From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and now Travel Deal Tuesday, it might seem like the season of outrageous sales gets longer every year.
And while that may be true, there are still some best practices for travel hacking your way to some serious savings. Here’s how to snag the best deals in airfare, hotel stays and even train travel this Cyber Monday 2018.
There’s a wide window for deals, but the best airfare will likely be on Travel Deal Tuesday or November 27th.
It’s not uncommon for company to begin offering flash sales on Black Friday and continuing them through Cyber Monday and then through Travel Deal Tuesday.
Over the years we’ve seen the window for travel deals around Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to grow,” said Todd Dunlap, Managing Director of The Americas for Booking.com. “It still remains important, though, to do your research and not jump on anything too quickly.”
But if you’re interested in snagging low-cost airfare, Hopper, a flight prediction and booking app, recommends waiting until November 27th or Travel Deal Tuesday. The company crunched last year’s numbers and found that airlines offered up to 40% off on Travel Deal Tuesday.
Get up early for the best airfare sales on November 27th.
Last year, Hopper found that airfare sales begin ramping up around 6:30 a.m. ET, peaking around 9:30 a.m. ET on Travel Deal Tuesday. So if you’re on the West Coast, set your alarm extra early.
Keep a cool head and know what a ‘good’ price is.
If you’re looking for a good bargain, the most important thing is to know what you want to buy and what a ‘good’ price would be. With all these deals flying around, it can be easy to lose your head.
While Black Friday is THE day for sales in retail, travel companies offers savings at other times of the year. For example, many airlines offer huge ticket sales at the end of the year, as they try to sell off extra inventory. In the off-season, hotels might advertise half-priced nights. Since Black Friday or Cyber Monday travel deals usually come with a lot of fine print if you aren’t getting a reasonable discount on tickets, it might not even be worth it to book.
The point is: don’t get swept up into a Cyber Monday or Travel Deal Tuesday offer that isn’t really a deal. While many companies give discounts, sometimes its only an average amount savings with lots of extra restrictions.
Although nearly every airline and hotel chain will be offering some sort of promotion for Black Friday on their website, signing up for a newsletter is a great way to get bonus savings.
A lot of times travel companies will offer loyal customers extra discounts on top of their flash sales. For example, Vayama, an online travel agency, is offering $50 discounts on flights from the US to South America, Thailand and New Zealand.
Some companies also offer discount codes when you download their app or sign up for their rewards program. For example, Orbitz is offering all new members 5% in Orbucks (similar to cashback) on hotels in their app.
According to KAYAK, last year’s best Black Friday airfare deals were to the Middle East (16% cheaper), South America (9%) and Africa (7%). Although Europe saw the biggest bump in search volume (up 25%), average airfare deals stayed flat, said the online travel agency.
On Travel Deal Tuesday, Hopper found an average of 20% off domestic and international flights last year. For 2018, the company is forecasting deals to destinations like London (41% off), Paris (32% off), Barcelona (36% off), Hong Kong (32% off), and Turks & Caicos (42%) on November 27th.
Consider booking a hotel package… but read the fine print.
A lot of hotels and luxury properties will offer discount packages this time of year. Kayak recommends to look for hotel packages in Europe for the most savings. If you are into all-inclusive resorts or love to plan, this can be a great way to scoop up a deal. Just make sure to read the fine print as hotel packages are usually very specific with their terms and blackout dates.
Don’t forget about car rentals, train tickets and even guidebook sales.
Black Friday isn’t just for airfare or hotel stays. Other kinds of travel companies post deals as well. I once snagged 30% off a car rental in Oregon thanks to Black Friday sales. This year, Amtrak is offering 30% off tickets from Black Friday though Cyber Monday. Travel blogger Nomadic Matt is offering 60% off all his guidebook for special Black Friday sale.
The point is: think outside the box and you’ll be surprised at what kinds of deals you can travel hack this year.
Based in Lebanon, I cover travel and personal finance topics for millennials. I’m committed to a life of adventure, whether that means hitching a ride on a Bahamian mailboat or reporting on Arabic battle rap leagues. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was the founding Edi…