“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 JustGetOutOfTown.com 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 smchitnis@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

The deals Joel finds are difficult to ignore

Eider Extebarrieta JGOOT testimonial“I LOVE “Just get out of Town”!! It’s amazing how my perspective of traveling the US has changed.

Before finding this site I thought it was impossible traveling cheap through the US but now… I don’t have any excuse!

The deals Joel finds are great. Really difficult to ignore…”

Eider Etxebarrieta


Testimonial from Karl Merida

testimonial from Karl Merida

“Great deals, many trips that you never thought were possible!!”

“Where/When/How Long/How Much is PERFECT!”

JGOOT Testimonial from CarlyAmazing! I am so glad someone is putting hard work into bringing me deals like these – and all from my home airport!

I love the way these are totally customize-able and I can do what portions I want (the flight but not the hotel, or switch out the hotel for a nicer resort or cheaper Hostel).

The setup and “where/when/what/how long/how much?” categories are PERFECT!

-Carly Gruel

“No need for any other site!”

JGOOT Testimonial from KimberlyAwesome places of choice, price, and excellent personal follow up!  Highly recommended.

No need for any other site!!

Kimberley Jane Younghusband

Email from a subscriber to Joel

“All legwork of digging for deals is done”

Steve Silver Testimonial for JGOOTGreat site. All the legwork of digging for deals is done.

Getting out of Dodge next month!!

Steve Silver