Reported by Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher
Generally, we don’t report on items like this, but we saw a chance here to share the news of some luxury travel to Florida on a budget — something everyone seems mindful of as summer approaches.
Here’s an example of a trip that caught our luxury-budget eye: 3 days/2 nights in a fully furnished American Vacation Home (three bedrooms with pool and sleeps 8) in Orlando (retail value of $402.75) – opening bid of $85.
FloridaVacationAuction.com is a website offering consumers the opportunity to bid on vacation packages around the Sunshine State — including beach resorts, theme park hotels, golf and spa retreats, bed and breakfasts, vacation home rentals, and attraction tickets — at a savings of as much as 80% off rack rates. The site also offers a “Buy Direct” option which offers flash sale type savings at hotels, resorts, and attractions at 20% or more off retail.
New auctions appear on the FloridaVacationAuction.com site every week, with the auctions for that week ending at 10 p.m. on Sunday. Consumers register on the site, determine which vacation package they are interested in, and begin bidding in $5 increments. There is no cost to place a bid. If a participant is outbid, they will receive an e-mail alert with a link back to that auction providing an opportunity to place another bid.
The consumer enters a credit card number when placing their first bid and that credit card is hooked to that auction through completion. A consumer can use different credit cards per auction because FloridaVacationAuction.comn does not store credit card info. The credit card is validated with a $10 authorization charge which is released if the consumer is not the winning bidder. Once they have won the auction, the credit card is automatically charged, less any applicable discounts or credits, and a travel voucher is sent via e-mail. Winning bids are tax inclusive. Travel vouchers must be redeemed within the set period listed on the auction (minimum 90-day period) and the participating hotel or resort has the right to list black-out periods. There are no additional costs or handling fees added to the price of the winning bid and all reservations are made directly with the hotel or resort.
Some current and upcoming auction items available include:
• Dolphin Watch & Wildlife Adventure Cruise (retail value of $100) – opening bid of $20.
• 3 day/2 night stay at The Inn of Naples (retail value of $241.98) – opening bid of $50.
• 3 day/2 night stay at The InterContinental Tampa (retail value of $314.14) – opening bid of $65.
• 3 day/2 nights in a fully furnished American Vacation Home (three bedrooms with pool and sleeps 8) in Orlando (retail value of $402.75) – opening bid of $85.
• 3 day/2 night stay at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa (retail value of $430.68) – opening bid of $90.
• 3 day/2 night stay at the Islander Resort in Islamorada, Florida Keys (retail value of $560.26) – opening bid of $115.
For more: To view the complete listing of live/active auctions, click here. FloridaVacationAuction.com is the official auction partner of VISIT FLORIDA. It is A+ accredited by the Better Business Bureau
If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy:
• International travel stories by Newbern and Fletcher
• Other stories by Kathy M. Newbern, Luxury Travel Examiner
• Stories by JS Fletcher, International Travel Examiner
Luxury Travel Examiner Kathy M. Newbern and spouse, J.S. Fletcher, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created YourSpaReport.com and YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.