New premium member feature: Customizing trip alerts

As a premium subscriber – you get 5 times as many alerts as free subscribers get (and you get them 3 days before free subscribers get them), but sometimes the trips I send you still sell out before your daily email digest gets sent.
If  you’d like to get alerts sooner than the daily emails OR customize your trip alerts more than the daily digests you receive by default, watch the 3 minute video below.
For example, if you’re watching for
  • a trip to a certain place
  • a trip over a certain holiday
  • flights under $150 to visit friends (or have them visit you)
  • or any of the 57 categories in the member portal…

You can now get a custom alert whenever I find one of those trips.

Questions? Feel free to comment below.

Customizing your lodging choices

Did you know you can customize your lodging choices any way you like?

Watch this 90 second video for more info.

950 out of 1000 questions asked…

For every 1000 emails I get from JGOOT subscribers, about 980 of them ask me one of the five questions below.

If you ever send me an email or message asking one of the questions below, I apologize in advance for not being able to respond individually, but I have done my best to answer it here.

  1. “Can you find me a trip to [insert_destination] on [insert date range]?” I wish I could, but I can’t. Here’s why.
  2. “Your site doesn’t work because I can’t go on the dates you suggest.” Not a problem. Here’s why.
  3. “There must be a catch to this free service… What is it?” Nope. No catch. Here’s why.
  4. “What is the catch to the $5 per person/per night rooms you always talk about.” Sometimes, they’re even less than that, sometimes they’re more, but there’s no catch. Here’s how.
  5. “Why is it that every time I check fares, they aren’t what you said they’d be?” There are 3 reasons. Here they are.

 

Still have questions? Dozens of other answers to common questions about both my free and my premium service can be found here.

Is this site real?

“No Cancel Fares”

It takes a village

What’s the catch?

I had to brave the crowds at Costco this weekend to get one thing, and one thing only: A brisket for some neighbors we were having over for dinner.

As I was filling up on free samples of stuff I had no intention of buying, I realized something;  The free trip alerts I offer with a basic JGOOT subscription are the exact same thing as what Costco does every single weekend by giving out free samples.

The “bite sized” free trip alerts I’m giving you are fully functional and can do the job if you’re patient enough to wait for the right deal to come along. If you see a trip you like, you can click through to Travelocity, Kayak, Priceline, or wherever I found the deal, customize it to your liking, and book it directly through them.

That’s it.

  • No catches.
  • No fine print
  • No timeshare presentations.

If you ever decide that you want more options than what you’re getting for free – you can upgrade your subscription. If all you want to do right now is fill up on free samples, that’s fine too. I’ll be here when you’re ready. (I recommend 6 to 9 months before your next trip to get the best deal.)

As one premium subscriber put it: “A basic subscription vs a premium subscription is like showing up at a 90%-off apparel sale at the end of the day hoping to find the right sized jeans… vs getting let in an hour before the store even opens.”  

PS – The Aaron Franklin inspired 17 lb brisket took 11 hours on the grill, and was the juiciest one yet. Totally worth the Costco crowds. 😉

JGOOT’s top 5 questions

“Are you a travel agent?”

I get requests on a daily basis to look into trips for people.

Unfortunately, I am not a travel agent – nor can a travel agent help you with the majority of the trips I send you. (since they are mistake fares that don’t pay a commission.)

However… Every single trip I post to the site has convenient links you can click through to book directly online with the travel search engine of your choice. There is no need to call me, or a travel agent.

For more help on how to book any trip you find, click here.

Why are travel agents so unreliable?

First off, not all travel agents are unreliable, but

  1. The good agents only handle calls from new prospects after they are done serving their existing client base. If they’re really good, that might be a long time.
  2. The bad agents… Well, that’s self-explanatory.

As far as the unreliable agents, I can definitely tell you why you’re not getting calls back in a timely fashion. 9 out of 10 times, here’s is the typical interaction travel agents have to deal with when dealing with new customers.

  1. Customer has their sights set on [Insert City Here] (Breaking JGOOT rule #1)
  2. Customer needs to go on a specific dates and has little to no flexibility on those dates (Breaking JGOOT rule #2)
  3. Customer searches online and is shocked that they can’t find flights for less than $600. (Breaking JGOOT rule #3)
  4. Customer calls travel agent thinking agent can find better
  5. Agent spends significant time finding $550 fares (because they’re good, but they’re not miracle workers)
  6. Customer decides $550 is too expensive so they decide not to go and don’t return the agent’s call ever again

When that happens 9 out of 10 times, travel agents are forced to deal with the most realistic callers first, and everyone else later (if ever). It’s not the best system, but considering the high volumes of people who only call agents because they’re only finding expensive trips due to the restrictive nature of their itinerary – I can’t say I blame them.

By the way – I’m not a travel agent, and you can book all trips I share directly online without the use of a travel agent.

If you’re uncomfortable booking trips online, I recommend researching on Google or Yelp to find a reputable agent near you.  Any good agent should be able to book any trip you find on my website for you if you simply give them the appropriate details. (Be aware that most agents are free to use for international flights, but they might charge a small retainer fee for domestic flights.)

Questions? Please feel free to comment below.

Why do I have to stay x days?

Although I include suggested dates in all of my trip updates, you can always shorten, lengthen, or change the dates of your trip entirely.

The best way to tell how easy it will be to find alternate dates at a similar price to what I found is to take a look at my “flexibility score.”

  • If I’ve listed a flexibility score of 3/5 or higher, you should easily be able to find plenty of similarly priced options.
  • When I’ve listed a flexibility score of 2/5 or lower, you won’t have a ton of other options. That doesn’t mean you won’t find a similar fare on other dates. It just might take a bit of extra digging.
    • Tip: When looking for entirely different dates than the dates I found, try looking for the same days on different weeks, and use Google Flight’s or Kayak’s “flexible search” feature.

Other resources:

Why I don’t book or research trips to specific places

When it comes to finding trips to the specific location you’re looking for, I’ve got good news & bad news.

  • Let’s start with the bad: 
    • If you’re looking for a specific destination at a specific time and don’t have flexibility on either- the odds of finding a good deal on my site are slim-to-none and you’d be better off calling a travel agent, or using the major travel search engine of your choice.
    • Contrary to popular belief, I am not a travel agent and do not have the capability of researching specific trips for individual requests.
    • I’m also not a travel search engine. I only post about .1% of all trips out there. (One tenth of one percent.)
    • I don’t have the capability of watching for certain areas for certain people. (There are free websites out there that do a great job at that.)
  • The good:
    • If you have any flexibility in your travel plans whatsoever, I’m confident the .1% of the trips I do post to the site will be the best price you’ve ever seen.
    • Because I search every day, even if deals I’ve found in the past have sold out, the odds of similar deals coming up again in the near future are very good.
    • Any trips not on my site are probably too expensive to be worthy of being labeled a “JGOOT good deal.”  For those trips, I keep a stockpile of frequent flyer points. Instead of paying more for those trips, I pay about 98% less – and I teach all premium members how to do the same. (Here are a few of those tips.)

Plan on opening my email every morning around 8:30, and you’re bound to eventually find something.  (Don’t have that level of patience? Click here to upgrade your subscription. You’ll have 5 to 7 times as many deals to choose from every day.)

Still have questions? 95 out of 100 questions I get asked are the same, and I’ve answered them all right here.

Is there a fee for this service?