Mother & son fly to Belize for $320 to get SCUBA certified

I recently got this video from a Mother about a recent trip to Belize. She and her son flew there for $320 round-trip to celebrate their birthdays and got SCUBA certified. In the spirit of Mother’s day, I thought it would be appropriate that I share her story today.

Their secret?

  • They watched airfares every day until they found something that interested them.
  • They eventually found one that was several months in advance, they worked their schedules around that trip, booked it on Travelocity and saved over $1000 on airfare alone.
  • Since Travelocity offers significant discounts if you book airfare & hotel at the same time, they saved even more by bundling their cheap flight with a hotel.

Follow that simple formula yourself & you can travel just about anywhere you like for less than you’ve ever spent in the past!

Want help from a Commercial real estate expert who also has a passion for travel? Click here to contact Amanda Hardin.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Want to review the most affordable 1% of travel deals on the internet over your morning coffee?

Click here to try out my premium trip-alert service risk-free for as little as $8/month.

“No way these fares are real.”

Whether via email, public comments, a personal conversation, or comments on Facebook or my blog, I get the exact same objection multiple times a day.

Here is my response to a “No way.  I checked and it’s not on sale.” public comment on Facebook.


Some other favorites:

“I just got back from Hawaii and paid over $1500, so I KNOW FOR A FACT this can’t be true.” 

“I used to be a travel agent. These prices are LIES!” (oh… the irony.)

“How can it be cheaper to fly to HAWAII than what I paid to go to Omaha?” 

Find the deals first.

Go there when you can work your schedule around them.

Just like having car insurance for when you drive, plan ahead and set up a backup plan for when you don’t have the flexibility and advance notice to find a good deal.

That’s The JGOOT Way.

Don’t want to read a bunch of travel tips from a geeky ex-Google author about how to find these kinds of prices?  We’ll do it for you for as little as $8 a month. More details here.


“Best $100 I’ve ever spent on travel”

Everyone loves JGOOT.  Doctors, lawyers, firefighters, entrepreneurs, millennials, retirees, teachers… Even travel agents!

Here is a testimonial from an attorney who recently upgraded to our premium annual subscription.

Want to try our premium trip alert service out risk-free for 30 days? Visit

Adam, by the way, is a personal injury lawyer and offers free initial consultations. Visit and tell him JGOOT sent you to get a preliminary 2-hour consultation (instead of just 1).

Jerry West’s trick to getting business class flights for 1/2 to 1/3 of what people paid for their coach seat

Jerry West is a master negotiator, seasoned Europe traveler, and JGOOT premium subscriber. In this video, we chat about how he put a combination of his JGOOT subscription and his negotiation skills to work to score two different business class flights for less than what most people on the same plane paid for their coach seats.

Warning: He cusses twice in this video but once doesn’t really count since it was a mispronunciation of “Phuket.”

Here are some bullet points from our conversation:

  • How he found $400ish tickets to Thailand when most sites were charging $2300 to $4000.
  • How much he HATED Bangkok.
  • How much he LOVED Phuket (which is a $30 to $100 flight from Bangkok)
  • How little we Westerners know about “spicy” food and what it can do to the bowel system.
  • How he found $298 tickets to Paris and a $62 flight to Belgium when most sites were charging $1200 to Belgium.
  • How he got TWO different business class flights for about 1/3 of what most people paid for their coach seat.
  • How AWESOME airport lounges are in Asia compared to anywhere else.
  • Hanging out in a bar. On a plane. At 35,000 feet.
  • Amazingly cheap (but really good) food, even better prices on lodging, and three foot massages a day.
  • How Jerry can help online business owners get more free traffic to their website, AND get more out of their site traffic (visit

If you are unable to watch the above video, you can also find it on our Youtube channel.

Want to travel like Jerry travels, and pay the prices Jerry pays?
Give JGOOT a try risk-free for 30 days.

While supplies last:
Use discount code “Phuket” at checkout and I’ll throw in a $100 travel savings card.
(If discount code no longer works, I’ve run out of cards.)




Meet Dante – Travel App Expert

Dante in the video below is pretty well-traveled.

For years, he’s used the Hopper app, Airfare Watchdog, Travelzoo, Kayak Explorer, Google’s Fare Watcher, etc.

When he found out I was at a travel expo in his area, he drove an hour to grill me to find out how I find so many good deals so often. I’ll tell you the same thing I told him:

There is no need to join our premium service if you enjoy spending the several hours per day required to hunt them down.

Your free apps will find all of the same deals we find as long as you do one simple thing:

Set up your apps to watch for at least a few dozen destinations you’d consider going to – and analyze the results every day.

    • Not when you’re ready…
    • Not when it’s in the budget…
    • Every. Single. Day.

Why every day? Because the best deals aren’t last-minute fares, or even 30 to 60 days in advance. They’re often MONTHS before the actual travel dates, and they usually only last a few days.  Other than occasional dumb luck, the odds of a decent price being available when you get around to looking for that same trip are slim-to-none.

So there you have it.

If you want to find all of the same deals my team and I find, there is no need to upgrade to our paid trip alert service.  Pick a free app. ANY free app – and use it diligently every day whether you’re planning a trip or not.

Spend an hour or two a day analyzing what your free app sends you and you’ll be shocked at how quickly you start;

  • visiting more friends & family,
  • flying more friends & family in to visit you,
  • taking the same vacations you were planning on taking anyway, but paying a LOT less.
  • Spending the savings on more trips, or doing more cool stuff on your vacations.

Don’t want to put in the hour or two a day to find these deals & just review 4 or 5 of my daily personal picks over your morning coffee?
Visit and use discount code “NoMoreApps”
I’ll personally pay for the first 90 days of your quarterly subscription, or I’ll knock $47 off any other subscription plan.



JGOOT Subscriber story: “Flights so cheap we got to bring the grandparents!”

Nikki Sandschaper and her husband are both school teachers – which might seem great for vacations, but considering the only time teachers can travel is during peak seasons, that can get pricey quick.

In this interview, we talked about one of their JGOOT-inspired trips where they not only went over the most expensive week of the year, but they were able to take their parents too.

Don’t have 20 minutes to watch the interview? Skip to the parts that interest you below.

Not getting JGOOT daily trip alerts? Try it risk-free for 30 days.

Want to share your JGOOT travel stories?  Email me & let’s talk about it!

Intro: Meet Nikki

0:55: “We like experiences over things”

1:35: First “adult” New Year’s eve in years thanks to grandparents watching kids.

2:10: How to just grab the cheap flight & use AirBnB to accommodate all 5 of us.

4:55: Recommendations on how to “get your feet wet” with international travel.

6:00: Using JGOOT as inspiration for finding your next vacation destination.

7:00: Nikki’s favorite feature of JGOOT – finding affordable trips when school is out (which is normally peak/expensive season)

9:00: Adjusting dates to find dates that work for you.

13:40: Discussion point: Rather than Planning to take a trip and hoping to get a good deal – Find a good deal, and plan around those dates.

14:00: Why you need to be watching for deals LONG before you plan on taking a trip.

15:00: How to get friends & family to visit you for $30 to $100 round-trip (Demonstration of reverse-search feature)

18:00-18:40 – Technical difficulties

18:45: Closing advice from Nikki: Why it’s great to subscribe even if you’re not planning a trip soon.







“It’s five minutes of dreaming and fun” – Robert Horvick

Below is a recording of a conversation I had with JGOOT premium subscriber Robert Horvick after he left these kind words on our Facebook page.

Robert & his wife live in Raleigh, NC. Since joining my trip-alert service, they’ve only travelled domestically, but they’ve taken 3 trips and saved $600 to $800 so far.

They watch for trips every day but even when none of the trips interest them or work with their schedule, he describes opening his daily trip alerts as “Five minutes of dreaming and fun.”

Don’t have 30 minutes to watch the whole video? A list of highlights is below.

  • Intro: “We got married young and travel was limited to road trips. Now that kids are older…”
  • 1:05: $97 Delta direct afternoon flight Raleigh to Austin that we’ve paid $350 for multiple times in the past.
  • 3:30: $63 mid-day direct Raleigh flight to Minneapolis (not-last minute. Months ahead.)
  • 4:50: Plans for Paris next Summer
  • 5:30: Using points as a backup plan
  • 7:10: Orlando/Disney flight that added two days to their vacation for the same cost
  • 8:45: WAY cheaper to get a great deal on a flight and a bad deal on a cruise, than a great deal on a cruise and a bad deal on a flight.
  • 11:00: Opening JGOOT emails is like scratching a lottery ticket. Even when you don’t win, it’s five minutes of dreaming and fun.
  • 14:10: How we saved $600 to $800 in the 6 months since we subscribed.
  • 15:20: It’s as fun to dream while sitting at home as it is to be traveling when you are able to get out
  • 15:50: The benefits of building travel plans around deals vs Planning to travel, and hoping to find a deal
  • 17:45: Co-worker paying $3000 flights to Shanghai vs $600 including 7 nights.
  • 18:35: Getting your butt on the plane for cheap, and then getting a business class upgrade for less than the cost of lunch.
  • 22:20: How we get these trips at the price advertised.
  • 25:30: How we used to travel vs how we travel now.
  • 29:20: Recap of the two strategies behind “The JGOOT Way” of travel.
  • 31:30: Robert’s final suggestion to get the most out of your JGOOT trip-alerts

“Had been wanting to visit Coeur D’Alene & your $39 flight made it possible.”

This premium subscriber just booked a bucket-list trip for $39, and saved about 500% more than the cost of his premium subscription.

Much like the majority of premium subscribers, he found a trip he wasn’t necessarily looking for, but when you find prices that good to a place that’s on your bucket list anyway – you’d be crazy not to take advantage.

Still wondering if a premium subscription is really that much better than your free subscription?  Try it out 7 days for free & see what all of the buzz is about.







P.S. Scott believes the simple act of spreading gratitude has the power to change the world.  Click here if you want to join his gratitude mission.

All the work is done for you

“The deals are legit. He starts with an amazing airfare and then tacks on a budget hotel with links to higher end hotel options as well. All the work is done for you.”

Aimee Westcott

[If you’d like to save 20 to 30 hours a month finding travel deals worth scheduling vacation time around, upgrade your subscription to premium here.]

Just booked a trip to Calgary!

Suman Kamath JGOOT TestimonialJust booked a trip! Total price for round-trip premium economy to Calgary came to $280, nonstop, including free baggage. I’m excited to finally get to Banff and Lake Louise!

I also found a good deal on Airbnb using your alternate lodging links.

Thank you!

Suman Kamath

Cancun (Over the holidays) $200 round-trip

Lise Roussin JGOOT Testimonial‘We are going to Cancun over the Holidays with $200 roundtrip tickets thanks to Just Get Out Of Town!!”

Lise Roussin

Want to find a trip that fits YOUR needs? Click here to upgrade your subscription to premium.

“I thought I was a savvy traveler but…”

Lauren Wolff JGOOT Testimonial“Here I thought I was a savvy traveler, but damn!! Best deals I’ve ever seen.

It is so hard to be responsible and not go on every trip posted!”

Lauren Wolff

“Just Get Out Of Town Is A Hidden Gem I’m glad I discovered”

Mario Vaiana Testimonial for JGOOT“I love this site!!

The emails I receive are amazing and the deals are unreal. In a way it’s dangerous for I find myself wanting to book a new trip daily!

All the info is very helpful and the links take you right where you need to go to find more info and book the trips.

Just Get Out of Town is a hidden gem that I’m glad I discovered!”

-Mario Vaiana

“Going to save me hours of looking online before booking travel”

Ashley Poirot testimonial“This site is amazing!

I can’t even believe how cheap some of these deals are. I love that the destinations are all over the world and leaving from my home town.

The deals are delivered straight to your inbox and there are different options with links depending on cost and where you would like to stay.

Just Get Out of Town is going to save me hours of looking online before booking travel. It’s the best!”

JGOOT In The News

One of JGOOT’s most frequent travelers and I were recently interviewed by Shawn Chitnis at CBS News.
Details below.

From DENVER (CBS4) – A travel website specializing in discount deals promises to provide its premium service with hundreds of affordable vacations each month for free to teachers, first responders and anyone working for a nonprofit each time someone else signs up for the paid subscription.

“I just simply don’t have the time to scour the internet for deals,” said Brooke Merkle, a teacher that uses the website. “It does all the work for me because it saves me hours and hours of time.”

Just Go Out Of Town (JGOOT) sends out emails to free subscribers on a regular basis but premium members receive 10 times as many emails, usually more than 100 messages in one month. [Correction by Joel: 100 to 120 trip alerts a month – not 100 emails per month.]

“We find trips that are worth scheduling vacation time around versus paying two or three times as much and squeezing a vacation into scheduled time off,” said Joel McDonald, the founder of JGOOT.

Merkle is married with two sons. She has already booked three trips with the help of the service that include family vacations to Florida and Canada. She says the prices for a direct flight to Vancouver were less than $200 per person for a roundtrip ticket.

“This was probably about a third of the price that I would have found otherwise,” she said.

McDonald is a consultant that used his passion for studying data to find trends in the travel industry that would lead to cheaper vacations. He started using this strategy for his personal trips with his wife as well as to save money for his family and friends. A year ago, he launched after realizing the need for someone to provide these deals to the public.

“I think the biggest reason I decided this is a service that was missing was the amount of time it took me to find these deals,” McDonald explained. “But by going on specific days you can cut those fares by 50, 60, 80 percent.”

Airlines on rare occasions need to fill a flight that isn’t selling tickets at their preferred pace, according to McDonald. He says one in 500 flights will be 10 months away from their scheduled departure and only have 10 percent of seats booked. It is cheaper to reduce the price of tickets and fill the flight rather than cancel it.

“I think it has afforded us a lot of flexibility in our budget,” said Merkle. “Finding those tickets for less than $200 to Vancouver allowed us to take a helicopter tour over Victoria Island.”

These are examples of exceptional cash fares that he finds for his premium subscribers several times a month to popular destinations like Cancun, Aruba or Cabo San Lucas. However, sometimes he finds even more impressive deals that require a new credit card and points given to that account. McDonald says using this strategy has allowed him to get tickets to San Diego or Hawaii for $11 roundtrip. He provides the information you need for pulling off one of those vacations in his emails.

“It saves me money, huge, huge amounts of money, which makes such a difference on my teacher budget,” added Merkle, who has taught for 17 years and spent almost half of that time working in Colorado. “It’s really sincere. He loves his work, he loves what he does, and he loves offering this service to other people.”

McDonald is married to a teacher so he always plans a trip with the restrictions that come from the school year and scheduled breaks. Inspired by Tom’s Shoes and their policy of donating a pair for each one purchased, he decided to make a similar offer. Teachers, police officers, firefighters and employees of a nonprofit organization will get a free premium subscription each time a regular customer pays for that service.

“I give vacation opportunities to people who normally don’t think they can afford to travel,” McDonald said about the promotion he has provided for more than six months. “They don’t give themselves that time off and they deserve it the most.”

He asks for some proof of your employment and then provides the service free. Subscriptions start at $20 a month for his premium feature. [Correction by Joel: Basic subscriptions are free. Premium subscriptions range from $8 to $19 per month depending on plan chosen.] Regardless of whether someone is paying for his work, McDonald says it is making a difference in the way people enjoy their time off.

“I’ve heard from people that hadn’t taken vacations in 10 years and now they’re going to Europe for $300,” he said. “I think the biggest thing is that too many people write off travel and they put it off until they can make the time.”

He hopes JGOOT can improve the experience of traveling so more people enjoy trips the way he does. Beyond saving money on flights, McDonald upgrades the rest of his vacation with that extra savings to stay at a nicer hotel or try additional excursions.

It is a change in philosophy about traveling and how someone plans their trips, according to McDonald. The idea is to maximize your time away from work. A part of life and a concept that Merkle is glad she can introduce to her children at a young age.

“It’s important for our family because it’s kind of what draws us to be curious, to be lifelong learners,” she said about traveling. “That sense of curiosity is best created in an environment other than our own.”

To see if you are eligible for a free premium subscription, click here.

Shawn Chitnis reports for CBS4 News at 10 on weekends and CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the week. Email him story ideas at and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.