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BiddingForGood.Com Offers Excellent Travel Deals While Supporting Good Causes

I'm a sucker for a win/win situation. It makes me feel good when I'm involved in something that benefits everyone. I also love a good luxury vacation. Eight months ago, my husband Bill and I had the vacation of our lives when we took a Caribbean cruise aboard the SeaDream I, an all inclusive luxury mega yacht that specializes in pampering guests. Naturally, our trip on the SeaDream I didn't come without significant expense. But we had so much fun on our cruise, that we pre-booked another to be taken sometime in 2011.

In the meantime, to satisfy my cravings for SeaDream style luxury, I have been hanging out on SeaDream Yacht Club's messageboard on CruiseCritic.com. It was there that I first learned about BiddingForGood.com, a Web site that helps charities auction donated goods, services, and travel packages to the highest bidder. The money raised goes to support a variety of great causes while allowing bidders to score some excellent deals. You can find all kinds of items up for bid on BiddingForGood.com, but I want to discuss the travel deals that are available, especially since I just purchased one myself.

The Cruise Critic member who suggested BiddingForGood.com had found out that SeaDream Yacht Club had donated several savings vouchers to be auctioned to the highest bidder. The savings vouchers were each worth $500, but most of them were selling for a minimum bid of $100. The winners had then redeemed their vouchers for $500 off their next SeaDream cruise. SeaDream fares are always at least four figures per person, so that $500 discount would definitely come in handy, especially when the voucher ends up only costing 20 percent of its value.

I was intrigued by this deal, so I went to check it out myself. Indeed, SeaDream Yacht Club had several savings vouchers up for grabs, each supporting different charities in different states. At this writing, there are three savings vouchers to bid on, one of which has yet to achieve a minimum bid. Christmas is coming, so I got the bright idea to bid on one of the savings vouchers as a gift to my husband, who is always looking for ways to save money, yet also loves luxury vacations.

The bidding process

Once I had decided to bid on a savings voucher, I went to the BiddingForGood site and looked at the four causes that were auctioning SeaDream savings vouchers. The causes ranged from a charity supporting animal welfare to a charity that supported Catholic gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. I wanted to bid on a charity that didn't have any bids, yet would be closing soon. The only charity that fit my criteria was DignityUSA, which was the charity that supports Catholic gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. Since I really do support the rights of GLBT people, I was actually proud to donate money to that cause, but the added bonus was that no one else was bidding on SeaDream savings voucher being auctioned to support DignityUSA.

I clicked on the "Bid Now!" button next to entry and was immediately prompted to create an account. Creating an account was a very straightforward process. I entered my name, address, and telephone number. I also entered my credit card information. Next, I entered my maximum bid. I entered $125, though my initial bid was the minimum $100. If someone decided to bid against me, the system would keep bidding on my behalf until it reached my maximum bid. After I had entered my information, it was time to wait.

I won!

Two days later, the auction for my savings voucher ended. I was the only bidder, so I won the auction and got my $500 SeaDream Yacht Club savings voucher for just $100. I got an email letting me know I won immediately after the auction ended. A few days after that, I got another email with the actual voucher attached. Now, all I have to do is choose a voyage that runs for seven days or longer before December 31st, 2011! Other people on CruiseCritic.com who have used the vouchers have unanimously said that they've had no trouble applying them to their cruises. Just to be sure, I double checked with SeaDream yesterday and was told my voucher would be honored as soon as I pick my next cruise with them.

Cruising isn't your thing?

If you don't like cruising but want to bid on a travel item, take heart. BiddingForGood.com has all kinds of travel related items up for bid, everything from hotel stays to plane tickets to all inclusive vacations, many of which support well-known charities. And the auctions are held at a number of different price points. Yes, there are some items that end up selling for thousands of dollars, but some are quite inexpensive. At this writing, there's a day cruise around Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard being auctioned. It's worth $86, but the leading bid is $35. There are a number of short hotel stays being offered, some of which are less than $200. There are also a pair of roundtrip tickets being offered on Qantas Airways from Los Angeles to Australia. The tickets are worth up to $10, 000 but at this writing, no one has bid the minimum $2, 500 and the auction ends in less than two days!

You can also find auctions on items that can enhance travel. I have seen auctions for rental cars, dining, and tickets to shows and concerts, as well as gift certificates to spas. Again, these items are being auctioned to help a number of charities and are up for bid at a variety of price levels. You're sure to find something that will make your next trip more of a treat.

Warning

Before you bid, make sure to read the fine print, especially when you're bidding on a travel item! For example, I knew ahead of time that no SeaDream cruise originates in the continental United States, so I already knew that in order to use my savings voucher, I would have to spend some money. But someone who doesn't know anything about SeaDream Yacht Club might have thought otherwise. The two Qantas tickets I found have restricted travel dates and don't qualify for frequent flier miles or upgrades.

Every item has parameters that must be met in order to successfully claim the prize. Make sure you read and understand what those parameters are before you make a bid. Understand that travel related items won in the auction may or may not have any cash value and may or may not be transferable. And if you misplace the item after winning it, BiddingForGood.com will not be responsible for replacing it.

Overall

I'm pretty pleased with my experience buying a travel savings voucher on BiddingForGood.com. There's no doubt that if you shop carefully, you really can enjoy a win/win situation. You win by scoring a great travel bargain. Charities win by raising much needed funds to support their worthy causes. In these tough economic times, who doesn't love a deal like that?

Sources

www.biddingforgood.com

www.cruisecritic.com

www.seadream.com

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION:The Contributor has no connection to nor was paid by the brand or product described in this content.By Jenny Tolley - I'm a trained public health social worker and proud Army wife.  





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