Quite often I get requests to review upstart travel sites. In fact, I would say that it’s more than weekly I get a message from someone with the latest greatest new travel site – the one that will change the game – looking for either my opinion, my support, or hell, sometimes I think they just feel the need to tell someone. Let’s face it, travel sites can start to seem a dime a dozen, they come and they go. Everyone has new great method for making travel booking fun, or exciting. But at the end of the day, the only thing that myself, or potential travel clients care about is savings.
Thus, I found it interesting to review another site TravelPony.com. At first, I was a bit confused when I flipped onto their site because is is very much bare bones. There is no catch, no funny tricks, just a cartoon, a search box, and the promise for savings. In fact, the promise of savings as much as 60% on hotels.
Of course, there is a catch, albeit a small one. You have to post to your social media about your “pony” (the name they’ve given to outrage travel deals) to be able to book it. Obviously, I’d be glad to tweet or post to my facebook page if it meant 60% savings on a hotel. However, it’s easy to say you can help people save, it’s another to do it.
As such, I ran a couple tests to see if TravelPony.com could actually save me money. Below is a screengrab from a search I did for a London, England Hotel.
As you can see there are some deals to be had. I ran similar searches for other cities and other dates and found the same sort of thing to a varying degree. And yes, I back checked the prices on the competiting sites to see if they were what they said they were, and the prices were the same. Now the trick is that not all properties have deals, and generally it’s the extremely high priced properties that do show the highest savings. Take the screenshot for example. The Savoy is $1314 a night on the competitor well on TravelPony.com it’s $883. And well that’s all well and dandy, many of us can live off $883 dollars a night.
TravelPony.com can definitely help you find a deal if you have a specific hotel in mind that you’re hoping to save on. Moreover, it can help you get a luxury room for a upper-mid range price. Furthermore, if you’re one of those types of people that relishes in getting the best deal possible, then it makes sure you find the best deal in town.
For me, the biggest negative is the fact that TravelPony.com really only caters to a handful of cities. Yes, the website is new and I’m sure more destinations will soon be listed, but it’s still a very small group of US cities and a couple European. The other issue I have is that it really only caters to the super high-end properties. Throughout my searches I kept thinking, “well 20% off is a great deal, I still can’t afford anything here.”
Though TravelPony.com isn’t likely something I can use on a daily basis as a long term traveller, it certainly does have its use. If I were a couple planning a luxury weekend in London, Chicago, etc., it would be wise to log on and have a look if there was a good deal to be had at one of these higher end properties. And well I understand the social media inclusion in the website, I’m not sure it’s necessary. Should people actually find fantastic deals here, they will get the word out themselves. Does TravelPony.com have a place in the ever growing market of vacation and hotel booking sites? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but finding people actual savings is definitely a good way to start.