Stay Somewhere Sexy (for Less)

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Published October 2011; Redbook magazine

We found romantic, cheap hotels for $250 and under, so pick one near you, drop the kids at Grandma’s, and hang up that Do Not Disturb sign.

Read my top picks here.

  • April 25, 2012
    Rose C

    Hi there,

    Great travel blog!
    I was curious to know what you think about my situation with Expedia . . .
    & I hope it’s OK if I post it here!

    I visited the Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata), traveling from Miami International Airport in January. I was very excited to book my trip through Expedia, and trusted the company to take care of my airport transfers. As a young woman traveling alone, these transfers were very important for me to book through them, as I had heard about many problems the country has with rapes, muggings and overall bad things happening with tourists visiting the area.

    I immediately called Expedia to report what had happened with my transfer to the airport, leaving the Dominican from the Riu Mambo Resort. I can summarize my situation for you. Out of nowhere, the driver (who spoke no english) stopped on the side of the road in the middle of a busy place with mopeds and people all around (without informing me that he would be doing so) and motioned for me to get out of the van and go to a different mini bus parked in front of his van. The driver for the new van was twice the size of me, was not wearing a “Blue” shirt & the mini-bus had closed curtains. I saw that there was another dark-colored man waiting inside the mini-bus. I really thought I was going to get onto that bus & go to my death at that moment & wasn’t sure of I should scream, run or what. I had forgotten to put my knife in my pocket & instead, it was in my bag that was now at the front of the van. I was basically filled with anxiety & complied with what they said to do. It’s amazing what happens to a super-strong woman when they know they will be overpowered. I swear I almost ran I was so scared, but then I thought that would be a bad idea too.

    In the end, the driver did take me to the airport, but it was a very frightening experience to not know if I was going to be at the airport, or taken someplace else to die in an unmarked vehicle.

    When I reported this to Expedia, they told me that the Riu Mambo said the van had technical difficulties & nothing more than the $30 transfer coud be refunded. Allow me to be clear here – there were NO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES with this van. These men were running a scheme, probably to make more money by splitting gas fees. Then Expedia told me that because there were van troubles, they could not refund anything more because (the hotel that lied) The Riu Mambo said the van had mechanical troubles.

    I don’t even know if any money amount would ever really be appropriate for my LIFE or change my mind about Expedia’s extra services, however – it wasn’t right for the Riu Mambo to report something inappropriate as “there were technical difficulties with the van” when they weren’t there & don’t even know this is true!

    I would hate for this to happen to any other person traveling using Expedia’s transfer services, especially women travelling alone like I was. I feel that Expedia did not do me right by this situation. I am also appalled by the Riu Mambo making a blatent lie like that to protect their own & now Expedia will not own up to what happened to me. & because of all this hassle now, I want to be refunded my money from even staying at the Riu Mambo for the lie their customer service team told Expedia.

    In my opinion, Expedia and The Riu Mambo is acting dangerously by putting other women traveling alone in this position!

    I appreciate your time in reading about my situation & I would appreciate your advice! I don’t think I could ever again recommend Expedia because of this situation I went though & their corporate team has been just awful to deal with. One of the excerpt’s from the Expedia team says this: “. We understand your plight, and found that our team contacted the vendor and were advised of the situation that occurred and you arrived safely at the airport.”

    Do you trust Expedia?
    Thanks again for your thoughts ~


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