Black Friday Travel Deals: Are They Worth It?

The holiday season is upon us, bringing with it the much-anticipated Black Friday deals. Interestingly, this year, these deals have surfaced earlier than ever across various industries, including the travel sector. The burning question: Are these offerings genuine deals or merely a marketing tactic to boost sales?

The answer largely hinges on the company in question. In the recent week, I've come across some truly enticing specials, especially in the luxury travel market. On the flip side, there's been a cruise company among others that have opted to hike its prices just to present a seemingly enticing "Big Black Friday Sale." This leaves travelers in a quandary—how can one discern a genuine deal from a promotional ploy?

In my agency and on our social media platforms, I exercise caution when sharing sale information. I prefer not to inundate my clients with promotions that essentially mask regular prices under a new guise. It's a game I'd rather not play, and I believe my clients appreciate the transparency.

Should you consider booking one of these deals? Absolutely, yes!

If you have travel plans for the next year or two, the current moment is opportune for booking. Notably, cruises and all-inclusive properties are nearing full capacity for many sailings/weeks throughout 2024. Waiting for a new promotion might end up costing you more. Additionally, as certain travel segments reach capacity and prices rise, demand spikes for alternative options, impacting flight and hotel costs for everyone, even if you're not planning a cruise.

In most cases, your best move is to book now, regardless of your travel dates. With low deposits and flexible booking terms, you can secure your preferred arrangements and potentially take advantage of future promotions if they indeed offer savings. Waiting tends to translate to fewer options at a higher cost, as the apparent "savings" are deducted from a higher base price than if you had booked well in advance.

And what about last-minute deals?

This is where savvy travelers can find significant savings. While the inventory is limited, and your travel window might be tight, last-minute trips can be surprisingly cost-effective, especially if you're flexible. This week I have seen some very enticing pricing for European Christmas Market Tours. Couple that with exclusive access to off-the-grid airfare deals, and a last-minute getaway can still be a steal.

So, what are our top tips to take advantage of the Black Friday Travel Deals?

  1. Research in Advance:
    • Before Black Friday, research the destinations you're interested in and the usual prices for flights, accommodation, and other travel-related expenses. This will help you identify genuine deals when they come up.
  2. Set a Budget:
    • Determine how much you're willing to spend on your trip. Having a budget will help you stay focused on finding deals within your financial limits.
  3. Sign Up for Alerts:
    • Subscribe to newsletters, email alerts, and notifications from travel websites, airlines, and hotels. This way, you'll be among the first to know about any special Black Friday deals.
  4. Flexible Dates:
    • If your travel dates are flexible, you'll have a better chance of finding lower prices. Many travel websites allow you to compare prices on different dates to find the cheapest options.
  5. Bundle Deals:
    • Look for bundle deals that include flights, accommodation, and sometimes even activities. Bundling can often save you more money than booking each component separately.
  6. Use Rewards and Loyalty Programs:
    • If you have airline miles, hotel points, or credit card rewards, Black Friday is a great time to cash them in. Check if your loyalty programs are offering any special promotions during this period.
  7. Follow Social Media:
    • Keep an eye on the social media accounts of airlines, hotels, and travel agencies. Some companies may release exclusive deals and promo codes to their followers.
  8. Book During the Sale Period:
    • Black Friday deals are often time-sensitive. Be ready to make a decision and book during the sale period to secure the discounted rates.
  9. Read the Terms and Conditions:
    • Before making any bookings, carefully read the terms and conditions of the deals. Ensure there are no hidden fees or restrictions that could negate the savings.
  10. Consider Alternative Airports and Accommodations:
    • Flying into or out of alternative airports or staying in different neighborhoods can sometimes be more cost-effective. Explore these options to find additional savings.
  11. Check for Cashback and Discounts:
    • Some credit cards and online platforms offer additional cashback or discounts when you make travel-related purchases. Take advantage of these extra savings.
  12. Consult a Travel Agent: (Obviously ; ))
    • Consider reaching out to a travel agent (Hopefully us). We often have access to exclusive deals and can help you navigate complex itineraries, while providing a personalized touch to your travel planning.

Make sure to also check out our recent video on the Pros and Cons of Black Friday Travel Deals.