Cheap International Travel-filter: How good of a deal do Groupon Getaways/LivingSocial Escapes tend to be, particularly
For the first time in my life I have money to travel internationally. But I know shit-all about international travel--my most exotic travel experience has been a few days in Ontario. However, right now my biggest hindrance is budget.
I'd like to spend less than $1600 and go to pretty much any country that's not in Western Europe, the more different from the USA the better. I'm down for either historical sites ("old stuff") and/or awesome nature experiences, with a preference for lots of local interaction. Not so much about hanging out in resorts or tourist traps.
I know if I avoid the most touristy areas it's possible to find lodging, food, and experiences for cheap. Hostels, street markets, Lonely Planet travel guides, etc. But what about airfare? Depending on the place I could easily blow the $1600 on airfare alone. Hence I'm favoring Groupon/LivingSocial deals, as some of their all-inclusive trips fit my budget and have a lot packed in. But I'm reading lots of mixed reviews about the quality of the trips (though I know it's dependent on the travel agency hosting them) and I would much prefer to pay the same amount but plan my own itinerary.
So, if you're experienced in travel, do you see good deals on these websites? Are you able to find good airfare deals on your own, and how? And does this trip to Turkey
look like a good idea? Finally, any tips for the newbie international traveler?