The cost of flying is often the biggest expense of a vacation, so it’s worth it to look into some of these discount sites. Our Next Vacay review will take you through the process of signing up with a platform that allows you to receive notifications of deeply discounted airfares.
When looking for great, last-minute deals on flights, the trick is to be flexible with where you want to go and let the deals come to you.
This is the biggest difference between alert platforms, such as Next Vacay, and third-party booking sites, like Expedia or Travelocity.
With third-party booking sites you can browse for your destination, then choose your flight, and hopefully, the flight options are that great deal you’re looking for.
But relying solely on these sites means you can miss out on a good deal on airfares, or miss out on a trip altogether by setting your sights on one destination and then waiting for a fare sale to that specific destination. How often has that happened to you?
Well, it’s happened to a few of us at Viatravelers. It’s as if the airfare gods know where we dream of going and because airfare gods are notoriously fickle and petty, you can bet your bottom boarding pass it’ll be a while before you see a good fare for that dream destination again.
So, avoid waiting for that elusive flight deal, take a different tack, and in the words of Paul McCartney; “Let it be“.
How? Simple! Just let the deals come into your email box and plan your next vacay around them.
But don’t trust just any last-minute flight deal website. Some are better than others – which is where we come in.
Our review of Next Vacay will help you decide if this is worth your time and money.
Before we get started, no matter which site you use, which flight you take, what destination you choose, etc., we always recommend protecting yourself and your vacay; get insured.
One of our favorite travel insurance providers in World Nomads. They are easy to use, can provide coverage wherever you go, and have comprehensive plans at competitive rates. Yes, insurance adds an extra lump to your vacation budget, but it is much better to have and not need than need and not have.
Table of Contents
- What is Next Vacay
- How to Sign Up for Next Vacay
- How Next Vacay Works
- Is Next Vacay Worth it – Pros and Cons
- Pros of Next Vacay:
- Cons of Next Vacay
- Next Vacay Review of Key Features
- The Verdict So Far…
- Next Vacay Competitors
- Scott’s Cheap Flights
- Dollar Flight Club
- Thrifty Traveler
- Is Next Vacay Safe and Legitimate
What is Next Vacay
Next Vacay is a website that delivers flight deals to its paying members via email. For my Next Vacay Review, I signed up for a 30-day free trial, where I gave my credit card number and my email address.
If you are familiar with Scott’s Cheaps Flights, know that Next Vacay is a similar service.
They both scour the internet looking for deals that come about in several ways:
- Routine fare sales
- Competitive price drops (like when a new carrier to a route wants to entice new customers away from the competition)
- Pricing errors (like when the wrong fare is listed)
How to Sign Up for Next Vacay
Here’s how to sign up and what you should know before you do.
Membership for Next Vacay is $25 for one year and you get 30-days to try them free. To get the free trial, though, a credit card is required.
Your card isn’t charged until your trial is up. It’s easy to sign up and I received a couple of welcome emails immediately.
One of them said to expect deals to arrive within 3 to 4 days. It also told me that people who live close to medium to large airports see more deals.
This makes sense because the larger your local airport, the more traffic it sees from a wider variety of carriers.
My airport is Pittsburgh International in Western Pennsylvania. This is a medium-sized airport with only a few carriers that serve it.
I do have other options in Ohio, like the Columbus or Cleveland airports. Then, there are the major airports in metro Washington DC on the other side of me.
It’s good to keep your location in mind if you’re looking for a flight alert service you have to pay for.
If your closest airport is in New York City, Dallas, Atlanta, or another similarly large city, you’ll see a more direct benefit.
But if you live in Flapjack, PA, you may only get a few worthwhile alerts. In other Next Vacay reviews, users have reported some disappointment in not seeing many alerts for airports convenient to them.
The day after I signed up, I received another email with some useful FAQs that went into more detail about what kinds of deals to expect.
They also reminded new members, again, that it may take 3 to 4 days before they start to receive deal alerts.
Next Vacay definitely isn’t a platform where you can browse immediately after signing up. You genuinely do have to wait a few days for the emails to arrive.
One of the last emails gave me some background on how the company was conceived and more backstory.
Turns out, Next Vacay was founded and is still operated by a couple who, along with some staff, personally chase after discounted airfares. Then they create the alerts that show up in member email boxes. Personally, I dig the little guy tech.
You may not be touched as I was by this story because you’re a Rockefeller, or president of the Jeff Bezos fan club, or something like that. Next Vacay is a relatively small company that helps travelers all over the world save money on airfares, I like ’em, sue me!
How Next Vacay Works
Several days later, wracked with anticip-p-p-pation, I finally received my alerts!
Now for the hard math; I signed up on a Wednesday and began to see the alerts on the following Monday.
According to one hand plus a thumb, that would put me down for 6 days between sign up and first alert. I guess they meant 3 to 4 BUSINESS days. Tsk.
Overdue or not, I did get two alerts in my Monday mail though.
My first email was a deal from Baltimore to Minneapolis for “$200ish NONSTOP.” The email also advised me that a checked bag would cost $30.
For reference, Baltimore is about 250 miles from me or around a four-and-a-half-hour drive. I clicked on the link to see more details.
The link I clicked took me to a Google Flight page with all the flight choices and prices.
There, I put together a flight from Baltimore to Minneapolis for $191 round-trip on Delta Airlines that would have departed in six weeks.
$200 for a round-trip flight to anywhere is a pretty solid deal.
To book my flight, I would be taken directly to the Delta Airlines website for reservation and payment.
No third party or travel agency is involved. The only downside is that I would have to get my tail to Baltimore from Pittsburgh first.
So I checked the same Google Flight page for flights from Pittsburgh to Baltimore, simply by changing Baltimore as the origin city to Pittsburgh.
For an extra $60, I could travel Delta Airlines to Minneapolis nonstop, making my Pittsburgh to Minneapolis flight $260 round-trip.
That’s still not bad for us Pittsburgh folks and I would never have known about a deal like that without this alert.
About an hour later, I got my second alert. This one was from Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale for “$125ish,” plus any checked bag fees.
I clicked through to the Google Flight page.
Sure enough, United Airlines was offering a round-trip fare to Fort Lauderdale for the very $125ish cost of $128 on their express jet (Republic Airways), nonstop.
I would have to get to Cleveland two hours away for the 8:00 a.m. departure, but still. If I needed a cheap vacation, this is doable.
I checked the fares from Pittsburgh instead of Cleveland. I could get to Fort Lauderdale for $213 roundtrip, with one stop, on American Airlines. A bit of a jump.
Then Google suggested Miami for $117. Wow! Thanks, Google (not little guy tech, but it’s Miami for $117, so I’m not complaining).
American Airlines offered a roundtrip, nonstop from Pittsburgh to Miami for $117! Who knew? Next Vacay did!
This was all very well and good, but one thing struck me: I’m not getting anything from Pittsburgh in the original alerts.
However, clicking through to the fare details in Google Flight allowed me to do a little finagling to get some great flight deals.
Was this Next Vacay’s intent? Probably not, but what do they care? Their money comes from the membership fees and because they aren’t a travel agency, it makes no difference whether you book one of their suggested flights or not.
Wait, I thought I liked these little tech guys, what are my priorities again? Oh yeah, flight deals, let’s get back to it.
With the deadline for my review of Next Vacay looming and my editor giving me the virtual hairy eyeball, we can assume I’ll get more alerts.
We understand the jist of it, yes? I get an email alert. I click on the link. I make a few adjustments. And, presto–a decent flight deal. And yes, from my research, these are some pretty decent discounts.
Is Next Vacay Worth it – Pros and Cons
Let’s talk more about the pros and cons from my personal experience and notes I’ve made from other Next Vacay reviews.
Pros of Next Vacay:
- Next Vacay is not a third party. This is a pro because you don’t have another layer of terms and conditions between you and the air carrier.
- You book directly with the airline. Another pro because if you have a problem, the only company you have to deal with is the airline.
- Free 30-day trial. You get a whole month of alerts with no obligation. Create another alert for yourself to cancel on time to keep from getting charged if you decide not to continue with the membership.
- Money-back guarantee. If you don’t like what you’re getting for alerts or you’re unhappy with anything else, you can be refunded your $25 if you cancel within 6 months.
- You are shown deals from your airport and airports near you…or almost near you.
- You’re supporting a small business!
Cons of Next Vacay
- There is no free-forever membership or free newsletter.
- You can only receive alerts via email. If you’re a texting-only kind of person, this may turn you off.
- You have to be fast. These deals can be gone in a matter of a day or two.
- If you live by a smaller airport, you will likely not see as many deals that are convenient to you or as big value.
Next Vacay Review of Key Features
The program is pretty simple. Sign up for the free trial. Wait a few days (or almost a week in this li’l traveler’s case) and start to see flight alerts in your email box.
You should see alerts several times a week. And they should be seasonal and interesting. All cabin classes too, which means potentially tasty deals on first or business class tickets!
The welcome emails are friendly and informative, and yeah, I admit it, the company’s origin story made me all gooey.
It appears that the deals are reviewed before they are sent to you. Meaning that you won’t get bombarded with flight alerts from your closest major airport to Flapjack, PA, departing the next morning.
That would get pretty annoying if the destinations were consistently dull, inconvenient, and hard to get to. This way, you’re getting notified of good deals in a more tailored service, rather than just ALL the cheap flights to Tumbleweed City in the great state of Flyovia.
Another nice feature is that customer service is available only by email or live chat with Next Vacay staff through the website and their social media. There does not appear to be a telephone number for live help (at least I couldn’t find one after 30 minutes of trawling their site), but the website pledges that email support is available 24/7 and they aim to answer all inquiries within 12 hours.
Chatting with a live person is available Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, EST.
You can cancel your Next Vacay account by logging into your account and selecting cancel. You can also stop renewing by accessing your account and setting it to non-renewing.
The Verdict So Far…
● Ease-of-Use – 4 out of 5. Because my alerts were not from my closest airport, I had to do a bit of fine-tuning on Google Flights to get the most valuable deal for me; a minor inconvenience.
● Features – 4 out of 5. It’s a bit basic but functional. You get the deal in your email. Then you access more information on Google Flight. Other platforms get you more analytics like how often this deal comes around and more airports with pricing.
● Customer Service – 4 out of 5. I’m basing this on their promises made. Email and live chat, available 24/7. Inquiries should be answered within 12 hours. This is all industry standard. Let’s hope they live up to it!
● Value for Money – 4 out of 5. Membership only costs $25 a year. However, other similar platforms will give you a limited free-forever membership.
Next Vacay Competitors
Next Vacay is not the only player in the airline-discount-alert-by-email-game. Here are their major competitors and who should use them.
Scott’s Cheap Flights
Scott’s Cheap Flights has a free-forever limited membership. Full membership costs $49 per year, but you get faster alerts by email and text (SMS).
You can also choose unlimited airports.
These features make Scott’s Cheap Flights good for travelers who like to check out different options from several airports at-a-glance. The notification by text is also a nice feature.
Dollar Flight Club
Dollar Flight Club deals aren’t handpicked like with Scott’s or even Next Vacay. They use algorithms to choose the best deals to send via email or SMS.
They also offer a handy app and a free-forever plan with the ability to upgrade for more personalization and premium class deals.
The features available in their premium memberships make Dollar Flight Club good for travelers who prefer to fly in business or first class.
The downside? Dollar Flight club costs $69/year for a premium membership and $99/year for a premium plus membership. Oof.
Thrifty Traveler offers a free daily newsletter with flight deals, but their premium membership sends alerts about flights to your email box.
The platform also shares tips for paying for these flights using credit card points and rewards. There’s lots of value here.
Thrifty Traveler is good for fliers who like to have some insight on points and rewards along with legitimate airfare deals.
The cost of a premium isn’t crazy expensive, but it’s no Next Vacay; membership is $49.99 a year or $7.99 a month, although there are deals for anyone banking with Chase.
Is Next Vacay Safe and Legitimate
I say with confidence that Next Vacay is safe and legitimate. They don’t ask for personal information, just an email and a preferred airport.
You do have to put in a credit card to start your free trial, but if you cancel within 30-days, you won’t be charged.
Frankly, credit card companies are so on top of fraud these days, (despite its rampancy), that even if you run into a problem, filing a claim will see you reimbursed.
Additionally, any flights you book are between you and the airline, with no third party poking their noses into your biz. Next Vacay has no obligation to any carrier.
They only want to deliver great flight deals, along with inspiration for your next vacation, to your email inbox.
Hopefully, this Next Vacay review helps you save money on your next flight, just remember; if you’re flexible, you can save yourself a mint, which means more vacation spending money!