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For More Vegas, Galavantier Your Trip

April 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM | by | ()

Last week, you told us how you plan Vegas. The level of research and advance reservations varied, but a common theme was booking direct when it comes to hotels and flights and then, maybe, looking at other Vegas activities. Our traditional method to the planning madness is the same. Pick the dates, book a flight if we aren't driving, find a hotel, book that, then plan the rest. As much as the big-box travel sites push booking a flight and hotel together for maximum savings, no one mentioned going that route.

The effort required to piece a trip together can sometimes be maddening. No, we would not like fries with that. And which review to believe? The five-star service at three-star price with eight exclamation points or the guest that sounds allergic to air and will "never return"?

With apologies to those that have a obsessive disciplined approach in their research, we recommend checking out another travel site: Galavantier.com.

Galavantier combines the booking of a hotel room with experiences like a Top Gun combat flight, Strip helicopter ride, dune buggy rental, indoor skydiving, or Grand Canyon tour. Admittedly, we first dove in looking to save a bundle on our car insurance Vegas package, but came away impressed for many more reasons. The site is convenient and streamlined. No unwanted add-ons or mixing and matching of 1,000 combinations. Most importantly, each package comes personally tested and recommended.

Worried about the safety record of the first ten different helicopter tour companies that come up in a Google search? Fear getting stuck with a basic run of the mill hotel room? Galavantier's travel agents are on the ground in Vegas and have already done the homework to filter out the ones not worth looking at. We reached out to Galavantier CEO Marko Greisen who told us:

· All accommodations are at least 500 square feet and on higher floors
· Each supplier is researched and screened before they are listed
· Service is the number one factor when it comes to signing partners
· Convenience and savings are great but not at the expense of quality
· The site wouldn't offer something he and his team wouldn't do themselves

Greisen stressed he aims to provide the best experience for his customers. Ultimately, the hook for us is if there are savings to be found. A great experience is what will get us to return and recommend a service to others. In our testing, Galavantier not only saves a buck, but keeps the process extremely simple. No comparison shopping needed, no hidden resort fees or taxes, and transportation is included for activities. The travel experts behind the site really have done all the homework that allows us to focus less on planning. Want to talk to one of the experts? There's a toll-free customer service number clearly listed on the site. Give them a call to chat for ideas and recommendations.

We ran the site through VegasChatter's labs by choosing two vacation packages on different weekends and comparing the costs to booking the hotel and outing direct. Here's what we found:

Valley of Fire Pink Jeep Tour

The Pink Jeep Tour package includes:

· Three nights in a 630-square-foot petite suite at Treasure Island
· Pink Jeep 6 hour tour to Valley of Fire

Checking in Friday April 27th, Galavantier claims savings of $406:

Booking direct with Treasure Island, a petite suite for this weekend goes for $987.89. Already looking good for Galavantier. But, wait there's more! TI tacks $118.56 in taxes and fees to that rate for a total of of $1,106.45. Over at Pink Jeep, the Valley of Fire tour goes for $125 per person. Let's go to the chalkboard:
· Total cost booking direct: $1,356.45
· Compare to booking through Galavantier: $938
· Galavantier saves: $418 ($12 more than advertised)

TI is currently offering a discount on their rooms just for signing their guestbook. Even after scoring that deal, Galavantier is the better package offer by $185. Dr. Penny Pincher in the VC labs says that's basically getting the tours for free. +Like.

Maverick Helicopter Ride

The Maverick Helicopter Ride package includes:

· A superior guestroom for two nights in the Palms Fantasy Tower
· VIP access to Moon, Rain, Ghostbar, and Playboy Club nightclubs
· Maverick helicopter tour over Las Vegas

Mixing it up with a check-in date of May 25, Galavantier advertises a $134 savings:

Again, we got our protractors out to compare the cost of booking each piece directly. A superior Fantasy Room at Palms.com goes for $736.96 ($658+ $78.96 in taxes), Maverick's Vegas helicopter tours cost $114 per person and the VIP wristbands are $60 a piece.
· Total cost booking direct: $1,084.96
· Compare to booking through Galavantier: $918
· Galavantier saves: $166.96 in this package ($32.96 more than advertised)

In our scientific tests, booking through Galavantier does save in only a few clicks. Whether you've considered flying over The Strip in a helicopter or not, check out Galavantier to nab it at a discount while still saving on the hotel. Don't see an adventure listed you might be interested in? Greisen informs us the site has over 150 experiences they can offer and will be rolling them out. Additionally, look for an official launch party toward June for Galavantier 2.0 which will offer:

· On-demand ticketing: No tour tickets or confirms to print. Use your phone instead if you choose.
· Video of each experience: See it before you buy it and hear why their travel experts like it.
· Additional flexibility: Choice of hotel options that best match each experience

Take it for a run yourself at Galavantier.com and let us know what you find. While you're there, sign up for the newsletter to get a $25 credit toward that first booking.

[Photos: Galavantier]

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