When identifying a vacation deal’s savings, we generally refer to the percentage or dollar amount off regular prices, competing deals, the same deal in peak season or the cost of self-packaging.
But in this week’s Top 20, the “$550 off” qualifier on Mauiva’s $899 AirCruise only tells half the story.
Yes, select dates really are $550 off regular prices for this unique tour of the northeastern United States and Ontario. However, the deal saves something even more precious: your time.
This tour takes you from New York City to Niagara Falls, Toronto, Amish Country and Washington, D.C. It’s a great itinerary that combines 4-star hotels with upscale perks like VIP admission to attractions. You don’t even have to lug around your own suitcases; Mauiva carries your bags to and from your hotel room.
But the best part is what gives this tour its “AirCruise” name. You’re flying on private jets into small airports. Mauiva’s coaches drive right up onto the tarmac and you’re airborne within 15 minutes. There’s no need to show up two hours before your flight, no trudging from an overcrowded airport parking deck, no security lines, no body scans, no stuffing your toiletries into little baggies and certainly no one ordering you to remove your shoes and chuck them into plastic bins. Imagine that – a flight that is convenient and dignified.
Now let’s do a little math. The trip lasts about 130 hours over six days/five nights. If you sleep eight hours per night, that’s a total of 40 hours. It would take a bare minimum of 25 hours to drive around to all of these points by personal car (God help you if you tried to do this by bus). Let’s say you also spend an average of an hour a day waiting in lines, which Mauiva guests don’t do. After you’ve slept, battled traffic and stood around waiting, you’re left with maybe – maybe – 59 hours to do everything else (i.e., have fun).
By contrast, the total flight time on the AirCruise is three hours. Even with eight hours of sleep per night, that still leaves you with 87 hours – nearly 50% more time -- to enjoy your well-deserved vacation. As the saying goes, you can’t put a price on that.