You might remember back in May I asked for your feedback on a test version of a tool I was building, called the Ultimate All Inclusive Deal Finder.
A big thank you goes out to everyone who sent feedback, you have no idea how much it was appreciated! I really wasn't expecting to receive thousands of amazing e-mails containing both praise and ideas for future development.
I'm proud to say that after 5 more months of making improvements, the Ultimate All Inclusive Deal Finder is now officially live, and I think you'll find that the live version is a significant upgrade from the test version.
Here's just a sample of what's new....
- You can now browse more than just the top 3 deals. In fact, you can now browse, sort, and explore *all* of the deals in any way you see fit.
- Map View: Shows where all the deals are using Google Maps.
- Filters: From star ratings to hotel names, to the days of the week that you can depart, the filters let you quickly narrow it down to exactly what you're looking for.
The goal here was to create search technology from the ground up that was not only faster and better than any other travel site in existence, but also build an innovative interface that eliminated all the frustrations and limitations that I've run across when searching for a travel deal.
For example, I've always hated travel sites that limit you to searching one departure date at a time. I wanted to be able to search as wide a date range as possible when searching for a deal.
I also wanted to be able to pick and choose precisely which destinations I may or may not be interested in. Wanting to search for 'anywhere but Mexico' should be easy, not hard.
So please, try out the live version and let me know what you think!
Try it here:
You'll also find the tool now has a permanent home under the 'All-Inclusive Deals' tab at the top of YYTdeals.com
Basically, if you could just try searching for a deal (to anywhere) and let me know if it works well or not for you, I would be grateful.
If you happen to know which browser you're using and the version, that would be very useful to me too.
And just like last time, if you have any thoughts or first impressions on the live version of the tool (good or bad, critiques are valuable!), that would be *really* appreciated.
You can contact me through the form at:
I hope this is just the beginning of what can be built to make it easier for Canadians to find travel deals, so if you have any feature requests, I'm all ears. What frustrates you the most when trying to find a deal?
And here are the answers to the top two questions I received during the beta-testing period:
What in the world do the 'Deal Scores' mean?
(example of a deal score, 75 out of 100)
If you're like me, you check out the prices on a bunch of different vacation packages, and then read reviews on places like TripAdvisor to see what kind of resort quality you're getting.
I'm always looking for the deal where the price is the most out of line with the quality I'm getting. I always want the most for the least. I want to find the 5 star package for a 3 star price. The trouble is, this can be a very time consuming process, not to mention that prices change all the time. And how do you know which one is *precisely* the best deal?
So I created the 'Deal Scores' to help analyze and compare the millions of all-inclusive package prices out there against the millions of review scores.
That way, a person knows precisely how good or bad a deal is, relative to the millions of other deals out there just by looking at the Deal Score out of 100. Something that would take a person weeks of research to figure out takes a computer just seconds.
The higher the deal score, the better the deal, compared to all other deals.
What about deals to places like Las Vegas? Hawaii? Disneyland?
This first tool was designed to only search true all-inclusive packages. An 'all-inclusive' package is basically just a flight & hotel package that also includes all meals and drinks.
If you don't see the destination you're looking for, the chances are that destination does not offer all-inclusive packages (U.S. destinations for example do not have 'all-inclusive' resorts where meals and drinks are included).
Now that this first tool has been released, I'll build one for regular flight & hotel packages, which would include U.S. destinations like Las Vegas, Hawaii, Disneyland, etc.
So even if you don't care about all-inclusive packages, your feedback is definitely appreciated, as it will help shape the travel search tools that I plan to build. Let me know what frustrates you the most about searching for travel deals on today's travel sites.
Try it out:
Let me know what you think:, you can contact me through the form at:
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Over the past little while, I've had a lot of people ask me about a deal they've seen pop up on a variety of those 'daily deal' type sites (you know the ones, the Groupon-esque clones that were all the rage last year, and initially had some legitimately great deals but have now all turned into a wasteland of spa treatments and massages you can never get an appointment for).Read more
There are some huge unadvertised price drops on American Airlines to Central America at the moment from cities across Canada, including St. John's. Perhaps the largest overall drop, ever.Read more
There's a huge fare war to Amsterdam (AMS) going on at the moment. It's extremely rare to see the major airlines drop a price to Europe like this from Halifax.Read more
There are some very rare airfares to Phoenix on United at the moment that are down to $367 roundtrip after taxes, nearly half of the usual bottom price.Read more
There's a flight from June 22 to 29 from St. John's to Toronto for $298 roundtrip after tax. That's about 43% cheaper than the cheapest flights on Westjet, Air Canada, or Porter at the moment.Read more
Update: Westjet looks to have just matched the Air Canada sale. Today looks to be an amazing day for inter-Canada travel prices.
Westjet doesn't seem to have an official page up yet about their sale, they're probably scrambling to get their prices changed to match Air Canada.
I've had a fair number of requests over the last few months, especially from people that aren't on Facebook, asking if there was any way they could be notified by e-mail when I post a deal.Read more
On Thursday I received a reply from the Air Canada executives regarding the deal to South America via airfare.com that didn't pan out. Here's what they had to say:Read more