I just got another hot tip from my brilliant, frugal friend today (I think he might be writing vicariously through my blog). This time, he clued me in to TravelPony, which is a hotel booking site. Sounds kind of ho-hum, until you actually try it.
It’s really more like, “va-va-voom!”
The folks at TravelPony are trying a new concept – blending the power of social media with the love of the deal. Instead of spending big bucks on marketing, the site relies on their customers to spread the word.
To get a TravelPony Hotel Deal (in many cases a 40-70% discount), you need to log in, then they ask that you make a post or share a tweet about TravelPony during the checkout process. (And I love that they encourage fun, silly messages such as “Yo, I just saved 40% at the Four Seasons! Look over there! Is that a @TravelPony?”)
So far, TravelPony is in 56 US cities, plus Amsterdam, Banff, Barcelona, Cancun, London, Madrid, Naples, Paris, Playa Del Carmen, Rio de Janeiro, and San Juan.
They don’t have hundreds of hotels in each city, but they had a interesting selection in the cities I searched, including a good mix of mid-priced to high-end hotels (and really, who needs hundreds of choices?).
The reason they are able to offer such significant discounts is that it’s a members-only site. Legally, they can’t show you the amazing deals if you don’t log in.
I decided to take a ride on the Pony, and browsed for a deal in Miami the weekend of May 9-11. I love Miami and want to go back. I found an insane rate at the Four Seasons Miami! $233/night + $31 in taxes/fees, for a total of $528.
Travelocity, Venere, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, getaroom, and ReserveTravel all came in at $379/night +48 in taxes/fees, for a total cost of $854.
The Four Seasons site featured the same price as the other discount sites.
So TravelPony rode in with a savings of $326! Almost 40%!
You can also use my referral link for $35 off your first booking here. If you used this coupon, the savings would increase to $351, which is 41%.
And of course you wouldn’t dream of not going through TopCashBack for another 10% off, would you? Because this would increase the savings to $400, or 47%!
Yeehaw and giddyup!
My two wishes for the site are that it would feature a selection of hotels in more cities, plus it would allow bookings more than six months out.
Aside from those two kinda minor things, TravelPony has provided some pretty good wish fulfillment in my life! I love getting such a big discount on a hotel without spending hours tracking it down. And I love the concept of social marketing – if something is good, why not share it?
Take a look and share what you think!