.

  9. I have to always get a deal.

    However, it does not have to be “the best deal of all time.”

    If one trip is a little more than I want to pay, for example $100 more, even with a deal, I know that another time in the future I might luck into a better deal ($200 or more, less), ie things average out.

  10. We shop by destination and it’s always Hawaii, but the deals from Houston seem to have dried up. Last year and the year before we were able to get $238 & $258 RT on United. They’ve had deals from Dallas but nothing here. Since they took Continental away from Houston, it only seems fair that they give us some deals.

  11. We’ve been to Australia, New-Zealand, Japan, Kenya, the Azores… because of great deals. Sure worked for us.
    (“Dancing with the stars” voting is not rigged. The professional dancers and their agents would find out eventually. I hope you guys are watching the show. It is still entertaining. Hope you are
    voting too. When we worked on the title shots, I thought for sure that Kyle would win but I am not sure now).

  12. Price and value are the driving forces for us. I actually wait until the price is right before I book. Unlike some people, if the price isn’t right, we don’t go. We’ve been to Hawaii 10 or so times and absolutely love it.
    Mexico adds a huge tax onto your airline ticket and is pricing themselves out of the market. Especially when it can be very dangerous to go there right now. The drug cartels run the show in parts of Mexico. Hotels and food is no longer the bargain it once was in Mexico either. I love Mexico but rarely vacation there anymore.

  13. Considering what the costs of rental cars are on Maui, I felt that I recieved a pretty good deal for two weeks in June from, around $400.00 all inclusinve.


  14. We have family on the Big Island and good friends on Kauai. The inter-island price must result from a lack of competition. I agree with Kris that the inter-island price may be keeping many from traveling to Hawaii even when there’s a reasonable deal from the mainland.

    Right now I can travel from Denver to Honolulu RT for under $400. Add Kauai and the price nearly doubles. Going to the Big Island and Kauai while there becomes prohibitive. Sadly, that decreases commerce between the islands even for Hawaii residents.

  15. Yes, I go with the deals! I live in Vancouver, Canada and when Alaska Airlines started up their flights from Bellingham, USA and I saw the pricing (compared to leaving from Vancouver) I booked two flights right away. We didn’t even have any plans to go back to Hawaii so soon, but couldn’t pass this up.

  16. I am in the 81% of travelers that subscribe to 5 or more deal newsletters, including Beat of Hawaii, and I pay attention to what they offer. Some are much better to follow through and actually get the deal. For the last two years, I have paid attention to Beat of Hawaii’s e-mails on airfares and have scored both times. I travel to Hawaii once a year anyway, but almost always can find a pretty good airfare by watching my various alerts. This year my roundtrip airfare in January is $315 on United from Minneapolis and I’m staying at the Aqua Palms for $85/night including parking. This is a “condo” from VRBO so it does include cleaning fee, etc., making the actual price just over $100/night. I am very happy with that and like that location. Rental car is not such a good deal, but not terrible. I can’t wait to get there and thanks for always helping me find a good airfare. I’ll think of both of you as I enjoy the warm weather in Hawaii.

    1. Thank you Vicki. You’re great!

      Where did you get your rental car from? We’ve used Hotwire in the past, but based on reader recommendations, just used Discount Hawaii Car Rental and obtained a far better deal. They recently became one of our premier advertisers, and I’m stoked on both fronts.

      Aloha, Rob

  17. Due ti increasing violence in Mexico, I choose not to go there. Hawaii has always been my number one choice. Yes, I only shop for deals, and sure hope they are available when I can go!

  18. YES!!!!!! I am a travel deal “shopper”. I will never travel between islands again if it is going to cost nearly as much as it does to get to my destination in the first place!

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