How I Used Twitter To Negotiate The Best Deal For My Spring Break Vacation

[twitter]For the past few months I’ve had in the back of my head that I wanted to take a family trip to Mexico. Our escape to the Mayan Riviera 3 years ago ranks as one of our best vacations ever. BUT .. we got a free ride on one of the kids back then. Now, we’re paying for 4 plane tickets, and so things are more expensive.

Still, I check and check and check hoping to score a great rate.

If you’re looking for the best deal on a vacation, check out this advice from YYCDeals’ Chris Myden:

The mistake people most often make is thinking that ‘The Websites’ have control over the prices. They do not. It is the ‘6 Suppliers’ who dictate the prices. ‘The Websites’ cannot and do not compete against each other on price.

For that reason, the all inclusive package prices displayed on each of ‘The Websites’ are identical to each other (unless a site is a little behind on getting the latest price updates from ‘The Central Hub’).

And since The Websites are all displaying identical prices, people often waste a lot of time searching multiple websites.

I used to do that too. Checking a dozen sites who would all list the same price. This time I just checked the top 6 and found my sweet spot at the Crown Paradise Club, a family friendly resort in Puerto Vallarta.

The flight was a mid morning departure, the resort has recently been renovated, and it’s got a HUGE kid’s pool with a pirate ship and castle. Winner.

Crown Paradise Club

Crown Paradise Club

Images via NoliTours

After reading the Trip Advisor reviews, we’re not expecting the world, but we are getting an amazing deal at a place the kids will love. The deal was with NoliTours. They don’t offer any points incentives or anything, so I thought I’d compare with Air Canada Vacations and WestJet in hopes of earning some travel rewards for my travel.

Air Canada’ Vacations’ price was $200 more expensive, WestJet‘s was $1700 more expensive. Wow.

I tweeted @AirCanadaVac and @WestJet to ask them if they could meet or beat the price offered by NoliTours.

And they BOTH responded. Air Canada quickly asked for the details and we traded emails before they phoned with the word they could match the exact price that NoliTours offered.

One problem: their flight to Puerto Vallarta was a 6:15a departure. That means a 4am check in. Not exactly family friendly. I politely declined their offer and thanked them for responding to the tweet and making an effort. The CSR let me know that any time I see a better deal out there to let them know and Air Canada Vacations will match. Duly noted.

Then WestJet chimed in. They took my request to the WestJet Vacations team but couldn’t come closer. Their flight (a 2p departure) was almost full, so the fares were higher, and they didn’t have as good a rate with the hotel compared to NoliTours. They tried, but it didn’t work out.

In the end, NoliTours offered the best combination of fare and flight. Even the @NoliToursEng account was handy in responding to twitter queries about the state of renovations at our property of choice.

So, if you are planning a spring break getaway and looking to negotiate the best deal on a Mexican vacation, do some work and find the best price. Then, take it to Twitter and see who really wants your business and can go one better. All the carriers showed they were more than willing to battle for my business and play Let’s Make A Deal!

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