Monday, 9 June 2014

Is Groupon Travel Deal Worth A Try?

I rarely look into groupon's deal in my email. About 90% of the time I'll just delete them straight away from my mail box.

Nevertheless, I came across a groupon travel deal which caught my attention in early May.

It is a trip to Shanghai for 6 days 4 nights, inclusive of Airasia X return air tickets, airport tax & fuel surcharge, 4 nights accommodation in 5-stars Sheraton hotels, daily meals and sightseeing in China.

What should be the fair price for this type of travel package?

The groupon price for this deal is RM1,738 for 2 adults, or RM869 per person.

Normally a 2-way Airasia X flight including airport taxes between KL & Shanghai will cost more than RM1,000 per person unless you are lucky to get a really good promotional deal at around RM700.

However, groupon also listed out other fees or surcharges that are not included in this deal.

This is the detail of this groupon travel deal:

It is fair enough that baggage allowance, in-flight meals, travel insurance and visa are not included. The compulsory tipping for local your guide is RM15 a day per person or RM75 for 5 days in this tour package.

After inquiry with groupon staff, younger children who are much less than 12 years of age who wish to share bed with adults are not required to buy groupon. However, they need to pay RM700 for air tickets and RM88 for tour fee per child. This is not stated in the groupon deal.

For a child below but close to 12 years old, the child has to get a groupon and pay a surcharge of RM488. This means if a couple travel which their child with age close to or above 12 years old, they need to buy 2 groupons and pay another RM488 surcharge, which is more expensive than travelling for 4 adults.

So for me with 4 adults and 2 young children who share beds with adult, the amount of money that I need to pay initially is RM5,052 consist of:
  • Two groupons for total RM3,476
  • Two extra return flight tickets for 2 children for total RM1,400
  • Two extra tour fee for 2 children for total RM176

Earlier I have inquired about a 7D6N Taiwan trip from a local travel agency. The tour fee is approximately RM3,000 per person in school holiday season. The price is the same for children.

So, to bring 4 adults and 2 children to Taiwan, I have estimated about RM20,000 of bleeding. So this groupon deal of about RM5,000 looks really attractive even though the trip is 2 nights less.

Initially our plan for a family trip was in September, we then decided to try out this groupon deal and bring the travel date forward to end of May.

That's why I need more cash and my credit card bill swells.

For this groupon Shanghai deal, before looking into the full itinerary, I am pretty sure that there must be quite a lot of "shopping stations" within this tour. True enough, there are as many as 7 shopping stations listed in the itinerary.

Though the hotels mentioned are Sheraton, but it is also stated that equivalent hotels might be given, and I think this must be the case.

It is also not hard to imagine that the daily meals provided must be cheap and ordinary, other than the buffet breakfast at those 5-star hotels.

This trip to China covers 4 cities in Jiang Nan which are Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi & Hangzhou.

Besides, there are highly-recommended self-paid tourist spots that cost RMB450 per person. 

Overall, does this groupon travel deal worth a try? Will there be:
  • other hidden fees?
  • changes in hotels?
  • changes in tourist spots?
  • "forced-buying" at shopping stations? etc

I will share my experience HERE.


  1. Groupon is quite ok, i hope they filter the supplier. But sometimes i also get con, 70% discount, but can easily get the discounted price outside selling normal price.

    Travelled via MAS few years ago 6 nights can get RM1,800. Good food, average good hotel (just for sleep). Now not sure the price.

    Airasia will be cheaper, only 4 nights, plus under groupon. RM900 still consider cheap.

    I believe still can enjoy good food n reasonable hotel. But one thing for sure, will spend a lot of time in "shopping stations"

  2. This time for me not so ok. But because it's cheap, I have nothing to say :)

  3. Mind share some of your experience? I just saw sydney n tokyo quite cheap

  4. If really cheap then it's no harm to go for it. My experience was not too bad actually.