By now you probably have heard of Groupon. But if you have been a bit shielded from the onslaught of advertising by Groupon, you should know that it is a site that offers daily deals on what to do, eat, buy and see in over 160 cities across the United States. The deals can be up to 90% off in some instances. What we didn’t know until recently is that it can save you big money while traveling internationally as well.
You should know that besides the U.S., Groupon also operates in over 40 countries around the world. This means if you plan ahead of time, you can score some pretty amazing deals on food and activities when you arrive at your destination. Consider that in many cases, the local prices are A LOT CHEAPER than what you would have paid in the U.S. and now you’re getting a discount off that!
How much cheaper? Here are a couple of first hand examples.
We recently bought the following discount deals from Groupon when we were in Hong Kong:
- 2 hour all-you-can-drink cocktails and beers and unlimited nachos at a bar at Lan Kwai Fong, the popular bar and restaurants district in Hong Kong
Original deal price: $39 USD ($300 HKD)
Deal price: $12.74 USD ($99 HKD)
Discount: 67% off
In the U.S., one cocktail will set you back anywhere between ~$6 to ~$20 depending on where you are. So 2 hr all you can drink and unlimited nachos for $12.74 USD is an excellent deal!
- Complete Hair Package – Shampoo, Cut, Dry, Ceramic Perm or Coloring, and Oil Treatment
Original deal price: $71 USD ($548 HKD)
Deal price: $18 USD ($138 HKD)
Discount: 75% off
Okay that’s all fine but what if you’re not going to Hong Kong, what if you’re heading to say.. Malaysia? Well Groupon is there. AbuDhabi? Yep you’re covered. Going ‘down under’? Yep you’re set there mate.
Here are some interesting deals we spotted overseas:
- Sydney – $71 USD / $69 AUD (65% off) 3-hr sailing course on the Sydney Harbor
- Sydney – $40 USD / $39 AUD (74% off) 1hr massage
- Singapore – $29 USD / S$38 (70% off) 10hr Adobe Photoshop CS4/CS5 class or 3hr Intro Adobe Photoshop Elements class
- London – $55 USD / £36 (51% off) Three-Course Meal with Champagne for Two at Waldorf Hilton Hotel
- London – $23 USD / £15 (81% off) Paintball package for 4 including lunch
But how do you find out where else Groupon operates? Quite simple, here’s what you do.
- First, you have to sign up. Link here. Provide your email address, and just pick the U.S. city closest to you. This way, you are getting deals in your home area as well.
- After you log in, on the top of the screen where you see your city, click on the drop down box, and you will see a list of international locations listed.
- Know that not all city websites are in English. At the time of this writing, the following countries have English sites:
- Abu Dhabi
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Africa
Unless you are planning to be at your destination for more than 2 weeks, we highly recommend you to sign up and check out the deals at your destination at least a month before your arrival. We can’t stress this enough because once you locate the deals you like, you will have to wait for the deal to officially close, then Groupon send you a coupon by email, then you have to print it. Very conservatively, this process can take 2 weeks. As such, planning ahead is essential.
So take advantage of Groupon deals for your travel and you’ll be able to live it up a little even if you are on a budget. After signing up, monitor the deals available since the deals rotate regularly.
Good luck! Let us know if you see any amazing deals out there!