Category Archives: Travel

Best Things to Buy in May



May brings an abundance of  savings opportunities, especially on big ticket items like laptop and tablets for mom (or yourself), summer vacation packages and hotel bookings, appliances, mattress sets and more. Mother’s Day spending has grown to be one of the top 5 sales events of the year (for more than just moms) and Memorial Day sales feature a week long of deep discounting on items like mattressess, large appliances, furniture and high-priced outdoor living products like grills and patio sets. Add in primetime for vacation booking, and May presents itself as a power shoppers paradise when you know the inside scoop.

Although many book ahead, May officially kicks off vacation booking season. Direct travel retailers and online travel agents ramp up discounts on summer vacation packages, hotels, vacation rentals, car rental discounts and even local deals and coupons for regional savings on family activities and events. FatWallet’s annual vacation spending survey reports that 8 in 10 Americans will go on vacation, with almost 60% taking vacations this summer – See full results and INFOGRAPHIC (*TNS Global).

The study also reported that vacation bookings made with mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) will increase by more than 50% this year. Smart shoppers take advantage of rewards, especially cash back, where FatWallet members can add savings from more than 100 travel sites and take advantage of a limited exclusive cash back increase to 8% from Priceline and Expedia, the highest online cash back available for these OTAs.

Here’s when to shop for the best things to buy in May:

Mother’s Day Sales – not just for moms:

In the past few years, the trend has been that moms want a day off, stress-free time and to be able to spend time with family, hopefully outdoors. That’s where local deals from sites like Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local, etc. can really make for the perfect storm of a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift that offers deep savings. Whether that be a spa day, dinner and a movie, or more adventurous activities, local deals are a smart go to.

  • Flowers & Gifts: flowers, candy, books, crafts & supplies, jewelry
  • Home & Garden: cookware/kitchenware, pots, plants, tools, feeders, outdoor decor
  • Gift Cards: restaurants, retail, craft/fabric stores, electronics
  • Local Deals: dinner and drinks, spas, events, activities and getaways
  • Tech: tablets, smartphones, laptops, cameras

Tip: Not sure what to get mom…Gift cards let moms go shopping for “free”. FatWallet features dozens of stores offering Mother’s Day discounts on e-gift cards–many with additional cash back savings, including Starbucks cards, iTunes gift cards and American Express.

Vacation Packages and Hotel Deals

Early May offers the magic 50-day mark for best prices and selection on summer travel bookings. Find coupons and special offers that stack with cash back from more than 100 online travel retailers (OTAs, metasearch and direct bookings).

  • Travel Deals with spring discounts on flights, cruises, hotels and car rentals
  • Local Deals offer savings of 50% or more on restaurants, amusement parks, museums, concerts, spas, golf courses and other vacation activities going on at your destination.
  • Luggage deals can be found 30-50% off clearance (stackable with cash back specials)

Tip: Use an OTA, like Expedia or Priceline, to help you cut down your research time and take advantage of limited time 8% cash back on hotel deals, the highest cash back for hotels on the internet!

Sports and Outdoors Deals – will run amuck:

  • Sports: golf, cycling, baseball, athletic apparel/shoes
  • Outdoors: fishing, cycling, running, camping, swimming, hiking

Tip: Many sports equipment items have trade-in value, especially golf clubs, bicycles and even some fishing gear which can save you up to 20% when upgrading (if you’ve taken care of your stuff).

Memorial Day Sales – shop them early to nab better stock:

This holiday has become the official kick-off of summer sales (or spring clearance – take your pick). That said, it is a premium time to grab discounts on big ticket items for the home, especially these listed below:

  • Home Furnishings: mattresses, furniture, bedroom sets, patio sets
  • Appliances: complete kitchen sets, refrigerators, freezers, washers & dryers, stoves/ranges
  • Clothing: kick-off of Summer Clothing Deals collides with Spring Fashion Clearance
  • Travel: Summer vacation bookings and hotel specials for a holiday weekend getaway

Tip: Like Black Friday, Memorial Day sales now start early with some a full week ahead–this provides those with holiday plans a chance to cash in on this big savings event.

Sales for Graduation and Wedding Gifts

Grads and newlyweds are celebrating new beginnings and need stuff. Retail sales events leading up to Memorial Day often feature savings on these items and many top stores will increase cash back to help you save more when purchasing gifts.

  • Apparel and Accessories: clothing, shoes, suits, dresses, jewelry and watches
  • Electronics: laptops, tablets, smartphones, HDTVs, wireless gadgets
  • Home and Kitchen: small and large appliances, decor, bath and bedding

Tip: Look for huge Memorial Day discounts from retailers that stock these items.

Travel Study Shows Vacations Are Trendy – Infographic

Survey Says: Most Americans take vacations and book well in advance

The new annual Vacation survey (*TNS Global) reveals 81% of Americans go on vacations (91% for those who +$75k/year). That means 19% (supposedly) say they NEVER go on vacations and that number jumps to 22% for males and a whopping 39% for those that earn less than $30k/year. Almost 6 out of 1o say they go on vacations yearly 1 in 4 go on more than one vacation every year. The travel study also revealed that 14% will book vacations using a mobile device (smartphone or tablet), which is up more than 50% over 2014 (9% said they booked vacations via mobile last year). Most telling may be that 3 in 4 book vacations way ahead, at least 1-6 months out, with 14% booking more than 6 months out. Of note: 12% just “wing it”.

Vacation bookings using mobile devices up more than 50% in 2015

According to the US Travel Association, U.S. firms have at least $224 billion of unused vacation time on their books, accounting for an average liability per employee of $1,898. FatWallet’s vacation survey reveals that 42% will spend more than $1,500 on their next vacation (down from 46% in 2014), while 10% will spend more than $3,000 (down from 13% in 2014). To save money, 74% of vacationers said they look online for travel deals, or use miles, points, cash back rewards and credit card offers. Clothing and souvenirs are by far the most popular items they will purchase while traveling and prepping for vacation. Smart shoppers will take advantage of cash back through FatWallet, which features up to 10% cash back from more than 100 travel sites offering travelers additional savings on hotel deals, car rental deals and all the gear and apparel you need to fill up that suitcase, including cash back on luggage. Hit the road in style!

See the full travel survey results here. To place this infographic on your site, copy the embed code below.

travel infographic

Share this Image On Your Site

[INFOGRAPHIC] Americans Are Trippin! – Vacation Survey 2014



Work vs. play: 17% stay while 83% getaway

Vacation Spending Survey 2014The new survey (*TNS Global) reveals 83% plan to go on vacations in the near future (93% for those who >$75k/year). And 6 in 10 go on vacations yearly while 27% go on more than one vacation a year, but that drops to less than 21% for those ages 40-49. Even still, 17% say they “never” go on a vacation, increasing to more than 21% for those aged 40-49 and a whopping 35% for those who earn less than $30k/year.


Vacationers look for deals online?

According to the US Travel Association, total domestic leisure travel spending is forecast to exceed $1.6 Billion in 2014. FatWallet’s vacation spending survey reports nearly half are planning to spend more than $1,500, and 13% more than $3,000. The majority will book online using a laptop (83%) or mobile devices (9%) looking for travel deals and coupons and additional points, miles and cash back rewards as their top ways to save money.

See full survey results. To place this infographic on your site, copy the embed code below.

Vacation infographic


Share this Image On Your Site

Most Americans Say They Take Vacations [SURVEY]

Leisure vs. Money vs. Workaholics…”17% never go on vacations”

Summer Travel DealsFatWallet 2014 Vacation Spending Survey:

The new survey (*TNS Global) reveals 83% stated they do go on vacations (93% for those who +$75k/year) and 59% said they go on vacations every year, with 27% that go on multiple vacations yearly (less than 21% for those ages 40-49). Still, 17% said they “never” go on vacation and those numbers increase to +21% ages 40-49 and +35% for those who earn less than $30k/year. See INFOGRAPHIC.

Other interesting vacation spending trends report nearly half planning to spend more than $1,500, and 13% more than $3,000. (A survey from American Express last year forecast an average spend of $1,145 in 2013.) The majority will book online from +100 stores offering travel deals with cash back.

Full survey results:


83% of Americans say they plan to go on vacations, 59% go every year!

Q: How often do you go on vacation?

  • 32% More than once a year
  • 27% Once a year
  • 6% Every other year
  • 18% Every few years
  • 17% said Never

Note: Those w/no children go on multi-vacations 50% more often than those w/children.

<align=”right” object width=”592″ height=”346″ id=”msnbc6145e3″ classid=”clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000″ codebase=”,0,0,0″>

Special thank you to Kelli Grant from CNBC. See full story on


They said it was awesome!

Q: Which resource are you most likely to use to find vacation and travel information/advice?

  • 46% Friends and Family
  • 8% Travel Forums
  • 7% Travel magazines
  • 5% Tourist Boards
  • 34% Other

Note: Of those age 30 and under, 63% said they rely on family and friends for their vacation information.


Git ‘er done…More than half book vacations early.

Q: How far in advance will you book your next vacation?

  • 2% book at the last minute
  • 15% book less than 1 month ahead
  • 48% book 1-6 months ahead
  • 11% book more than 6 months aheade
  • 24% have no plans to book a vacation

Note: 93% go on vacations who earn >$75k/year and of those, 75% plan to or have already booked a vacation for this year.


The cost to get out of town?

Q: How much do you plan to spend on your next vacation?

  • 54% will spend less than $1,500
  • 33% will spend $1,501-$3,000
  • 13% will spend more than $3,00

Note: 71% of those who earn under $30k/year will spend less than $1500 on their next vacation while 20% who earn more than $75k/year will spend more than $3000.


Total domestic leisure travel spending is forecast +$1.6 Billion in 2014. (US Travel Association)


Freebies are good!

Q: Of the following hotel amenities, which are important to you?

  • 72% Free WiFi
  • 67% Free Breakfast Buffet
  • 66% Free Parking
  • 49% Pool/Spa
  • 19% Fitness Center

Note: 1 in 4 also said Airport Shuttle was important, while only 1 in 10 ranked pet friendly high.


Top ways to book a vacation are?

Q: How will you book your next vacation?

  • 44% will use a travel web site
  • 16% will use a coupon/cash back site

Note: Only 7% noted they use a travel agent and 33% use other booking resources.
Q: Which of these devices will you use to book your next vacation?

  • 83% will book vacations on their laptop (computer)
  • 9% will use their mobile devices (tablet/smartphone)

Note: More than twice as many males use mobile devices to book travel vs. females (6%).
Q: How will you save on booking your next?

  • 42% will look for “special online offers/deals”
  • 31% will use rewards (cash back, miles or points)
  • 7% use credit card offers
  • 20% said they use other resources


US travel e-commerce sales exceeded $100 billion for the first time in 2012. (Comscore)


What do vacationers shop for?

Q: Which are you likely to purchase for use on your next vacation?

  • 58% will buy clothing/shoes
  • 30% will buy health & beauty products
  • 28% will buy swimwear
  • 12% will buy new luggage

Q: Which are you likely to shop for on a vacation?

  • 65% souvenirs
  • 39% clothes
  • 16% clothes
  • 12% “like to stop at the duty free shop”
  • 10% jewelry

Note: 1 in 4 will look for coupons to use on local activities while they’re on vacation.

*The national survey conducted online by TNS on behalf of in March 2013 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older, 50/50 male/female.

Follow FatWallet’s Shopping News, Giveaways, Contests and Smart Shopping Tips!

Current GiveawayFacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterest

What to Buy in MAY: Shopping Trends 2014

May comes to consumers with a plethora of opportunities to save money on big ticket items. From Mother’s Day sales to Memorial Day sales to spring clean up discounts, there is a variety of products and services ripe for purchase if you know when and where to shop. For the last 4 years, May spending has seen growth, aided by huge increases (14.6 billion in 2010 to 21.7 billion in 2013) from Mother’s Day gift purchases, especially for tech products like tablets and smartphones.


Tech related products prices continue to drop in 2014, lower than what we experienced last Black Friday, so we expect this May spending growth trend to continue this year. Note: FatWallet’s 2014 Electronics Buyer Survey reports that 53% of females said they will purchase new smartphones and 26% new tablets.

Early May is “the” prime-time to book summer family vacations, snag savings from local deals on events and activities and score excellent deals on sports and outdoors equipment during aggressive deep discounting. In all, May equates to a very solid month of savings on things we need for summer fun, especially by adding increased cash back from dozens of top stores all month long.

Mother’s Day Sales– not just for moms:

”mothersMother’s Day sales bring out big discounts and increased cash back savings from dozens of top stores on purchases for traditional gifts, items moms want for the home and exclusive deals on wireless and mobile devices for moms that want the latest tech.

  • Flowers & Gifts: flowers, candy, books, crafts & supplies, jewelry
  • Home & Garden: cookware/kitchenware, pots, plants, tools, feeders, outdoor decor
  • Gift Cards: restaurants, retail, craft/fabric stores, electronics
  • Local Deals: Groupon offering FatWallet members exclusive discounts on spas, events, activities and getaways with double to quadruple cash back through May 11.
  • Tech: laptops, tablets, smartphones, cameras, streaming media, wireless devices

Tip: Not sure what to get mom…Gift cards let moms go shopping for “free”. FatWallet features dozens of stores offering Mother’s Day discounts on e-gift cards–many with additional cash back savings, including Starbucks cards, iTunes gift cards and American Express.

Sports and Outdoors Deals – will run amuck:

”golfAll outdoors-fanatics will at least take a peek at the cost to upgrade their sports equipment, camping/fishing/hiking gear and athletic shoes. Look beyond discounts for the biggest savings as mail-in-rebates and in-store pickup can save you hundreds of dollars when shopping online.

  • Sports: golf, cycling, baseball, athletic apparel/shoes
  • Outdoors: fishing, cycling, running, camping, swimming, hiking

Tip: Look for trade-in value, especially for golf clubs, bicycles and some fishing gear and utilize inexpensive extended warranties by using AMEX or Squaretrade on these types of products.

Summer Vacation Deals – book them fast:

”travelFinding the best summer vacation deals is timely (like now!). Plus, FatWallet features added savings of cash back on all the major travel sites like Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz.

  • Airfare: Book now to fly cheaper on popular airlines like Delta, American, Southwest, Jet Blue, Virgin Atlantic and compare prices.
  • Hotels: Get cash back along with the best vacation packages staying in hotels like Hilton, Marriot, Westin, Ramada and more.
  • Car Rental: Drive summer vacation savings by comparing prices and cash back rates from all the top car rental companies and look for free rental car upgrades, one-way discount codes and rental car packages.
  • Local Deals: Find 50% or more off local events, activities and getaways + cash back!

Tip: Booking early not only saves you money, but often gives you the best selection of plane seats, hotel room views and model of rental cars.

Memorial Day Sales – shop them early:

”MattressMuch like President’s day and Labor Day sales, the 3-day weekend sales events have more of a a captive audience, especially from both heads of household creating opportunity for families to make big ticket purchase decisions. The majority of retailers participate in Memorial Day sales by offering aggressive pricing, deep discounts and exclusive coupons for several days leading up to the holiday. This means there’s some really great deals and you can really save a bundle on these key products:

  • Home Furnishings: mattresses!!, furniture, patio sets
  • Appliances: refrigerators, washers, & dryers, stoves/ranges
  • Clothing: kick-off of Spring Fashion Clearance
  • Travel: “last minute specials” on summer vacation bookings

Tip: Last year (2013) like Black friday, memorial Day sales started a week early–look for that to happen agin this year and use that early time to compare prices before you buy.

Father’s Day Sales – best tool deals of the year:

”toolStarting the end of May into the first 2-3 weeks of June, it’s tool time for savings. Whther you’re looking for gifts or shopping for yourself, there will be ample deals with 30-70% discounts on power and hand tools, plus home improvement products, including paint and exterior and interior building materials

  • Sports and Outdoors: golf, camping, fishing, grilling, gym memberships
  • Tools: power tools, storage/boxes, automotive, home improvement, garden and yard
  • Electronics: laptops, tablets, smartphones, wireless gadgets

Tip: When purchases these items (which are usually big and heavy), try to stack cash back and coupons with free in-store pickup, or better yet, free delivery. Sometimes that can make a higher priced item/shopping cart a better deal.

You can find and tweeting about suds and other substance @brentsheltonnow.