Over the past decade we've taken advantage of some tremendous travel bargains. In fact, that's how we've been able to travel as much as we have, and often in some style.
We've also learned along the way not to jump at what first looks like a bargain, and a recent article in the online publication Smarter Travel, Beware of Phony Discount Claims, describes the same basic strategy we use, comparing the price elsewhere before buying.
For example, we've gotten some great bargains on Sky Auction, including our half-price tour of South Africa three years ago. Before we jumped on that one, though, we quickly researched and discovered what the land package cost elsewhere. Just as can happen in any auction, we've seen people bid up air fares there at a price exceeding what they could pay for the ticket by simply buying it from the airline.
There are still some great travel deals out there. Just as with any other "close out" or "discount" or "drastically reduced" sale, the single most important rule is to look before we leap.