“Buy fast before it’s gone” sales seem to be the travel-industry strategy these days. Regionally, both Amtrak Cascades and the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort launched such limited-time sales today for train travel and ski-resort accommodations, with a three-day window for buying.
Sometimes the sales can be good deals – it’s hard to argue with a Seattle to Portland train ticket for $16 (one way). But it’s also how businesses create a sense of scarcity and urgency that pushes you into buying more quickly and before you’ve shopped around. So take a good look, but don’t be bamboozled.
Amtrak, which is competing with the low-fare Bolt Bus service to Portland and Vancouver, B.C., is offering discounts for train trips from March 12 to April 4. Tickets are on sale now through Feb. 14. Sample one-way Amtrak fares between these cities are :
Seattle and Portland, $16
Seattle and Vancouver (Clark County),$16
Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., $19.
Bellingham and Vancouver B.C., $7
As with most sales, there’s some fine print. Tickets are available online only and the deals aren’t available around Easter weekend (blackout days are March 28-29 and April 1).
Whistler-Blackcomb, the B.C. ski resort, launched its 72-hour sale today (it ends just before midnight on Feb. 14). It offers up to 50 percent off at many lodgings, from hotels to condos, and stays can be booked by phone, 888-583-8155, or at Whistler-Blackcomb. Again, shop around on other Whistler lodging websites, too, and check out condo vacation rentals by Whistler owners through Allura which can sometimes offer more space for less.